HC Deb 29 October 1985 vol 84 c392W
Mr. McNamara

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many strip searches were made of female prisoners in Her Majesty's prison, Armagh, in July, August and September, respectively, if he will give the number of persons involved and the number of times each person was searched, whether any prison contraband, smuggled item or illegal correspondence was discovered in any search, indicating which items, in how many cases prisoners refused to be searched and had to be restrained while the search was being conducted, and if he will indicate the reasons for the search, namely, making an appearance at Armagh courthouse on remand, attending trial, inter-prison visit or other reasons.

Mr. Scott

During July 1985 a total of 28 searches were carried out on 22 prisoners; 16 prisoners were searched once and six were searched twice. During August 1985, there was a total of 25 searches carried out on 14 prisoners; three prisoners were searched once and 11 were searched twice. During September 1985, there were 21 searches carried out on 14 prisoners; nine prisoners were searched once, three prisoners were searched twice, and two prisoners were searched three times. No prohibited article was found during these searches and no prisoner refused to be searched. Searches were carried out in the following circumstances:

July August September
First admission on remand and awaiting trial 6 2 5
First admission on sentence and final discharge 13 15 11
Attending Armagh Remand Court 1
Attending other Remand Courts 1 2
Bail Court appearance 3 2
Home Leave Scheme 3 4 2
Inter-Prison Visits 2
Visits to outside hospital 1 1
Total 28 25 21