This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on prisons. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

15.01.2016The Psychoactive Substances Bill 2015-16: Report on Committee Stage
This briefing paper is produced prior to the Report Stage of the Psychoactive Substances Bill 2015-16.
12.01.2016Prisoners' voting rights: developments since May 2015
This House of Commons Briefing Paper analyses the debate over the voting rights of prisoners since May 2015, it also includes a concise summary of the main developments before May 2015.
29.12.2015Categorisation of prisoners in the UK
Prisoner categorisation centres around an assessment of risk and the need for supervision. Whether prisoners in England and Wales are being recategorised simply to fill spaces in open prisons remains controversial.
18.12.2015The Bail Accommodation and Support Service
Constituents sometimes express concerns about nearby properties they think might be housing ex-offenders. This note gives background on the Bail Accommodation and Support Service, which houses people on bail and released early from prison in the community.
04.12.2015Transgender Prisoners
Recent cases, reported in the media, have highlighted some controversial questions about where transgender prisoners should be located.
16.11.2015Social Indicators 2015
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include agriculture, crime, defence, education, elections, environment and energy, health, housing, local government, population and migration, social security and transport.
12.11.2015Prison population: Social Indicators page
Prison population: Social Indicators page.
25.09.2015The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and background
This briefing concerns the establishment of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, a statutory Inquiry chaired by Justice Lowell Goddard, which formally opened in July 2015. The Chair has stated she hopes to conclude the Inquiry's work before end-2020. This Inquiry replaced the previous, non-statutory, Inquiry set up in July 2014 which saw both of its Chairs resign.
07.08.2015Sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection
The previous Government abolished sentences of imprisonment for public protection (IPPs) for offenders in 2012 and introduced new sentences. The change was not made retrospective, and around 4,600 prisoners were still serving IPPs in March 2015. This note looks at the issues.
19.05.2015Key Issues for the 2015 Parliament
This book examines the key issues facing the House of Commons over the course of the 2015 Parliament - from the public finances to the UK's membership of the EU and from school places for children to climate change.

Lords Library Notes

23.10.2015Harris Review on Self-inflicted Deaths in Custody of 18-24 year olds, 'Changing Prisons, Saving Lives'
This Library Note has been written to support the House of Lords debate on prisons and the Harris Review on self-inflicted deaths in custody of 18-24 year olds.
03.07.2014Deregulation Bill (HL Bill 33 of 2014-15)
The Deregulation Bill is a wide-ranging bill that is intended to remove or reduce regulatory burdens on businesses, civil society, individuals, public sector bodies and the taxpayer across a number of policy areas including: general and specific areas of business, companies and insolvency, the use of land, housing, transport, communications, the environment, education and training, entertainment, public authorities and the administration of justice.
16.05.2013Offender Rehabilitation Bill [HL] (HL Bill 2 of 2013-14)
The Offender Rehabilitation Bill would provide increased support and supervision upon release for those serving prison sentences of up to two years, and would make changes to the arrangements for community orders and suspended sentence orders. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords.
17.01.2008Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill (HL Bill 16, 2007-08). LLN 2008/001
Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill. House of Lords Library Note 2008/001


24.09.2015Trends in Crime and Criminal Justice
This POSTnote describes crime patterns, and highlights issues with crime measurement and data. It also identifies key developments in the criminal justice system.

Select Committee Reports

17.05.2011Appointment of the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales.
Justice Select Committee report [Commons]
08.02.2011Voting by convicted prisoners: summary of evidence.
Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]
16.03.2010Cutting crime: the case for justice reinvestment.
Government response. Ministry of Justice report [Commons]
16.03.2010The appointment of the Chief Inspector of Prisons.
Justice Select Committee report [Commons]
23.02.2010Welsh prisoners in the prison estate: follow up.
Welsh Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House supports full trade union rights for the Prison Officers' Association (POA); notes that the International Labour Organisation criticised the previous administration ...
That this House welcomes the prisoner exchange which has led to the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and 477 Palestinian prisoners with a further 550 to be released in the ...
That this House notes the good work of the prison officers at Lancaster Farms Young Offender Institute, many of whom are constituents of the hon. Member for Morecambe and Lunesdale; ...
That this House welcomes the publication of the report The Private Finance Initiative and the Hidden Cost of Prison Privatisation by the Prison Officers Association (POA); notes that ...
That this House recognises the importance of the identification and treatment of speech and language difficulties amongst prison inmates in the bid to reduce prisoner re-offending; ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses