Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2019-21 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

Show
by:
Find by:
Close

UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
Showing 1-1 out of 1
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
Q
Asked by Ms Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 30 June 2020
Ministry of Justice
Prisons: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners have been diverted to another custodial facility during (a) transfers and (b) new entrances as a result of limited capacity in the reverse cohorting unit of the initially intended facility in each week since the cohorting strategy was introduced.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Government acted quickly to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in prisons by implementing restricted regimes to comply with national social distancing guidance and limiting inter-prison transfers. Prisons have also implemented a ‘compartmentalisation’ strategy to isolate the sick, shield the vulnerable and quarantine new arrivals. Latest public health advice suggests these measures have limited the spread of the virus and minimised the number of deaths.

The decision as to where prisoners are transferred following a court appearance is managed by HMPPS. When local prisons have insufficient capacity in their reverse cohorting units to accept all prisoners from their assigned court(s) for that day, prisoners are diverted to another local prison where space is available in their reverse cohorting unit.In all cases, the receiving prison will always be suitable to manage the requirements of a newly remanded or convicted prisoner.

The table below shows the number of prisoners since 01st April who, rather than being taken to the local prison assigned to the court where their hearing was held, were diverted to another local prison where space was available in their reverse cohorting unit.

April

May

June

Total

Total number of prisoners who, following a court appearance were diverted to another prison where space was available in their Reverse Cohorting Unit

1377

715

452

2544

Since 31 March, all inter-prison transfers have required approval by the HMPPS command structure before any transfer has taken place. Decisions to approve transfer take into account the available capacity in reverse cohorting units to ensure any prisoner transferred, can be held separately from the remainder of the general population in their new prison for 14 days. As such, there have been no prisoners diverted to another prison as a result of limited capacity in the reverse cohorting unit of the initially intended prison.

Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 1-1 out of 1
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100