HC Deb 23 January 1991 vol 184 cc187-8W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to stop the censorship of prisoners' letters in prisons in England and Wales, except where prisoner security is necessary; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Rumbold

In 1986, routine censorship of prisoners' correspondence in category D prison establishments was abolished. Since 1988 only a random 5 per cent. sample of incoming and outgoing letters are routinely read in category C and equivalent female and young offender establishments. During 1990, a trial took place to test the reduction of censorship to a 5 per cent. sample in selected category B—non-dispersal—establishments. We are currently studying the results of that trial.