COMMONS

Welsh language in prisons discussed in bilingual session

27 March 2018

The Welsh Affairs Committee explores the needs of Welsh-speaking prisoners, and how these are currently served. This session will be bilingual in Welsh and English, with simultaneous interpretation provided throughout.

Facilities for welsh speakers in prisons

Criminal justice in Wales is the responsibility of the UK Government, and the Ministry of Justice has stated that under the Welsh Language Act 1993, Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) aims to treat English and Welsh "on a basis of equality." A Welsh Language Scheme for prisons in Wales was approved by the Welsh Language Commissioner in 2013. The scheme ensures that all signage is bilingual, in-room or landing technology is fully accessible in Welsh, and there is a good supply of reading materials.

In this session, the Committee will focus on issues relating to the provision of Welsh language services and facilities in Welsh prisons, including Welsh-speaking prison staff, the treatment of Welsh-speaking offenders, and data collection. It will also examine pastoral care services available, and cross-border issues.

Witnesses

Tuesday 27 March, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

At 2.15pm

  • Meri Huws, Welsh Language Commissioner
  • Guto Dafydd, Senior Compliance Officer for the Welsh Language Commissioner

At 3.00pm

  • Reverend Nan Powell-Davies, Assistant Director of Ministries, Presbyterian Church of Wales

Chair's comments

Ahead of the session, Committee Chairman David T.C. Davies MP said: 

It is vital that the prisons system effectively serves those sent there for rehabilitation, including those who are Welsh speakers. In this bilingual evidence session, we will examine the facilities currently available for Welsh speakers, and what more our prisons can do to ensure all prisoners are given the best chance of rehabilitation.

Further information

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