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Prison: Visits

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prison visits there have been in each of the last five years; and what the average number of visits per prisoner was in each such year. (296031)

Statistics on the number of social visits taken by prisoners are not centrally collated. However, all prisoners have a statutory entitlement to domestic or social visits. Unconvicted prisoners are entitled to three social visits a week; convicted prisoners are entitled to receive a social visit on reception and thereafter one every two weeks. All social visits should last at least one hour. Under guidance issued by the National Offender Management Service prisoners should have the opportunity for some of these visits to take place at weekends. In addition some prisons also provide opportunities for family visits which focus on improving the relationship between the imprisoned parent and their children.