Prisoners: LGBT People

11 Nov 2014
Ms Diane Abbott MP

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what measures his Department has put in place to protect prisoners declaring themselves to be lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered from homophobic abuse and bullying while in detention.

Answered by: Mr Andrew Selous MP on: 27 November 2014

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) will not tolerate violence of any kind in prisons and takes any instance extremely seriously. It insists on respectful and decent behaviour from staff, prisoners and others with whom we work. Where discrimination, harassment or bullying, either homophobic or for any other reason occurs, we take prompt and appropriate action. All violence (including bullying, victimisation and harassment), is dealt with quickly and robustly, with serious incidents referred to the police for prosecution.Current policy contained in Prison Service Instruction (PSI) 64/2011 states that every verbal or physical act of violence must be challenged, and this includes bullying. Any prisoners engaging in violence, intimidation or bullying behaviour will have their privileges reviewed and may be subject to prosecution or disciplinary action.NOMS is currently reviewing the policy and practice of the management of violence with the aim of issuing further guidance to prison staff in early 2015.

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