§ Lord GARDINER
asked Her Majesty's Government:
- (a) whether they will arrange for the Prison Rules, and not merely extracts therefrom, to he available to prisoners;
- (b) whether they will publish the Standing Orders and Circular Instructions of the Prison Department of the Home Office.
- (c) whether prisoners have access to the Council of Europe publication Bringing an application before the European Court of Human Rights;
- (d) whether the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners are available to the staff in all prisons in England and Wales;
- (e) whether such Rules form part of the syllabus training of prison staff of all grades;
- (f) whether such Rules are available to all prisoners;
- (g) whether translations of such Rules are available in languages spoken by minorities and immigrants; and
- (h) whether they intend to relax the censorship of prisoners' mail in prisons of security category C and to abolish it in prisons of security category D.
§ The MINISTER of STATE (Lord Harris of Greenwich)
Like the Council of Europe publications to which my noble and learned friend draws attention, the Prisons Rules can be made available on request to prisoners. No translations of Standard Minimum Rules have been undertaken by Her Majesty's Government. Standing Orders and Circular Instructions are management instructions issued for official purposes; copies are available in the Library of the House.
Considerable time is devoted in staff training programmes to the Department's own rules and instructions, which reflect the Standard Minimum Rules. A copy of the international rules would be made available to any officer wishing to study them.
Substantial progress has been made in the relaxation of censorship in Category D prisons, and my right honourable friend intends to extend the modification of censorship in other prisons when it is practicable to do so.