Results 1–20 of 1409 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Sam Gyimah

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: I can confirm that there was an incident at HMP Long Lartin last night, and that it has now been resolved without injury to staff or prisoners. The incident is of course of concern, and we will need to investigate properly what drove the actions of a relatively small number of individuals. It will take a number of weeks to ensure that all the intelligence is properly examined, and that we...

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: Let us be clear about what happened yesterday and remind ourselves that we are dealing with category A prisoners in Long Lartin, which contains some of the most challenging and difficult prisoners within the estate. Prison staff work incredibly hard to deal with these prisoners—many of them are extremely difficult individuals—and to manage them successfully on a day-to-day basis....

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: I can give my hon. Friend an assurance that there will be a full and proper investigation. There is no point in speculating today on the exact causes of the incident, but there will be a full investigation and lessons learnt. When incidents happen, it is important that we not only deal with them but learn lessons for the future, and we will be doing that.

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: I will almost certainly accept the invitation to visit prisons in Scotland. We should always learn from best practice, wherever it is. That is not to say that what is happening in Scotland is necessarily best practice, but I have an open mind. I reiterate that we have a £1.3 billion commitment to modernise our prison estate in England and Wales over the course of this Parliament.

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: I hold the recommendations of the Justice Committee very dearly to my heart. We will of course look at all its recommendations. The Chair of the Select Committee makes a very important point about the prison population. We not only hold some very difficult individuals, but some very troubled individuals. Dealing with issues such as mental health is a key part of dealing with the security and...

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: The right hon. Gentleman, a former prisons Minister, will be aware that Long Lartin holds some of the most difficult individuals. It is a category A prison holding some of the most notorious prisoners this country has ever incarcerated. The prisons ombudsman investigates every death, and referring to its report will be the best way to understand what has occurred.

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: I thank my hon. Friend, a former prisons Minister, for his question. Yes, the number of foreign national offenders returned to their home countries has increased—I think the number is about 6,000, but I will confirm the exact number in writing. It is the highest figure in recent years, but we continue to redouble our efforts. A cross-Government group comprising the policing Minister and...

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: The staff were brilliant last night and are brilliant today. We also have an excellent governor, to whom I have conveyed my full support. Yes, we need to give them all the support they need, and I will put it on the record again that we owe them a huge debt of gratitude for managing on a day-to-day basis not just isolated incidences such as last night’s, but a very difficult and...

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: I can confirm not only that there was a full regime but that the number of prison officer staff on the wing was as normal.

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: That is a very interesting question. As a former Minister, he will be aware that it is not for the Minister to pronounce on sentencing policy at the Dispatch Box. Of course, we want to reduce the prison population, but one of the best ways to do that is to reduce reoffending rates and to end the conveyor belt into crime by intervening before people end up in custody. That is more effective...

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: My hon. Friend has asked this question of me a number of times. He will be aware that a prisoner who is a perpetrator of a crime in prison will be prosecuted for that specific crime and, if convicted, will serve that sentence, and that has certainly happened in the case of the perpetrators of the Birmingham riots last year. That is a fair and just way to deal with this kind of situation.

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: Absolutely: our prison officers do a very difficult and challenging job, and when they are assaulted or threatened at work, we should follow the course of the law to its full extent. In order to do that—[Interruption]—if the hon. Gentleman would listen—there are a number of things we need to get right, such as collecting evidence, making sure that the local police force is...

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: Drones are an emerging and serious threat to our prisons, especially as they carry an increasing payload as they develop. We are working with a number of drone manufacturers to use technology to stop drones, but we are also focusing on the law enforcement aspect. Before I became the Prisons Minister, there had been only one conviction of a person flying a drone into a prison. This year alone...

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: I think the Government Whips would be slightly concerned if I accepted another invitation to go abroad to visit prisons, but the substance of the hon. Gentleman’s point is very interesting when it comes to dealing with people who are on drugs in prison. It is about dealing with the supply side and the demand side, but also getting people off drugs. Holland clearly has a very different...

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: Our high-security estate does not lack the resources that it needs for the purposes of security or maintaining a regime. In fact, such prisons have higher staffing ratios because of the difficult people with whom they deal. Of course, if situations change and they need more staff or any other resources to cope with that, such resources will always be available.

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: I am not suggesting for a second that such incidents will not be repeated. We try to mitigate and manage risk, but there is always a chance that something like this could happen again. As I have said, what is happening in the high-security estate is a rare occurrence. Of course, as I have also said, the level of violence in our prisons is too high, but dealing with the issues that have led...

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: That is an excellent point. The Tornado teams are the bravest of the brave. As we saw last night, they deal with some of the most difficult situations, and the fact that they can be mobilised relatively quickly to arrive at a prison and offer support to its frontline staff is testimony to their effectiveness and professionalism. Of course we would prefer not to have to deploy them, but when...

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: The 2,500 target is obviously based on careful analysis of what we need in order to deliver the offender management model, which means one prison officer having a six-prisoner caseload, and it should be capable of allowing us to do so.

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: New psychoactive substances are a game-changer. They are particularly difficult to detect. There have been instances of letters to prisoners being impregnated with them: looking at such a letter makes it possible to inhale the drug and to suffer the adverse consequences. We have trained 300 sniffer dogs to help us with detection, and the UK is the first jurisdiction to develop a test for such...

Prisons Policy/HMP Long Lartin (12 Oct 2017)

Sam Gyimah: I fully understood the question posed by the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Sir Edward Davey). Would we rather have a situation in which interventions in the community work and people do not end up in custody? Of course, yes. Would we rather invest there before people ended up in custody? Of course, yes. In this country we have a presumption against custody, but after several...


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