§ Ms Ruddock
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the capacity of Her Majesty's prison Blakenhurst as specified by contracts; what is the current number of prisoners at the prison; how many have been transferred to other prisons in recent weeks; what current plans there are for transfer to other prisons; and to which prisons prisoners have been sent.
§ 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 D. Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 30 November 1993:The Home Secretary has asked me to reply directly to your recent Question about the numbers of prisoners at HMP Blakenhurst.The certified normal accommodation of Blakenhurst prison is 649 but the contract provides that the roll should grow at the rate of approximately 100 prisoners per month. The target under the contract is that the prison should reach capacity by the end of the year. In fact, the number of prisoners on 26 November was 625 and the population reached as many as 644 on 23 November. Between I and 26 November 98 prisoners were transferred to other prisons.It is, of course, a primary part of the function of a local prison to classify prisoners and to allocate them to trainers and the 98 movements were part of these normal arrangements. There are no special plans to transfer prisoners from Blakenhurst. Prisoners have been transferred from Blakenhurst to Ford, Bullingdon, Stafford, Ashwell, Sudbury, Featherstone, Newell Grange, Channings Wood and Brockhill.