The Rules of Procedure allow deputies to ask written questions to Committees of the States of Guernsey under Rule 14. Committees have 14 days to respond to the questions unless they have asked for an extension from the Presiding Officer.
I have recently asked a number of questions to the Committee of Home Affairs on the subject of birthing in prison, the right of the child and the new electronic tagging system that had been launch in the prison in 2020.
You can find the answers here.
All Rule 14 questions asked by deputies can be found here – https://www.gov.gg/rule14qs
The full list of questions included:
- How many female offenders were or are in Prison in each year between 2015 and year-to-date 2021 who were mothers of children under 18 years of age?
- What is the protocol for children visiting parents?
- What happens in the case of a pregnant female offender giving birth during her sentence? Is birthing care provided in the Prison or is the birthing mother taken to the Hospital?
- What allowances are made to allow for the early bonding and breastfeeding of the mother and child at the Hospital and/or Prison?
- What mother and baby/toddler facilities are provided in Prison? Is the baby able to remain with the mother in Prison?
- What regulation or legislation governs the protocol around expectant mothers who will have their baby while in Prison as well as mothers with very young children?
- Are the rights of the child under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), formally extended to Guernsey in 2020, considered when decisions are taken about sentencing of an expectant mother or mother of young children?
- Are the rights of the child under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), formally extended to Guernsey in 2020, a trigger to consider decisions about the Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL) of a mother, father or expectant mother?
- The 2020 Annual Prison report mentions that the Early Conditional Release Scheme, also known as Electronic Tagging, was launched as part of the Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL) protocol. Could the Committee explain the rationale for launching the Electronic Tagging scheme?
- What is the process by which it is decided who may be approved for the use of the Electronic Tagging scheme? Is it decided by the Prison, by judges or another method?
- Does the Committee consider it important that the rights of the child under UNCRC should be considered as part of the process through which the decision to release offenders on temporary licence (ROTL) is made, in cases where offenders may have children?
- Does the Committee consider it important that the criminal justice system takes into account the short, medium and long-term physical and psychological well-being and health of a mother and baby, especially given, but not limited to, the research on the importance of the bonding and care during the first 1000 days of a baby as well as the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for children under 5?