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British Overseas Territories

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 9 October 2009, Official Report, column 1241W, on “British Overseas Territories: Prisoners”, what plans there are to increase prison capacity in each of the UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean in which prisoner population exceeds capacity. (309361)

The information is as follows.

Anguilla: The prison service has submitted a bid to the Government of Anguilla for financial support to enable the prison to purchase modular “ready to use” prison cells. In addition, concurrent plans are in hand to assess the feasibility of converting the prison’s administration block into cellular accommodation. It is also expected that the Parole and Probation Bills will be passed in 2010, thereby diverting from prison a number of offenders and reducing overall prisoner numbers.

British Virgin Islands: A feasibility study is underway to assess the practicality of converting an existing prison workshop and storage area into cellular accommodation for lower risk prisoners. In addition, the establishment of the Parole Board in early 2010 will see a number of early releases on parole, thereby reducing prisoner numbers.

Cayman Islands: There is a process of building work within the site of HMP Northward which will add capacity during 2010. In addition, the Cayman Islands Government are assessing the potential of an “early release” scheme for suitable offenders and have set up a working group to look at the feasibility of a National Strategic Rehabilitation Board.

Turks and Caicos Islands: A new wing of the prison is now complete and the necessary security fencing is due to be finished by the end of January 2010. Although this wing is for the few female prisoners, the opening of this wing will free-up capacity elsewhere in the prison. In addition, the imminent completion of a new prison kitchen will enable the existing kitchen area to be converted into accommodation for low risk prisoners early in 2010.