HC Deb 20 June 1996 vol 279 cc546-7W
Mr. Alex Carlile

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on preparation for disorder in the Prison Service; and how he will update the contingency plans. [33444]

Miss Widdecombe

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 David Scott to Mr. Alex Carlile, dated 20 June 1996: The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about the preparation for disorder in the Prison Service and the update of contingency plans. The central Incident Intelligence Support unit monitors order in prisons and allows governors and area managers to identify those prisons with a rising trend of disorder in order to take corrective action. Each prison has contingency plans, which are tested and updated annually, to assist governors in managing disorder. The command suite at headquarters is activated whenever there is a potentially serious possibility of major operational difficulty. Incidents are then managed by a senior prison governor, and additional resources allocated as required. The command suite, like establishments' contingency plans, is regularly tested to ensure that procedures are as effective as possible.