|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Lord Avebury: My Lords, this is a fairly enormous list of amendments for us to consider at five to one in the morning. However, I believe that there are many important issues that we should look at in some detail.
Can the noble Lord say a few words as regards the new provisions for visiting committees at detention centres? As the wording stands in Clause 148, the rules make provision for the visiting committee to,
Will the visiting committees have powers equivalent to those of boards of visitors in Her Majesty's prisons? Is there any reason why the wording in this statute should be different here from that which applies to boards of visitors in prisons? Does the Minister agree that the tasks and duties of the visiting committees at detention centres should be on all fours with those of boards of visitors in Her Majesty's prisons? If not, what are the reasons for such differences in the responsibilities and duties of one as compared with the other?
Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for his questions, and I hope that my response will make the point clear. As I understand it, the rules will ensure that the visiting committees will
The committees have a broad canvas, and we are not seeking in the new wording to narrow their ability to report on anything they wish. I hope that, with those comments, the noble Lord will be satisfied with what we are trying to achieve with these amendments.
Lord Avebury: My Lords, before the Minister sits down, as regards annual reports by visiting committees, there has been some controversy over such reports from boards of visitors as to whether they should be obliged to publish them. Not so long ago the noble and learned Lord, Lord Williams of Mostyn, when he was in charge of prisons, undertook a consultation with the boards of visitors to establish whether any of them objected to the compulsory publication of their annual reports. Most of them accepted that, but a few preferred to keep them secret. I am not sure of the final result of that consultation, but I believe that it is important from the public interest point of view that reports from both prison boards of visitors and the new visiting committees for detention centres should be made available to members of the public.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, the noble Lord makes an important point. We require transparency in such situations, and we have attempted to achieve that with the boards of visitors. The noble Lord has acknowledged that my noble and learned friend Lord Williams gave a commitment to review the matter. There is no reason why there should not be consultation with the visiting committees to establish the way in which their annual reports should be published. My understanding is that we shall be consulting them in some detail in the next month. With that, I am sure that the noble Lord will understand the importance of the amendments that we are bringing before the House and will readily support them.
Page 98, line 4, after (facility") insert (, a prison").
Page 98, line 21, at end insert--
(( ) in relation to Northern Ireland, has the meaning given in section 122(1) of that Act of 1994;").
Page 100, line 9, after (by") insert (certified").
Page 100, line 10, leave out from (person") to end of line 12.
Page 101, line 7, leave out from (rules") to end of line 12 and insert (must include provision--
(a) as to the making of visits to the centre by members of the Visiting Committee;
(b) for the hearing of complaints made by persons detained in the centre;
(c) requiring the making of reports by the Visiting Committee to the Secretary of State.").
Page 101, line 28, leave out subsection (3).
Page 102, line 9, at end insert--
(( ) A prison officer acting under arrangements made under subsection (5) has all the powers, authority, protection and privileges of a constable.").
Page 135, line 13, at end insert (, or
( ) performing functions of a custodial nature at a short-term holding facility.").
Page 135, line 17, leave out sub-paragraphs (2) and (3).
Page 102, line 15, after (or") insert (a certified").
Page 102, line 22, at end insert (and short-term holding facilities").
Page 137, line 23, after (centre") insert (or short-term holding facility").
Page 137, line 25, at end insert (or short-term holding facility").
Page 137, line 26, leave out (detention centre") and insert (centre or facility").
Page 137, line 27, leave out (detention centre") and insert (centre or facility").
Page 137, line 29, leave out (detention centre") and insert (centre or facility").
Page 138, line 17, leave out (penalty notice") and insert (notice setting out the penalty to which a person committing an offence under paragraph 4, 5 or 6 is liable").
Page 138, line 18, leave out (a penalty") and insert (such a").
Page 138, line 20, leave out sub-paragraph (3).
Page 138, line 20, at end insert--
( .--(1) In the case of a contracted out short-term holding facility, the contractor must cause a notice setting out the penalty to which a person committing an offence under paragraph 4 is liable to be fixed outside the facility in a conspicuous place.
(2) In the case of any other short-term holding facility, the Secretary of State must cause such a notice to be fixed outside the facility in a conspicuous place.").
Page 102, line 42, after (under") insert (section 89 of").
Page 102, line 43, after (114") insert (or 122").
Page 138, line 35, after (officer") insert (or prisoner custody officer").
Page 138, line 38, at end insert (; or
(b) an act or omission of a prisoner custody officer so far as it falls to be investigated by a prisoner escort monitor under section 81 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 or under section 103 or 119 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.").
Page 139, line 19, leave out (detainee custody officer") and insert (person (A")").
Page 139, line 20, leave out (place of detention") and insert (detention centre").
Page 139, line 23, leave out (the detainee custody officer") and insert (A").
Page 139, line 24, at end insert--
((2A) Sub-paragraph (2B) applies if a detained person for whose delivery or custody a person (B") has been responsible in accordance with escort arrangements is delivered to a prison.
(2B) The detained person is to be treated, for the purposes of such prison rules as relate to disciplinary offences, as if he had been in the custody of the governor or controller of the prison at all times while B was so responsible.").
Page 139, leave out line 32.
Page 139, line 34, after (rules") insert (or prison rules").
Page 139, line 35, at end insert--
(( ) Prison rules" means--
(a) rules made under section 47 of the Prison Act 1952;
(b) rules made under section 19 of the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1989;
(c) rules made under section 13 of the Prison Act (Northern Ireland) 1953.").