High Security Prisons (Hansard, 16 January 1997)
HC Deb 16 January 1997 vol 288 c368W
Mr. Waterson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for changes in the high security prison estate. [11767]

Miss Widdecombe

The director general of the Prison Service announced yesterday that the following eight prisons will be released from the high security category A estateBirmingham, Bullingdon, Elmley, Leeds, Liverpool, Swaleside, Winchester and Wormwood Scrubs.

The high security category A estate will comprise the following 13 prisons: Belmarsh, Frankland, Full Sutton, Long Lartin, Wakefield, Whitemoor, Altcourse, Bristol, Doncaster, Durham, High Down, Manchester and Woodhill.

In addition, Hull prison will be available on occasion to take category A prisoners in its control review committee unit for disruptive prisoners but only until alternative accommodation can be provided elsewhere. There will also be some other occasions when individual category A prisoners will have to be held temporarily outside the category A estate for reasons of operational necessity.

Funding has been made available to complete the upgrading of physical and procedural security at the 13 prisons, in accordance with the recommendations in the Woodcock report. The work will be completed at 11 of the 13 prisons by May 1997, in accordance with the timetable published in February 1995, at Doncaster by September 1997 and at Altcourse when the prison opens in spring 1998.

The director general is also announcing the implementation of a further 11 recommendations of the Learmont report, in addition to the 100 recommendations set out in the implementation progress report published in July 1996.

Details are set out in a further implementation progress report which has been placed in the Library.