§ Mrs. Brooke
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department[pursuant to his answer of 3 February 2003, Official Report. column 78W], on the Inmate Information System, which prisons are (a) linked and (b) not linked on the Inmate Information System; how many prisoners' records are (i) linked and (ii) not linked on the Inmate Information System; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Hilary Benn
All prisons are linked to the Inmate Information system (IIS). All historical information is retained on IIS and is accessible from all prisons. There is currently no automatic method of linking prisoners' records, but this will be a component of a replacement system that is now being considered.
Currently, manual linking of previous custody information is required as there is no reliable unique identifier (a new prison number is allocated at the beginning of each period of custody) and the National Insurance number is not always available. Inevitably, this means that details of previous custody may not always be available. This limitation in the current IIS system will be addressed in the replacement system now being considered.