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Prisons: Employment

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prison workshops have (a) opened, (b) closed and (c) changed function in each of the last seven years. (296033)

The following table shows the number of prison industrial workshops1 that opened, closed or changed function or industry type since 2002.

1 Including industrial laundries but excluding purely vocational training courses e.g. plumbing, bricklaying, painting and decorating, etc.

Prison industry workshops

Number

Opened

Closed

Changed function/industry type

2002

11

0

3

2003

2

0

3

2004

7

1

7

2005

4

0

12

2006

4

2

16

2007

9

2

15

2008

2

1

10

20091

12

4

22

1 Number to October 2009. In 2009, the policy was extended to include workshops operated on behalf of registered charities (e.g. Braille).

Central records are not complete before 2004 as there was no requirement for public prison establishments to refer cases, for workshop closures or changes to industry type, to National Offender Management Service (NOMS) headquarters for approval. Those shown for 2002 and 2003 above are predominantly for Prison Information and Communication Technology Academies only.

Instructions were introduced in 2004 that require NOMS headquarters approval to be obtained for public prison establishments to ensure that national strategic plans for employment and service delivery are consistently maintained.