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Prisoners: Gambling

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL9545, tabled on 16 July 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the the level of support and care available to problem gamblers in prisons.

Answered on

30 July 2018

Although associated with offending in some individuals, gambling is not a risk factor that has been frequently identified in the prison or probation population in England and Wales. Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) does not hold official estimates of numbers of prisoners serving sentences in connection with gambling-related harm.

HMPPS commissions providers to deliver a broad range of high quality, accredited, interventions to address the particular risks and needs of offenders. All prisoners irrespective of their sentence length are screened on entering prison for issues including debt and offered a package of support in prisons and on release to address their offending based on individual circumstances. Support available to problem gamblers includes debt advice but could also include referral to specialist organisations such as Gamblers Anonymous or Gamcare, as well as services provided through the chaplaincy and the Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) such as money management courses.

In addition, all prisoners are seen by healthcare services on reception and can be referred to mental health and addiction services to help address problem gambling.