HL Deb 04 May 1983 vol 442 c177WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the arrangements for notifying the next of kin when a prisoner is moved from one prison to another; and whether there have been instances or relatives attempting to visit the wrong prison.

Lord Elton

Unless the prisoner is under 21, it is for him to notify his family of his transfer, and he will if necessary be allowed a letter at public expense to enable him to do so. Prisoners are normally told of their moves in advance, but we recognise that difficulties can arise for some unconvicted prisoners who may have to be moved at short notice and for prisoners in the highest security category whose transfers cannot be disclosed in advance. If a prisoner has been unable to notify his family before a transfer and it is known that a visit may be planned, prison governors try to prevent a wasted journey but occasionally they may not be successful.