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Imprisonment Statistics

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the male population has experienced imprisonment. [10632]

Miss Widdecombe: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Richard Tilt to Mr. Harry Cohen, dated 16 January 1997:




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Roisin McAliskey

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the number of strip searches undergone by Miss Roisin McAliskey on her journey from HM prison Holloway to the magistrates court on 13 December. [10638]

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 13 January 1997]: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Hugh Taylor to Mr. Kevin McNamara, dated 16 January 1997:



Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of daily strip searches undergone by Miss Roisin McAliskey since her transfer from Northern Ireland to HMPs Belmarsh and Holloway; what were the intervals between each search; what (a) contraband goods and (b) other materials were found on her body; and if such searches included the bodily orifices. [10639]

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 13 January 1997]: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Hugh Taylor to Mr. Kevin McNamara, dated 16 January 1997:



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Strip Searches

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason it is necessary for remand prisoners to be strip searched before receiving closed visits. [10651]

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 13 January 1997]: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from A. J. Pearson to Mr. Kevin McNamara, dated 16 January 1997:





High Intensity Regimes

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what research has been undertaken by the Prison Service on (a) high intensity regimes and (b) boot camps; when it will be published; and if he will make a statement; [10783]

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 13 January 1997]: Colchester young offender institution and the high intensity training programme at Thorn Cross young offender institution are both pilots. They will be the source of evidence of the effectiveness of the new

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approaches adopted. There are no directly parallel initiatives to provide evidence at present on likely reconviction rates.

In 1994, Prison Service officials prepared a report on American boot camps as advice to Ministers. Following the long established convention this advice was not published, nor will it be. Copies of readily available published research into American boot camps were placed in the Library in 1995. I must stress, however, that our two initiatives are not copies of American boot camps.

We intend the young offenders at Colchester to come predominantly from East Anglia and the south-east of England.

As I explained in the answer which I gave the hon. Member on 14 November, Official Report, column 299, this is a unique initiative requiring careful preliminary work and much progress has already been made. Since then, we have proceeded with the staff appointments to which I referred on that occasion, and I hope shortly that we will agree the final details of the regime. When we have done so we will set an opening date.

High Security Prisons

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for changes in the high security prison estate. [11767]

Miss Widdecombe: The director general of the Prison Service announced yesterday that the following eight prisons will be released from the high security category A estate:


The high security category A estate will comprise the following 13 prisons:


In addition, Hull prison will be available on occasion to take category A prisoners in its control review committee unit for disruptive prisoners but only until alternative accommodation can be provided elsewhere. There will also be some other occasions when individual category A prisoners will have to be held temporarily outside the category A estate for reasons of operational necessity.

Funding has been made available to complete the upgrading of physical and procedural security at the 13 prisons, in accordance with the recommendations in the Woodcock report. The work will be completed at 11 of the 13 prisons by May 1997, in accordance with the timetable published in February 1995, at Doncaster by September 1997 and at Altcourse when the prison opens in spring 1998.

The director general is also announcing the implementation of a further 11 recommendations of the Learmont report, in addition to the 100 recommendations set out in the implementation progress report published in July 1996.

Details are set out in a further implementation progress report which has been placed in the Library.

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