§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement on his interview with a deputation of prison governors requesting the release of convicted prisoners to ease the high prison population; and whether he will not take action along these lines until unconvicted prisoners are released or have a court hearing to prove their guilt or innocence.
§ Mr. Mellor
At his meeting with the prison governors' branch of the Society of Civil and Public Servants on 18 April my right hon. Friend indicated steps that the Government are taking to relieve prison overcrowding and the accommodation of prisoners in police and court cells. Section 32 of the Criminal Justice Act 1982 enables the Home Secretary to order the early release of sentenced prisoners but my right hon. Friend has no present intention of exercising that power.