Prisoners: Childbirth

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th February 2018.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what procedures are in place for permissions to be granted for a prisoner to attend the birth of their child.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

We fully understand the importance of maintaining family relationships and facilitate this wherever possible. The Prison Rules allow for the temporary release of a prisoner for compelling compassionate reasons.

Release on temporary licence is subject to stringent risk assessment, and will be authorised only where the governor is satisfied that release will not put the public at risk and the prisoner will abide by all of the conditions attached to the licence. If a prisoner is eligible for release on temporary licence, this could include instances of attending the birth of their child.

Where the prisoner is not assessed as suitable for temporary release, attendance at the birth will not be possible. This is because this could only be safely managed with a secure escort and it would not be appropriate for escorting officers to accompany the prisoner into the delivery room.

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