HC Deb 17 November 2003 vol 413 cc709-10W
Mr. Caton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those of Her Majesty's Prisons that have no covered reception area for visitors. [138152]

Paul Goggins

The procedures for managing visitors awaiting entry to a prison varies at each establishment and is not recorded centrally.

The provision of a covered area immediately outside the gates is often dependent on the structural design of the prison building. However, around 109 establishments provide a visitors' centre which offers visitors both shelter and, in most cases, support services that are available before and immediately after the visit is due to take place.

Many of those who do not have a centre provide basic facilities such as a waiting area. Recent enquiries suggest that around 10 prisons appear to have no current plans for a visitors' centre and we are exploring with them their intentions in terms of assisting visitors.