§ Mr. Meale
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what arrangements there are for the treatment of deaf people serving prison sentences;
(2) what statistics are available of the numbers of prisoners suffering deafness;
(3) what facilities are provided for prisoners who suffer deafness;
(4) what training is given to prison staff for communicative assistance with deaf prisoners.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The most recent survey identified 45 completely or profoundly deaf people in the prison population of England and Wales on 31 January 1987, and indicated that 62 had come to the notice of prison medical officers during the 12 months up to that date. The treatment regime for such prisoners is a matter for the medical officer to determine in the light of the circumstances or the individual case and the facilities available at the establishment and in the local community.
The medical officer is able to call upon the specialist services of the NHS and other local statutory and non-statutory services. Staff training in communication skills is not routinely given because of the small number and wide scatter of prisoners with severe hearing problems.