Today the Government has published its response to the Justice Select Committee’s Fifth Report of Session 2013–14, entitled Older Prisoners.
The Ministry of Justice has consulted with other government departments and partners to formulate the response and welcomes the committee’s interest in this area, agreeing that the needs of older prisoners is a growing issue within prisons.
The report focuses on three key areas – categorisation of older prisoners, suitability of the prison estate and regimes; and provision of health and social care in prisons. The report also calls for a national strategy for older prisoners.
Our long term strategy for improvement of the prison estate includes replacing older, inefficient capacity with modern facilities which will lead to significant improvements over time. In the shorter term, National Offender Management Service will work with partners in health and local government to address any urgent needs. From this they will develop a coherent approach to the appropriate placement of prisoners, and work to support aligning of the commissioning of health and social care services. This will ensure that an inclusive approach will be developed which will focus on all prisoners with care and support needs, regardless of their age.