HC Deb 05 July 1993 vol 228 cc9-10W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what criteria are followed by his Department in approving the transfer of a prison inmate from a closed prison establishment to an open prison establishment; and if he will make a statement;

(2) how many prison inmates in prisons in England and Wales requested a transfer to a prison nearer their home during the last six months for which figures are available; and how many such requests were granted.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the director general of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 4 July 1993: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Questions about the criteria for the transfer of prisoners from closed to open prisons, and the number of prisoners who requested transfers to a prison nearer their home during the last six months. The principles which apply to the decision whether to downgrade an inmate's security categorisation are set out in Circular Instruction 7/1988, a copy of which is in the House of Commons Library. Account is taken of a number of factors including time left to serve, attitude, positions of trust held and behaviour in any periods of temporary release. Any prisoner who has successfully completed a period of home leave is considered for transfer to an open establishment. Requests made by prisoners seeking transfers to establishments nearer their homes are dealt with locally and information is not collected centrally.

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