HC Deb 04 June 1997 vol 295 cc173-4W
Mr. Malcolm Bruce

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was his Department's total expenditure on assisted prison visits for people in receipt of specified benefits for the latest year for which figures are available; how many individuals were assisted by such payments; and if he will make a statement. [1569]

Ms Joyce Quin

The total cost of assisted visits to prisons in England and Wales for 1996–97 was £3,824,324.

It is not possible to specify the actual number of individuals who received assistance. The Assisted Prisons Visits Unit computer system records only the number of claims forms received and paid (or rejected) but a person eligible for payment under the scheme is entitled to a maximum of 26 assisted prison visits each year.