§ Mr. Fatchett
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he intends to announce any plans to improve conditions in prisons; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Mellor
We have already developed and are committed to maintaining a substantial prison building programme, which constitutes the principal means by which physical conditions in prisons are being improved. The programme includes a total of 20 new establishments, three of which have been completed and taken into use, five are being built and the remainder are at various stages of design or planning, including two new schemes which were added to the programme as a result of the Government's recently announced decisions on public expenditure in 1987–88. In addition we are undertaking an476W extensive programme of modernisation and redevelopment of the existing prison estate with major capital work in progress or planned at about 100 establishments. Benefits for both staff and inmates will also flow from our fresh start proposals for improved working arrangements, pay systems and management structures, which are the subject of discussions with the Prison Officers Association and the other prison service trade unions.