Cookies: We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. By continuing to use the site you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
House of Commons Hansard
x
Prisoners: Literacy
06 September 2016
Volume 614
The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

12. What proportion of prisoners are illiterate. [906066]

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

Fewer than half of the people entering prison have basic standards of English and maths. This is a huge problem because we know that low levels of education can prevent people from securing jobs on release and leading law-abiding lives.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

The Secretary of State is quite right to say that both literacy and numeracy are essential to getting a job. Should we not therefore put more resources into educating prisoners on release so that they are able to get jobs?

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The fact is that too many people enter our prisons without those skills. We need to use their time in prison to help them to gain the basic skills so that they can succeed outside. We have started measuring prisoners’ skills by testing them as they enter prison. I am keen to see that we measure real progress made during prisoners’ stay in prison and hold governors accountable for that.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

Will the Secretary of State confirm that there will be no return to the policy of banning books for prisoners?

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

I confirm that books are freely available in prison.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

I warmly welcome my right hon. Friend to her position. I was delighted to hear the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport talking about the importance of the arts in prisons. I hope that my right hon. Friend will recognise how the arts can bring prisoners to literacy and teach them a huge range of skills. I hope she will meet the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance at the earliest opportunity to discuss what the arts can do, particularly in respect of literacy.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

May I say what a fantastic job my right hon. Friend has done in championing the arts in every part of our country? His legacy lives on, and it will live on in our prisons.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

I think that the right hon. Member for Wantage (Mr Vaizey) is overcome with emotion. What a happy day for the feller!

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

What discussions will the Secretary of State have with Justice Departments in devolved legislatures throughout the United Kingdom to ensure that best practice is replicated in the improvement of literacy in all UK prisons?

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

I look forward to meeting my counterparts from all over the United Kingdom and discussing these critical issues, because this is a challenge that we all face.

The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned:
This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

Order. We are running late, so extreme brevity is now required.