HC Deb 19 December 2001 vol 377 c490W
Miss Widdecombe

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the running of HMP Blakenhurst since it was taken back into public sector control. [22260]

Beverley Hughes

The management of Blakenhurst prison was handed over to the Prison Service on 19 August 2001. None of the formal inspections or assessments of performance have been made of the prison's management since that date. However, the prison has operated smoothly.

Assessments of HMP Blakenhurst

All prisons, whether privately managed or directly managed, are subject to the following ongoing assessments:

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (HMCIP)

HMCIP inspected Blakenhurst under UKDS management three times: in May 1984, October 1998 and January 2001. Blakenhurst is not scheduled for inspection in 2001–02 and the new schedule for 2002–03 will not be finalised till May 2002. However, the Inspectorate also carry out unannounced inspections.

Standards and Security Audits

The Area Manager is currently negotiating with the Standards Audit Unit with a view to arranging an audit in late summer or early autumn 2002. The last such audit was in May 1999.

Board of Visitors (BoV)

BoVs report annually. The Blakenhurst BoV cycle is to report on the year ending in June.

Additional Service Level Agreement (SLA) Assessment

Monthly reports on compliance with the SLA are issued by the on-site Compliance Monitor; and

Regular SLA audits carried out at the prison by members of Contracts and Competition Group. The next audit at Blakenhurst is scheduled for August 2002.