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Prisons: Mother and Baby Units

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many children have been admitted to a mother and baby unit in (a) a prison and (b) Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre in each of the last 10 years. (313208)

Historic information on the number of young women under 18 admitted to mother and baby units in prisons and young offender institutions (YOIs) is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The Rainsbrook Mother and Baby Unit for young women under 18 opened in 2006. The following table shows the number of young mothers and pregnant young women who have been accommodated in the unit:












The data have been supplied by the Youth Justice Board and have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing and may be subject to change over time.

The Youth Justice Board reports that since the opening of the Rainsbrook Mother and Baby Unit, there has been only one occasion on which a young mother or pregnant young woman has been placed in an over-18 young offender institution. In 2007, a young mother was placed in Askham Grange YOI just prior to her 18th birthday, to enable her to have both her children with her.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many women prisoners in mother and baby units are being held at locations more than 50 miles from their home address. (313209)

As at 22 January 2010, the latest date for which figures are available, 22 women in mother and baby units were held more than 50 miles from their home area.

All prisoners are asked for details of their home address on first reception to prison and on discharge from prison. About 60 per cent. of prisoners (both male and female) are shown to have given a recognised address. If no address is given, various proxies are used to determine distance from home, including next-of-kin address and committal court address.