Norwich Prison

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:50 pm on 5th February 2003.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Bassam of Brighton Lord Bassam of Brighton Government Whip, Government Whip 2:50 pm, 5th February 2003

My Lords, there is no doubt that, in addition to identifying some areas where the prison was functioning well, such as resettlement and the young adult wing, the inspection found areas, as the noble Lord has said, where there is a great deal of scope for improvement. That was critical. It is true that areas such as general cleanliness and so forth were a major concern. Other areas of concern were highlighted; namely, the relationship between staff and prisoners, although generally the prison has a good record.

We share the concerns of the report. They will be actively pursued through a follow-up report being prepared by the governor and area manager. That action report will need to be adhered to rigorously. The noble Lord, Lord Quirk, is also right to point out some of the past failings in education provision. However, I must advise him that there are areas of education within the prison where outstanding work is being done. I believe that the report acknowledges that.

The prison aims to provide as much work and education as possible. Despite some of its problems, the prison expects to exceed education targets for this year at all levels. That is a tribute to the staff and the steady commitment of those involved in education at Norwich prison.