Skip to main content

Prisoners: Rights

Volume 716: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there is any law whereby prisoners may be obliged to wear identity cards or an arm-band; if not, why the practice is carried out in HM Prison Wakefield; and what assessment they have made of the effect of the practice on prisoners’ rights to exercise and to attend religious services. [HL1397]

There is no legal requirement for prisoners to wear identity cards. However, prisoners at Wakefield high-security prison and some other prisons are issued with identity cards. Prisoners at Wakefield, when leaving their residential unit, are expected to display the identity card on the outer layer of clothing using an armband. This enables staff throughout the prison to readily identify any prisoner. For security reasons, where a prisoner declines to wear his identity card he will not be permitted to leave his residential unit.