§ Mr. Christopher Price
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the exclusion of the head of the education department by the governor of Holloway prison from that institution on the grounds that he was in contact with a former inmate; and what is his policy about such contacts.
§ Mr. Mellor
As part of their general responsibilities for assisting prisoners in preparing for release prison education officers sometimes maintain contact with former prisoners after release. But under rule 81 of the Prison Rules they are required to make the governor aware of such contacts, and it is open to the governor to prohibit them if in the particular case he considers it advisable to do so in the interests of good order and discipline. I understand that in the case to which the hon. Member refers the governor considered it necessary to prohibit contact by the education officer with a particular prisoner and instructed him to give a formal written assurance that he would comply with that instruction. When the education officer failed to give that asssurance the governor requested his employer, the Inner London Education Authority, to withdraw him from the prison pending a formal hearing of the case as provided under his conditions of service. That hearing is due to take place on 26 May and it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage.