HC Deb 20 June 1997 vol 296 c311W
Dr. Brand

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment his Department has made of the maximum number of prisoners that can be accommodated at(a) Camp Hill, (b) Albany and (c) Parkhurst prisons on the Isle of Wight; and on what occasions those limits have been exceeded during the past 10 years. [4084]

Ms Joyce Quin

The maximum number of prisoners that can be accommodated at a prison is known as the "operational capacity". This is defined as the certified total number of prisoners that can be held without serious risk to good order, security and the proper running of the planned regime. This number fluctuates, for example as accommodation is brought in and out of use and as assessments are revised by the Area Manager.

As at 18 June, the operational capacity at (a) Camp Hill was 531, (b) Albany was 436 and (c) Parkhurst was 349.

Centrally recorded information on whether operational capacity has been exceeded is available only from 1 January 1996, based on population figures for the last Friday of each month. This indicates that the figure was exceeded at Albany in March 1997 and from November 1996 to January 1997 at Parkhurst.