HL Deb 06 March 2001 vol 623 c26WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many prisoners are detained more than 100 miles from their next of kin, giving separate figures for men and women; and what efforts they are making to facilitate visiting by families of such prisoners, especially those with young children. [HL963]

Lord Bassam of Brighton

The Prison Service does not have home address records for every prisoner in its custody. In cases where prisoners do not provide their home address, the committal court town is used as a proxy. On this basis, the most recent figures available show that approximately 10,400 male prisoners and 600 female prisoners are held over 100 miles away from their home or proxy home address.

The Prison Service places great importance on prisoners maintaining close ties with family and friends, and does everything possible, within the current population pressures, to ensure that prisoners are allocated to a prison near to their homes. Where this is not possible, family contact is facilitated through financial assistance for travel costs. extended family visits, and the temporary transfer of prisoners closer to home to have a series of accumulated visits.