Caroline Flint challenged Justice Minister Mike Penning this week over the number of serious offenders walking out of open prisons.
Ms Flint said: “I am one of 14 MPs, including yourself Mr Speaker, who have open prisons in our constituencies, and some 61 murderers have gone on the run from these prisons in the past five years.
“With the opening of a new Open prison unit in Don Valley given the welcoming name of Hatfield Lakes, there is concern about the kinds of prisoners transferred into these establishments, often with little prior knowledge or, indeed, any say by the Governor on the suitability of prisoners coming into their care. Will the Minister meet with myself and other interested members to discuss the criteria for housing violent prisoners in Open Prisons?”
The Minister paid tribute to Ms Flint’s campaigning on the issue and agreed that the Prison’s Minister would meet with her.
Speaking after the exchange Ms Flint said: “The public have every right to question why violent offenders, including murderers, are being transferred into open prisons. If this is just to make room in over-crowded prisons by shunting inmates elsewhere, then the Government are failing in their duty to protect the public.
“I value the important role of open prisons, but they were never intended for inmates who are a danger to the public.”
Video of full exchange here: