Norwich Prison

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

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

My Lords, I have made it plain that the Government accept the important elements in the report which focus on critical and key failures. Drawing something positive from the report of the Inspector of Prisons, she says that Norwich prison is clearly capable of carrying out good work, as the relationships in the young adult wing and the work of the resettlement unit show. There are plans for further development which we welcome. However, the key is to ensure that prisons—in particular the Prison Service—are well-led and well-organised. It will be the responsibility of the governor—a new governor will be in post in the near future—working closely with the area manager to ensure that the recommendations made in the report are properly and effectively carried out.

The noble Lord raised the issue of the recommendations in the previous report. It would be fair to say that the prison has moved on—in some ways for the better, but in some ways there has been slippage back. Those recommendations need revising and revisiting to establish how valid they are in the current situation. Taking that into account, yes, there is much work to do in Norwich prison. We accept that.