HC Deb 11 January 1996 vol 269 c280W
Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to discourage the practice of allocating women to wings of male prisons. [8257]

Miss Widdecombe

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

Letter from Richard Tilt to Mr. Doug Hoyle, dated 11 January 1996: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the practice of allocating women to wings of male prisons. The Prison Service is currently developing a strategy for the future provision of female places. This strategy will be reported to the Home Secretary in the spring of this year. At present 314 women are held in units at five male prisons. These prisons provide a total of 344 places in areas with a specific shortage of female provision. The current female provision at male establishments allows women to be kept closer to their home areas. The accommodation provided at these establishments enables female prisoners to be housed in dedicated units on a shared site with distinct access to particular prison facilities.