§ Lord Avebury
asked Her Majesty's Government:
On what subjects concerning prisons if any, Home Office Ministers now reply to letters from Members personally, rather than passing them to the director of prison services.
Under the terms of the prison service's framework document, the director general is responsible for the day-to-day management of the prison service and is directly accountable to the Home Secretary for its performance and operations. The Home Secretary will, therefore, normally ask the director general to reply to correspondence from Members of Parliament on such matters for which he has direct responsibility. Correspondence about the way in which the Home Secretary exercises his own responsibilities for the prison service, including its strategic direction, broad issues of policy and resources, and decisions relating to the release of prisoners on parole or life licence, will continue to be dealt with by Home Office Ministers.