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Stafford Prison

Volume 572: debated on Tuesday 17 December 2013

My hon. Friend and I had the honour and pleasure of visiting Stafford prison last week. I pay tribute to the skills of the team working there. It has a strong and valuable future in our prison system.

I am very grateful to my right hon. Friend for visiting last week. He will have seen the emphasis that Governor Oakes-Richards places on prisoners being in work, education and other purposeful activity. Will my right hon. Friend indicate what support the Ministry of Justice is giving to Stafford and other prisons to help them prepare prisoners for the world of work?

If you were to visit Stafford prison, Mr Speaker, you could not help being impressed by the work being done by the team on the ground, bringing valuable contracts and work experience into the prison. Of course, our central team that looks for opportunities to bring work into prisons will work with Stafford and other prisons to ensure that we do as much as we can to keep prisoners active.

I must tell the Secretary of State that I have visited the prison myself, but sadly it was 13 years ago. I am sure it is even better now than it was then. [Interruption.] No, I did so in my capacity as a shadow Minister. [Laughter.]