HC Deb 06 March 2000 vol 345 cc547-8W
Mr. McDonnell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what guidelines are provided to prison officers on the recording of monitored telephone conversations of prisoners; [113011]

(2) what monitoring is undertaken by the Prison Service of prison telephone monitoring indexes; [113010]

(3) what guidelines have been established by the Prison Service for the monitoring of prisoners' telephone calls. [113008]

Mr. Boateng

Guidelines to prison staff on the recording and monitoring of prisoners' telephone calls are contained in the Prison Service Security Manual, Prison Standing Order 5G, Circular Instruction 21–1992, Chapters 1 and 2 of Prison Service Order 4400 and Instructions to Governors 87–1995 and 73–1995, copies of which are available in the Library.

These require that all prisoners' telephone calls, other than in open establishments, are recorded and capable of being monitored contemporaneously and from playback of the recordings. Calls made by high and exceptional risk category A prisoners are contemporaneously monitored. Monitoring of other prisoners' calls takes place on a selective basis where there is justifiable suspicion of abuse, supplemented by random monitoring to the extent it is considered necessary for the purposes of security, control and the detection of crime.