Lord Browne of Belmont – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Justice

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Browne of Belmont on 2016-02-03.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many prisoners were in open prisons in each of the last five years.

Lord Keen of Elie

Progression to open prisons is never automatic, and prisoners must generally be within two years of release before they can be considered for allocation. Public protection is paramount, so the only prisoners transferred to open prison are those whose risk of escape/abscond and risk of causing harm to the public are assessed as capable of being effectively managed in an open prison.

Indeterminate sentence prisoners are, with few exceptions, transferred to open conditions only following a positive recommendation by the Parole Board. The Board will make such a recommendation after a robust risk assessment, based on reports provided by offender managers, offender supervisors and, where appropriate, by psychologists, with the overriding priority being the safety of the public.

The following table shows the number of male and female prisoners held in dedicated open prisons as at the last Friday in June in each of the last five years. The data below do not include the number of male and female prisoners held in category D units in otherwise closed prisons.



June 2011


June 2012


June 2013


June 2014


June 2015