HC Deb 11 June 2002 vol 386 cc1244-5W
John McDonnell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received in the last six months from the Irish Government, Irish community organisations and individuals on the deaths of Irish prisoners in British prisons; and what action he has taken as a result. [58275]

Hilary Benn

Correspondence has been received from the Irish in Britain Representation Group. A reply will be sent shortly.

John McDonnell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to include an Irish category based on CRE guidelines in the system for ethnic monitoring in Her Majesty's prisons. [58278]

Hilary Senn

The Commission for Race Equality's (CRE) "Ethnic Monitoring—A Guide for Public Authorities" recommends adopting the ethnic categories used in the 2001 Census and this incorporates the use of an Irish category. All civil service Departments were required by the Cabinet Office to undertake an ethnicity re-classification exercise. The format for the classifications was provided to reflect the latest census classification. The Prison Service are in the process of adopting the Census 2001 categories.

An ethnicity re-classification exercise of all Prison Service staff was undertaken in October 2001. Every member of staff was asked to complete a questionnaire which allowed their ethnic origin to be recorded in a category as provided for in the 2001 Census. Arrangements are also being made to update.