§ Mr. Wareing
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the inmates of Her Majesty's prisons can neither read nor write; and what facilities are provided to enable them to communicate with their friends and relatives.
§ Mr. Mellor
Information on the number of prisoners who can neither read nor write is not available. But of 62,963 inmates tested in 1984–85, 19 per cent. had a reading age of less than 12 years and 5.8 per cent a reading age of less than eight years. Prisoners who have difficulty in reading or writing are encouraged to attend classes to improve these and other basic skills. Assistance in reading and writing letters is available from education arid other prison staff.