Prisons: Technology

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2020 to Question 65980 on Prisons: Construction, what plans he has to consult (a) prison educators, (b) prison education trade unions and (c) other stakeholders before any decisions are made on the technology that will be deployed in cells.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2020 to Question 65980 on Prisons: Construction, what assessment he has made of the ability of the public sector to (a) develop and (b) deliver in-cell technology.

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

Access to modern, secure technology to deliver education and improve outcomes for learners is key to our plans for the new prisons which are to be built across England over the next six years.

The infrastructure to enable in-cell technology has been incorporated into the construction of the new prisons at Wellingborough and Glen Parva. This infrastructure will also be designed into the four new prisons that we are building as part of our commitment to creating 10,000 additional prison places through an investment of up to £2.5 billion.

Decisions on what the specific in-cell device for users will be is a matter for the eventual operator (public or private). We remain committed to a mixed market in custodial services and will seek to build on the successful public sector development and delivery of in-cell technology in HMP Wayland and HMP Berwyn. For any publicly-run new prisons, we will liaise with relevant stakeholders including education providers. For any privately-run prisons, it will be for the operator to decide who to liaise with in developing their education offer. Engagement with the education trade unions will be done through education providers, who are responsible for engagement with their staff and recognised trade unions.

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