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Prisoners: Pay

Justice written question – answered on 18th July 2013.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) what the required level of performance and effort required by HM Prison Service is in any given activity in order to secure eligibility for the standard rate of pay under Prison Service Order 4460;

(2) what the rate of pay is for prisoners in (a) work, (b) induction, (c) education, (d) training and (e) offending behaviour programmes; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The minimum rate of pay for employed prisoners is £4 per week. Only minimum rates of pay are set centrally, and responsibility for prisoner pay is devolved to governors and directors, who set the rates of pay for their particular establishments to reflect regime priorities. Eligibility to earn higher rates of pay is a key earnable privilege under the incentives and earned privileges scheme. The last survey of prisons of prisoner pay, completed in 2007, indicated that the average prisoner weekly pay was £9.60.

Prisoners are eligible for the standard rate of pay if they complete the full working week and demonstrate the required level of performance/effort required in any given activity in the establishment, or in any community work outside the establishment for which they are paid by the prison. The full working week in prison will normally be 10 morning, afternoon, or evening sessions, or five night shifts.

Prisoners who are employed in work, induction, education, training or offending behaviour programmes will receive at least the minimum weekly rate of pay for employed prisoners. The minimum rate of pay does not preclude deductions for poor attendance or performance. Prisoners who incur deductions for poor attendance and/or performance may earn less than the minimum employed rate, provided that the deductions have been calculated according to the formula published by the governor/director.

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