Rehabilitation in Prisons: New Technology

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Alan Mak Alan Mak Conservative, Havant

What steps the Government are taking to introduce new technology to support rehabilitation in prisons.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

Technology can play an important role in supporting rehabilitation. The careful use of basic computers and telephones enables us to do that. New digital services are being built for prison officers as part of the offender management in custody programme.

Photo of Alan Mak Alan Mak Conservative, Havant

Good mental health and wellbeing are key to rehabilitation in prisons. What steps is my right hon. Friend taking to use the best technology in this regard?

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

My hon. Friend raises a very important point. There is huge potential in this area, but we are already taking steps through telehealth and virtual consultations. We have in-cell telephony, which can be used in these circumstances. Digital hub services also exist, and the prison virtual learning environment includes a health application, so we have a virtual campus that can help people to address addiction issues. I think that there is much more potential in this area in the future.