HC Deb 16 February 1977 vol 926 cc241-3W
Mr. Ross

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will undertake to publish the report on the disturbances at Albany Prison, Isle of Wight, which took place in September 1976.

Mr. Merlyn Rees

Penal establishments are required to make reports to the Home Office on certain types of incident as a matter of routine, and I or my officials frequently ask them for additional reports—for example, to enable me to reply to correspondence from hon. Members. Reports of this kind are a normal part of internal Home Office business, and they are made in confidence. I am not, therefore, prepared to publish the report made by the Governor of Albany prison on the disturbance on 16th Septem-

the first two parts of the hon. Member's Question. The average sentences quoted for manslaughter are average custodial sentences where a determinate sentence was passed. Life sentences, hospital orders and non-custodial sentences are excluded. All sentences passed for murder are of life imprisonment or its equivalent sentence under Section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

The figures do not include those for persons found guilty of attempts to commit murder or of conspiracy to murder.

I will write to the hon. Member about the third part of his Question.

ber 1976 involving six prisoners connected with Irish Republican organisations. I gave an account of this incident in a reply to a Question by the hon. Member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone (Mr. Maguire) on 9th November 1976–[Vol. 919, c. 1445].

Five of the prisoners involved in the disturbance have submitted petitions alleging, amongst other things, that they were assaulted, and that medical attention was denied or unreasonably delayed. These allegations have been investigated and the prisoners have been informed that the allegations have been found to be without substance. The prisoners, who requested permission to seek legal advice on the matters that they raised, have been told that they are now free to do so.

I must make it clear that reports of the kind I have mentioned above are different in nature from special inquiries, such as that being conducted by the Chief Inspector of the Prison Service into the cause and circumstances of the disturbance at Hull prison last year. The House already knows my attitude to the publication of that report.