High Intensity Regimes (Hansard, 16 January 1997)
HC Deb 16 January 1997 vol 288 cc367-8W
Mr. Alex Carlile

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what research has been undertaken by the Prison Service on(a) high intensity regimes and (b) boot camps; when it will be published; and if he will make a statement; [10783]

(2) from what areas the high intensity regime to be based at Colchester will draw inmates; and if he will make a statement; [10785]

(3) when the high intensity regime at Colchester will open; and if he will make a statement; [10784]

(4) what are the reasons for the delay in opening the high intensity regime at Colchester; and if he will make a statement. [10786]

Miss Widdecombe

[holding answer 13 January 1997]: Colchester young offender institution and the high intensity training programme at Thorn Cross young offender institution are both pilots. They will be the source of evidence of the effectiveness of the new approaches adopted. There are no directly parallel initiatives to provide evidence at present on likely reconviction rates.

In 1994, Prison Service officials prepared a report on American boot camps as advice to Ministers. Following the long established convention this advice was not published, nor will it be. Copies of readily available published research into American boot camps were placed in the Library in 1995. I must stress, however, that our two initiatives are not copies of American boot camps.

We intend the young offenders at Colchester to come predominantly from East Anglia and the south-east of England.

As I explained in the answer which I gave the hon. Member on 14 November, Official Report, column 299, this is a unique initiative requiring careful preliminary work and much progress has already been made. Since then, we have proceeded with the staff appointments to which I referred on that occasion, and I hope shortly that we will agree the final details of the regime. When we have done so we will set an opening date.