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Prisoners: Disabilities

Volume 704: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 22 July (WA 277), how many of the 3,431 prisoners referred to (a) have learning difficulties or learning disabilities, and (b) are unable to participate in offending behaviour programmes. [HL5712]

The information requested is available on neither the Public Protection Unit database nor any other central database, and to provide the information requested would require manual checking of individual records which could be carried out only at disproportionate cost.

Where an individual with learning difficulties or disabilities is assessed as not suitable at present to participate in an offending behaviour programme, further work may be possible to prepare that individual for the programme, for example, by improving learning skills. One-to-one work may also be considered. If an individual is still unsuitable, other interventions or activities may be provided to try to meet the individual's needs.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many prisons have developed an action plan in accordance with Prison Service Order 2855 (prisoners with physical, sensory and mental disabilities); and [HL5713]

Whether the Prison Service monitors the development in prisons of action plans in accordance with Prison Service Order 2855 (prisoners with physical, sensory and mental disabilities).[HL5714]

The requirement to complete an action plan was introduced in the revised Prison Service Order 2855 Prisoners with Disabilities on 3 April 2008, and as a baseline in Standard 8 Prisoners with Disabilities. Standard 8 Prisoners with Disabilities, which was revised at the same time as Prison Service Order 2855 Prisoners with Disabilities on 3 April 2008, contains a baseline which requires each prison to develop an action plan. This standard is subject to self audit by the prison according to a set timetable. Monitoring of self audit is carried out by area offices or the Office of the Director of Offender Management (where appointed). There is currently no national monitoring of the development of action plans, though a system will now be implemented to capture this.