HC Deb 20 June 1997 vol 296 c312W
Mr. Llwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the illiteracy rate among the current prison population. [3790]

Ms Joyce Quin

Prison Service knowledge about literacy rates among prisoners is derived from the results of the basic skills screen test for literacy and numeracy which prisoners may be invited, but are not required, to take. These suggest that, while very few prisoners are actually illiterate, between 40 per cent. and 50 per cent. of those undertaking the test need help to improve their basic literacy and numeracy skills.