§ Mr. Galbraith
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what research he has(a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the risk of attack from escaping prisoners to those residents who live close to a prison. 
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
The subject of the question relates to matters undertaken by the Scottish Prison Service. I have asked its chief executive, Mr. E. W. Frizzell, to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from E. W. Frizzell to Mr. Sam Galbraith, dated 23 April 1996:Lord James Douglas-Hamilton has asked me to reply to your question about what research has been commissioned and evaluated on the risk of attack from escaping prisoners to those residents who live close to a prison.Public safety is of paramount importance to the Scottish Prison Service and the secure accommodation of the prisoner population is the principal aim of the Service. As part of that process, all prisoners are assessed on a regular basis as to the level of dangerousness they may present to the public if they were to escape and are allocated a security category. Category A and B are the highest categories and prisoners so allocated are subject to particular security precautions and restrictions balanced with the need to provide appropriate care.Escapes by such prisoners, which were defined as having taken place when a prisoner breaches a perimeter security barrier or evades a secure escort, have been published key targets since April 1993 when the Scottish Prison Service became an Executive Agency. The targets have been met and are published in the Agency's Annual Report which is laid before Parliament and available in the House of Commons Library.