The Bishop of Gloucester received the following written answers on 9th June 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester asked Her Majesty’s Government:
- how many women aged (1) 18 to 25, and (2) 26 years or older, are currently held in each female prison establishment.
- how many women in prison aged (1) 18 to 25, or (2) 26 years or older, are currently sharing a cell.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con): The requested data, correct as of 31st March 2022, is provided in table form below [linked below].
Cells are only shared when absolutely necessary, and where they are assessed to be of an adequate size and condition. Prison cell occupancy is certified by the Prison Group Director (PGD) in accordance with the Certified Prisoner Accommodation Framework, which provides guidelines for determining cell capacities.
The sharing of double occupancy cells (designed for two) can, in some circumstances, be beneficial; some prisoners prefer it and, in the right circumstances, it can benefit their mental health and wellbeing.
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester asked Her Majesty’s Government what is the average number of miles that women in prison aged (1) 18 to 25, and (2) 26 years or older, are held from their home address.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con): The requested information can be found in the table below [linked below]. It covers all prisoners housed in female prisons across England and Wales and was accurate as of 31st March 2022.
HMPPS is committed to ensuring, where practicable, that prisoners are accommodated as close as possible to their resettlement communities and families. Whilst this is a priority, it is not always possible due to a variety of factors including wider population pressures, or where prisoners have specific sentence planning needs which can only be met at certain establishments.
There are complex and wide-ranging issues involved in transferring and locating prisoners, and allocation decisions must reflect both the specific needs and circumstances of the prisoner, including their security assessment, as well as the operating environment and range of services at the receiving prison.
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester asked Her Majesty’s Government how many women in prison aged (1) 18 to 25, and (2) 26 years or older, have previously been in local authority care in each of the last 10 years.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con): Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) is committed to meeting the needs of all vulnerable offenders, including those who have previously been in local authority care. All individuals that come into contact with the criminal justice system need to be able to access the right support to help them engage with their sentence.
HMPPS has a Strategy for Care Experienced People which is based on the assessment of needs specific to this group. The strategy focuses on identifying people with care experience and collaborative working with local authorities and other organisations, helping individuals to receive the necessary support.
HMPPS holds a limited amount of the information requested. Since 2015, as part of the basic custody screening interview, we have recorded the answers of all new prisoners coming into custody as to whether or not they have been in the care of local authority children’s services at any time. The information is purely self-declared.
|Age when BCS Part 1 Completed||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021||2022 TYD up to and including 31/03/2021|
|Age 18 to 25||281||285||233||206||214||143||134||49|
|Age 26 or over||709||772||678||701||657||467||460||151|
The data for 2022 is up to and including 31 March which is the most recent date for which it can be verified. It should be noted that individual prisoners admitted to custody on separate occasions could be included in multiple years across this data.
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester asked Her Majesty’s Government what was the ethnic breakdown of women in prison aged (1) 18 to 25, and (2) 26 years or older, for each of the last 10 years.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con): The attached tables [linked below] show the numbers of female prisoners aged (1) 18 to 25, and (2) 26 years or older, for each of the last 10 years.
The Female Offender Strategy (FOS), a comprehensive programme of work to improve outcomes for women at all points of the Criminal Justice System, included a clear commitment to look at how the distinct needs of ethnic minority women can be better addressed, and work is underway to deliver this commitment.
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester asked her Majesty’s Government how many adjudications were received by women in prison aged (1) 18 to 25, or (2) 26 years or older, for each of the last 10 years.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con): The prisoner discipline system upholds justice in prisons and ensures incidents of prison rule-breaking have consequences. The Ministry of Justice monitors adjudication outcomes by offence, age, gender, ethnicity, religion and adjudicator, this data is published quarterly and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/offender-management-statistics-quarterly(opens in a new tab).
The specific information requested can be found in the table attached. The information is provided by the age groupings of (1) 18-25 and (2) 26 and over, to provide full data to answer the question.
Number of adjudications outcomes for women and specific age group, 2012 – 2021, England and Wales
|26 and over||4,720||4,589||4,996||5,667||6,348||7,817||8,834||8,720||6,450||6,034|
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester asked her Majesty’s Government how many incidents of physical restraint took place in the female prison estate on women aged (1) 18 to 25, and (2) 26 years or older, in each year since 2018.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con): The requested data on use of force incidents is available for the 12 months ending March 2019 to March 2022. This is detailed in the attached Excel spreadsheet [linked below].
Every use of physical force is reviewed, and prison officers receive appropriate training to ensure that it is only used when necessary, reasonable and proportionate, and as a last resort.
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