HC Deb 22 November 1991 vol 199 c323W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many inmates would be accommodated by the cells which are not in use at London prisons due to work taking place on the installation of an internal sanitation system within those prisons.

Mrs. Rumbold

On Tuesday 19 November there were 351 cells out of use in London local prisons and remand centres because of work to install integral sanitation. The certified normal accommodation for these cells is 351, but if they were to be used at previous levels of overcrowding some 412 prisoners would be accommodated.

Mr. Steinberg

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures will be taken to ensure that private prison staff will be checked for suitability and be trained to the same standard as Her Majesty's prison service standards.

Mrs. Rumbold

The Criminal Justice Act 1991 requires the director and other custodial staff of any contracted out prison to be certified by the Secretary of State as prisoner custody officers. The Act further provides that the Secretary of State may issue a certificate only if he is satisfied that they are fit and proper persons and have received training from the contractor to the approved standard.