Prisoner Escapes

Justice written question – answered on 1st February 2008.

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Photo of Jennifer Willott Jennifer Willott Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many inmates (a) escaped and (b) absconded from each open prison in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The number of incidents of prisoners absconding or escaping from prisons which have, or had in the past, an open element is shown in the table below for the period 1 April 1997 to 31 March 2007.

Prisoners are classed as 'absconders' if they absent themselves from Prison Service custody without lawful authority and without overcoming physical security restraints such as that provided by fences, locks, bolts and bars, a secure vehicle or handcuffs. Escapes involve circumstances where physical security restraints have been overcome.

Most absconds are from open or semi-open prisons. Those prisons which are fully open, semi-open or have an open element are shown in the tables including some cases where prisons have re-rolled and no longer have an open element. It is possible for a prisoner to escape from an open prison. For example, an incident involving a prisoner who was been held in segregation within an open prison and who then managed to break out and leave the prison would be regarded as an escape rather than an abscond.

Data on escapes and absconds and other performance data are published for all prisons at the following link:

http://www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/abouttheservice/prisonperformance/performancestatistics/

Escapes from open prisons 1 April 1997 to 31 March 2007
Latchmere House Thorn Cross
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000 1
2000-01 1
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2005-07
Absconds from open prisons 1 April 1997 to 31 March 2007
Establishment 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Askham Grange 35 17 20 21 19 12 31 12 14 7
Blantyre House 1 1 1 1 1
Drake Hall 122 134 94 39 33 1
East Sutton Park 5 3 3 3 3 1 2 4 2
Ford 53 40 68 57 57 91 142 110 96 62
Grendon/ Springhill 20 9 14 14 12 23 60 36 34 11
Hatfield/ Moorland 77 80 36 34 50 56 68 73 49 41
Hewell Grange 40 17 32 20 15 23 31 24 24 13
Hollesley Bay 13 25 11 24 8 14 36 32 16 21
Kirkham 234 202 171 169 163 208 213 120 74 54
Kirklevington 1 4 2
Latchmere House 1 2 1
Leyhill 20 25 34 25 19 33 114 102 66 37
Lindholme 4
Morton Hall 20 15 23 6 1
North Sea Camp 25 32 27 24 36 34 79 33 49 48
Norwich 8 2 2
Standford Hill 35 36 43 29 37 83 89 39 58 38
Sudbury 81 75 63 69 81 68 75 77 76 78
Thorn Cross 168 135 147 110 135 152 130 90 105 82
Usk/Prescoed 7 13 19 14 5 8 35 19 9 9
Wealstun 48 70 72 105 79 101 144 74 28 46

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