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Prisoners: Compensation

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 6612, tabled on 13 July 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much compensation has been paid to prisoners in each of the last five years; for what reason the compensation was paid; and how many and what proportion of such cases were (a) settled and (b) ordered in court.

Answered on

21 July 2015

Compensation payments to prisoners can be made as a result of civil litigation, internal complaints, or recommendations made by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman and by the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) holds information in respect of public sector prisons in England and Wales only, and does not hold information relating to private (contracted out) prisons.

The central financial records held by NOMS do not record the actual amount of compensation paid out to prisoners separately. To establish the actual compensation payments paid out to prisoners would require each prison to examine locally held records to identify and separate any other associated costs included with payments against individual cases covering the last five year period, such as any associated legal costs that may relate to individual cases. This would be a significant exercise and could only be done at disproportionate cost.