HL Deb 12 January 2005 vol 668 cc61-2WA
Lord Williams of Elvel

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their response to the Lord Williams of Elvel's suggestion on 8 December (HL Deb, col. 909) that there should be a standard, included in prison audits, for the conduct of prison visits; and, if so, how they propose to introduce such a standard. [HL527]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal

Prison Service policy is for visits to take place in the most humane conditions possible. Prison guidelines stipulate that the duty to treat prisoners with humanity also applies to the treatment of families and other visitors, and they should be treated courteously and sensitively.

The Prison Service has around 70 performance standards applying to all aspects of the management of prisons and prisoners, each comprising a number of measurable baselines that are audited regularly. The prisoners' family life standard currently contains 13 key audit baselines relating to social visits, including visiting arrangements and the provision of information to visitors.