Memorandum by the Home
RULES 1998 (S.I. 1998/472)
The Committee have requested a
memorandum in respect of the above instrument on the following
(1) Rule 2 defines "compulsory
school age" by reference to section 580 of the Education
Act 1996 (which contains an index of expressions defined in the
Act). Ought not this expression to be defined by reference to
section 8 of that Act?
Section 580 of the Education Act
"The expressions listed
in the left-hand column below are defined by, or (as the case
may be) are to be interpreted in accordance with the provisions
of this Act listed in the right-hand column in relation to those
In the case of the expression
"compulsory school age" the right-hand column entry
is "section 8 (or paragraph 1 of Schedule 40)". Schedule
40 contains transitional provisions which are no longer relevant.
The expression could be defined, as the Committee suggest, by
reference to section 8, or, as in the instrument, by reference
to section 580, which is an all-embracing interpretation provision
for the Education Act 1996. The approach adopted leads to a clear
definition, and there can be no doubt as to the effect of the
(2) Rule 10(2) provides
that, except as provided by statute or these
Rules, a trainee shall not be permitted to communicate with any
outside person, or that person with him, without the leave of
the Secretary of State. Identify the statutory provisions contemplated
and explain the need for an express saving for such provisions.
Corresponding point in relation to rule 42(1) and (2).
These provisions, which are based
on the Young Offender Rules (YOI) and Prison Rules, provide the
Secretary of State with the power to stop communication between
an offender and an outside person who might impede the rehabilitation
of the offender. In prisons and YOIs this is rarely used in practice
and we would envisage the same for secure training centres. This
rule should be read in conjunction with rule 9 which stresses
the importance of contact by a trainee with his family.
(3) Rule 11(1)(b) entitles
a trainee to receive a visit once a week. Rule 11(2) gives him
an additional entitlement to "receive visits". Explain
the purpose of the restriction in paragraph (1)(b) given the quoted
words of paragraph (2).
The entitlement in rule 11(1)(b)
is an absolute entitlement to receive a visit once a week. In
addition, paragraph (2) of rule 11 entitles a trainee, subject
to the provisions of the Rules, to receive further visits. The
words "once a week" in paragraph (1)(b) are not intended
to limit the entitlement to further visits under paragraph (2).
The criteria for further visits are set out in the contract for
the first secure training centre and may also be received either
on compassionate grounds or under any incentives scheme under
(4) Rule 11(2) entitles
a trainee "to receive any number of letters". Rule 14(6)
defines an "illicit enclosure" (in correspondence coming
to a trainee) which may be opened as including any correspondence
from a person who is not the trainee's legal adviser or a court.
Explain the nature of the right conferred by the words quoted
from rule 11(2) in the light of rule 14(2) and (3).
Rule 14 is a specific provision
about correspondence with legal advisers and courts. In general
such correspondence is free from interference but by virtue of
rule 14(2) where the governor has reasonable cause to believe
it contains an illicit enclosure it may be opened. Illicit enclosure
includes correspondence from a person other than a legal adviser
or a court because such correspondence is not free from interference
under rule 14(1). If such correspondence is found as an enclosure
to correspondence with a legal adviser it will, by virtue of rule
14(2), be dealt with in accordance with the other provisions of
the rule, that is, having been read, passed to the trainee, who
is entitled, under rule 11, to receive it. Rule 11(2) provides
that the entitlement to receive any number of letters is subject
to the provisions of the Rules, including rule 14 and rule 10(3),
which allows the governor to read all letters except legal correspondence.
(5) Rule 21 provides that
a library is to be provided in every centre and, subject to the
directions of the Secretary of State, every trainee is to be allowed
to have library books appropriate to his age. Was consideration
given to making express provision for the needs of trainees, such
as Welsh trainees, whose first language is not English?
It is not considered appropriate
to make express provision for the needs of trainees whose first
language is not English. This will be an administrative matter
for the individual centre to deal with as and when the need arises.
There is nothing in the Rules to prevent books in languages other
than English from being obtained and made available to trainees.
It would be invidious to mention any particular language in the
Rules since trainees may come from ethnic minority backgrounds
and a variety of languages may be in issue. The contract for the
first secure training centre provides for text books in the main
minority languages and for the library to be stocked with books
appropriate to the age, gender and race of trainees.
(6) Rule 39(7) prohibits
an officer, without the knowledge of the governor, from communicating
with any person who he knows to be a former trainee or a relative
or friend of a trainee or former trainee. Explain the purpose
of this rule and whether this provision is intended to prohibit,
for example, a casual conversation with a friend of a former trainee
which does not mention the former trainee or any matter relating
to the centre.
This rule is designed to deter
unprofessional conduct by officers for instance by forming a relationship
with a former offender or a relative or friend of a former offender,
which could jeopardise the security of the centre. The rule is
not intended to prohibit a casual conversation which is not initiated
by the officer. If such a casual encounter occurred, the officer
would be required to report it to the governor.
31st March 1998