§ Mr. Neil Hamilton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give a breakdown of the prison service grant of £1,564,000 for assisted visits to prison inmates giving the number of visits this figure represents and the total number of individuals who have received visits under this scheme.
§ Mr. Mellor
Under the assisted prison visits scheme the cost of visits to inmates by close relatives who are on low incomes may be met from public funds. The scheme is not cash limited and the costs of all valid claims by eligible people are met in full. The Budget estimate for the scheme in England and Wales for the year ending 31 March 1990 was £1,564,000. The actual cost of the scheme in the year was £1,489,941, of which just over 70 per cent. was taken up by travelling costs, and the remainder by subsistence and other expenses. This represents the payment of 60,807 claims divided between 15,680 claimants.
Figures for the number of individual inmates who have received assisted visits are not readily available and could not be obtained except at disproportionate cost.