§ 34. Sir A. V. Harvey
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why a person, aged 19 years, still awaiting sentence, was not allowed out of prison to attend his father's funeral, details of which have been forwarded; and what are the regulations concerning this.
§ Mr. Vosper
At present, convicted prisoners who are ineligible or unsuitable for parole may be taken under escort to see dying relatives, as was done in this case, but not to funerals. My right hon. Friend is considering whether in future, subject to reasonable availability of escorts in a particular case, this rule should be relaxed.
§ Sir A. V. Harvey
While thanking my right hon. Friend for what he has said, may I ask whether he appreciates that, at a time when millions of pounds are being spent on prison reform and buildings, not to allow this young man to attend his father's funeral, when in the result he was only placed on probation, might well warp his whole outlook in coming out of prison?
§ Mr. Vosper
I have considerable sympathy with my hon. Friend, but this is dependent on the availability of escorts and an escort was provided when the young man's father was dying. The Home Secretary will see if he can relax the rule further to cover funerals as well.