§ Sir John Wheeler
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has reached a decision on the recommendations made in the report of the working group on grievance procedures concerning the introduction of new procedures for handling prisoners' requests and complaints and the possible establishment of a prison ombudsman.
§ Mr. Waddington
I have decided that, in the light of experience gained in pilot schemes at Hull, Lindholme and Wakefield prisons, the new procedures which have been developed for handling prisoners' requests and complaints, and which are intended to replace the present petitioning system, should be introduced in all establishments on 25 September to coincide with the reorganisation of prison service headquarters. I have also decided to accept the working group's recommendation that it would be sensible to defer a decision on whether or not to establish a prisons ombudsman until there has been time for the new requests/complaints procedures to bed down and for their impact to be assessed.