HC Deb 27 May 1993 vol 225 cc718-9W
Mr. Redmond

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what restrictions are included in the contract for managing the Wolds prison and for transporting prisoners to prevent the contractor employing convicted criminals.

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. Martin Redmond, dated 26 May 1993:

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the restrictions in the contracts for the management of Wolds Remand Prison and transporting prisoners to prevent the contractor employing convicted criminals.

Under the terms of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, people who are to be employed as prisoner custody officers in a contracted out prison or on court escort work have to be certified by the Home Office. This means we have to be satisfied that they are fit and proper persons for such duties and have received training to a standard that we have approved. In addition to these statutory safeguards for custodial staff our standard contract also requires a contractor to provide details to us of all other personnel, including sub-contracted staff employed on a contract.

In practice, this means that all those working at Wolds Remand Prison; in the court escort service in the East Midlands and Humberside and on all future such contracts are subject to routine enquiries about their suitability to work with the prisoners in the same way as happens with staff employed by the Prison Service. These include a criminal record check, to identify any convictions which might render the applicant unsuitable. Decisions about suitability are made to the same standard as, and in accordance with, Prison Service practice.

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