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Prisons: Computers and Telephones

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 132161, tabled on 12 March 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what data was collected to monitor performance during the pilot scheme on placing telephones and basic computers into prison cells.

Answered on

15 March 2018

Under the pilot, telephones and basic computers were introduced into prison cells in two prisons: HMP Wayland and HMP Berwyn. HMP Berwyn already featured both capabilities when it opened on 27th February 2017. Telephones were introduced into HMP Wayland in December 2016 and computers in January 2017.

The purpose is for prisoners to manage some of their own day-to-day tasks that would normally be managed by officers on paper, freeing up officers to focus their time on the important task of reforming offenders.

Ministers will need to see evidence that new technologies have tangible benefits, in terms of improving rehabilitation, cutting crime and protecting the public before making any further decisions.

The pilot is still running in both prisons. We are monitoring and evaluating the benefits to assess the impact on prisoner safety and rehabilitation, and on officers’ ability to do their jobs more effectively.

As part of our evaluation of the pilot we are collecting data on rates of self-harm, assaults and adjudications. We are also collecting qualitative feedback on the pilot from users of the technology.

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