HC Deb 09 November 1970 vol 806 cc38-9W
Mr. Clinton Davis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of the serious overcrowding in Her Majesty's prisons; whether he is aware that almost a third of the prisoners in local jails are there for debt and that they are clogging the prison system and contributing to a steep decline in staff and morale; and whether he will make a statement thereon.

Mr. Carlisle

On 15th October, 1970, the population of local prisons and remand centres in England and Wales was 19,062, of whom 406 had been committed for debt (including non-payment of maintenance and affiliation orders) and 561 were fine defaulters. Under the Administration of Justice Act 1970 imprisonment will be abolished for certain categories of debt.