Literacy in Prisons

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 6th May 2014.

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Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice 2:30 pm, 6th May 2014

Let me start with where I agree with the hon. Gentleman: it is undoubtedly the case that education aids rehabilitation, and where people want to engage in education we support them wherever we can. However, I should point out to him that the changes to the incentives and earned privileges scheme do not affect the number of books prisoners are allowed to have in their cells—that remains 12. Prisoners also have unrestricted access, within sensible safeguards which he would understand on the nature of books it is right to have in prisons, to the library as and when they need it. There is, therefore, no difficulty with prisoners having access to books, and where there is a specific requirement for a particular book that is not in the library, every effort is made to get the prisoner that book.