Prisons: Discipline

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Madeleine Moon Madeleine Moon Chair, Defence Sub-Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will detail the definitions of (a) concerted indiscipline and (b) violent incident required to be used at (i) HMP Parc and (ii) HMP Cardiff; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The definitions of concerted indiscipline and assaults are:

Concerted indiscipline: the number of incidents in which two or more prisoners act together in defiance of a lawful instruction or against the requirements of the regime of the establishment. The act of indiscipline can be active or passive (i.e. involving aggression and violence or not) and the protagonists do not necessarily need to be acting in a common cause.

Assaults: refer to unwanted physical contact between two or more individuals, excluding lawful use of force by staff (but including where staff are assaulted during use of force) or anything of a purely verbal or threatening nature.

Assaults in prison custody cover a wide range of violent incidents including fights between prisoners.

Serious assaults are those which involve one or more of the following: a sexual assault, results in detention in outside hospital as an in-patient, requires medical treatment for concussion or internal injuries. It also includes incurring any of the following injuries: a fracture, scald or burn, stabbing, crushing, extensive or multiple bruising, black eye, broken nose, lost or broken tooth, cuts requiring suturing, bites, temporary or permanent blindness.

We do not tolerate violence or disruptive behaviour in our prisons. We’ve recruited 4,366 additional officers and are spending an extra £100m, introducing tough airport-style security, x-ray scanners and phone-blocking technology. We are also committed to ensuring our prison officers have the tools they need to do the job safely with body worn cameras, ‘police-style’ handcuffs and restraints, and PAVA incapacitant spray.

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