HC Deb 21 May 1980 vol 985 cc217-8W
Mr. Kilroy-Silk

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has issued voluntary prison visitors with booklets stating that they must not discuss prison conditions with anyone outside the prison; and, if so, if he is satisfied that this is in keeping with his policy of openness and informed public discussion of prison matters.

Mr. Whitelaw

The wording of the booklet, prepared in consultation with the National Association of Prison Visitors, is that A visitor will not discuss with persons outside the Prison Service information he acquires about the prison or about individual prisoners ".

Prison visitors have privileged access to secure areas of the prison not accessible to the general public, and they befriend individual prisoners whose concerns need to be afforded a measure of privacy and confidentiality. The require- ment safeguards this relationship and protects visitors from possible manipulation by prisoners. I am satisfied that it is in the best interests of all parties.