HC Deb 19 May 1988 vol 133 c545W
56. Mr. Speller

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects that Exeter prison, will hold no more than the number of prisoners it was originally built to hold; and how many prisoners on remand awaiting trial are currently held there.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

On 13 May 126 unconvicted prisoners were held in Exeter prison, of whom 68 were awaiting trial in the Crown court. Since the numbers likely to be committed to prison by the courts in the future cannot be predicted with any certainty, the length of time for which overcrowding will continue in a particular prison cannot be forecast. My right hon. Friend announced on 30 March a number of measures aimed at substantially increasing the capacity of the prison system as a whole over the next few years, and thus directly tackling the overcrowding problem.