HC Deb 29 June 1972 vol 839 c1644
10. Mr. Thomas Cox

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he proposes to hold with the Prison Officers' Association on further relaxation of prison rules.

Mr. Carlisle

Consultation with staff is a continuing process. But while my right hon. Friend keeps prison conditions under close review, he does not at present have in mind any major changes for discussion.

Mr. Cox

I note that reply. Can the hon. and learned Gentleman say why there was no consultation with the Prison Officers' Association prior to the recent relaxation of prison rules? Is he aware of the severe criticism being made by the association about lack of consultation with it? Will he assure us that before changes are made—and I emphasise "before"—there will be the fullest consultation with the association?

Mr. Carlisle

I am advised that recent changes in conditions for unconvicted prisoners were the outcome of discussions which involved the governors of establishments dealing with such prisoners, that before their introduction at Brixton they were discussed by the regional director with the Brixton branch of the Prison Officers' Association and that the branch expressed its full support.