§ Mr. Kilroy-Silk
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what solitary confinement involves;
(2) of those prisoners in solitary confinement at the latest available date, what was the average length of confinement and what was the longest;
(3) how many prisoners were in solitary confinement at the latest available date;
(4) how many of those prisoners in solitary confinement at the latest available date were (a) men, (b) women and (c) young persons.
§ Mr. John
There is no provision in the Prison Rules for placing inmates in "solitary confinement" but there are provisions for varying kinds of segregation; for an inmate's own protection or for good order and discipline (Rule 43); following a disciplinary charge (Rule 48); as a disciplinary award (Rules 50 and 51). The precise circumstances under which inmates are confined varies according to the cause of segregation and the available accommodation. The arrangements in respect of inmates segregated under Rules 48, 50 and 51 are laid down in prison standing orders, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.
I regret that information about the numbers segregated under these rules is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. On 1st April 1976, 567 prisoners, including one woman, were segregated under Rule 43. The period of segregation involved varied from one day to 7 years 10 months: the "average" period was 4 months 9 days.