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Prisons: Workshop Closures In South-East Region

Volume 475: debated on Monday 2 June 1986

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asked Her Majesty's Government:

  • (1) how many workshops have been closed in the prisons and institutions of the South-East region to 30th April 1986;
  • (2) what specific alternative provision has been made in each of the relevant institutions and prisons; and
  • (3) what effect has the 15 per cent. reduction in education budgets in the Prison Department had on the provision of education classes in those same prisons and institutions in terms of hours of instruction available for prisoners, and on the numbers of teachers or instructors employed—
  • (a) in the year 1985–86; and
  • (b) in the budget for the year 1986–87.
  • On the question of workshop closures and alternative regime activities, I announced the outcome of the recent review of prison industries by the Prisons Board in response to a Question by my noble friend Lord Morris [HL Debates, 25th March, cols. 1491–2]. A copy of the summary of the Prisons Board recommendations for rationalisation is in the Library. Apart from that review, during the past year six workshops in prisons in the South-East region have been closed. At Albany, three were closed because of staff and work shortages, and plans for alternative activity are under consideration. A workshop at Northeye was closed because of shortage of work, and before the recent disturbances vocational training courses were planned to replace it. At Standford Hill, two workshops were closed because there had been changes in the prison population and they were no longer required.Financial provision for education services in Prison Service establishments in 1986–87 has been increaed. Subject to some minor reallocation of resources between establishments, the intention is to maintain the 1985–86 level of education services in this financial year.