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Volume 712: debated on Monday 29 June 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government in which prisons is there no access to water or sanitation in the cells; and in respect of how many prisoners. [HL4442]

In 1996 Ministers announced that “slopping out” had ended. All prisoners in normal accommodation have had access to sanitation since then in one of four ways:

integral sanitation: a toilet and wash basin in a cell or in a separate annex;

open access: in open conditions prisoners can leave their rooms and use central toilet facilities;

electronic unlocking: cell doors are opened electronically to allow prisoners access to toilet facilities; and

manual unlocking: staff are deployed to unlock cells and allow prisoners access to toilet facilities.

A further programme of in-cell sanitation for about 400 cells was carried out in 2001-03 to provide integral sanitation in prison hospital and segregation cells.

As at March 2009 only 2,117 places do not have in-cell sanitation or open access to toilet facilities. These are located in the following prisons and have electronic unlocking:



Bullwood Hall;






Long Lartin; and


No prisons operate a manual unlocking system.