Prisoners' Release: Mobile Phones

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 12th June 2020.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of (a) young adult, (b) other female and (c) other male prison leavers were given a mobile phone and a credit package during (i) April and (ii) May 2020.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many mobile phones will be available for prison leavers over the next three months.

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

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, probation is operating under an Exceptional Delivery Model (EDM) which prioritises public protection and offender management in the community. All Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) across probation are operating EDMs during the current exceptional period. As a result, certain activities are reduced and resources are focused on managing the high risk and very high risk of harm offenders. Basic mobile phones have been purchased by the CRCs in order to maintain contact with offenders in the community who do not have access to a phone of their own, while they adhere to social distancing measures. The phones are only capable of voice communication and text communication and do not have internet access.

As of 5 June, the total number of phones allocated to those in the community and on release from prison was 1,138. CRCs have purchased 8,095 phones with an additional 4,226 expected to be bought. We do not hold data on the number of phones allocated broken down by gender and age as requested. It is not possible to confirm how many phones will be allocated from June to August, but any demand from prison leavers who need a phone will be met.

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