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Rehabilitation (Prisoners)

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on trends in the standard and availability of rehabilitation and education programmes for prisoners (a) between 1984 and 1990 and (b) since 1991. [25984]

Ms Quin: The Government are committed to the provision of constructive regimes in prisons targeted at reducing offending behaviour. To this end, we are helping the Prison Service to make the best use of its resources and improve the delivery of regimes.

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The Prison Service has always laid stress on the need for rehabilitation and education programmes. Rule 1 of the Prison Rules 1964, as amended, says that the purpose of the training and treatment of convicted prisoners shall be to encourage them to lead a good and useful life.

The broad trend over the years in the standards and availability of such programmes has been to target resources on needs more effectively. Latterly, and particularly since the Prison Service was given Agency status in 1993, this has focused on what research shows to work in reducing re-offending.

In 1991, a central unit to develop offending behaviour programmes was established: it developed the Sex Offender Treatment Programme, delivery of which began in 1992; and in 1993-94 it introduced two more cognitive skills programmes designed to address the impulsive and self-centred approach to life commonly found in repetitive offenders.

Competitive tendering of prison education was introduced in 1993. This involved the development of educational priorities around a national Prison Service core curriculum which includes literacy, numeracy, information technology and life and social skills.

More recently the Prison Service has adopted an accreditation process and associated key performance indicator to encourage development, by Prison Service establishments and others, of programmes to address offending behaviour which reach a required level of effectiveness in reducing re-offending.

Suicides (Prisons)

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the rate of suicide amongst (i) young people and (ii) adults (a) serving custodial sentences and (b) held on remand, for each year since 1983. [25985]

Ms Quin: The table gives the rate per 100,000 average daily population (ADP) for each category of prisoner requested.

Suicide rates for prisoners 1984-1997

YearRemand 21 years and underover 21 yearsSentenced 21 years and underover 21 years

Notes: 1. Data prior to 1984 are not available in a format which would allow the calculation of the rate of suicides per ADP. 2. Not all self-inflicted deaths conclude with a verdict of suicide.

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Fine Defaulters

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his policy on custodial sentences for fine defaulters. [25986]

Mr. Michael: A court judgment (Cawley in 1995) has made it clear that the power to imprison fine defaulters should be used only as a last resort. Before imprisoning a fine defaulter, the court must be satisfied that the default is due to the offender's wilful refusal or culpable neglect to pay and it must have tried or considered all other methods of enforcing payment before rejecting them as inappropriate or unsuccessful.

It must be remembered that, in some cases, the imminence of a short prison sentence leads to the payment of fines which have been outstanding for some time, during which the offender has made no effort to pay them. However, prison is an expensive option and we are keen to explore other options for dealing effectively with defaulters. That is why we are currently piloting provisions contained in the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 which allow courts to impose community service orders, curfew orders enforced by electronic monitoring, or a disqualification from driving on fine defaulters who might otherwise be committed to custody. These pilots began on 2 January in Norfolk and Manchester and will run for 18 months.

The Working Group on the Enforcement of Financial Penalties chaired by the Lord Chancellor's Department also continues to identify and promote good practice in the enforcement of financial penalties. This Group's objective is to find ways of enabling the courts to enforce payment of financial penalties more effectively without resorting to imprisonment unless this is absolutely unavoidable.

The measures which have been taken to encourage good practice have resulted in a decrease in the number of people being sent to prison for fine default from a high of 22,469 in 1994 to 8,555 in 1996.

Prisoner Statistics

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his Department estimates will be the number of prisoners held (a) on remand, (b) awaiting sentence and (c) serving a custodial sentence, in (i) 1997-98, (ii) 1998-99 and (iii) 1999-2000. [25990]

Ms Quin: The figures are given in the table. Long term projections of the prison population in England and Wales have been published in a Home Office Statistical Bulletin (issue 2/98) on 29 January 1998.

Projected prison population 1997-98--1999-2000

Sex/type of custodyYear 1997-981998-991999-2000
Convicted unsentenced3,4003,9004,100

(20) No separate projections are made of untried and convicted unsentenced female prisoners.

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Child Prostitution

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children under the age of 16 years were prosecuted for engaging in prostitution in each of the last five years. [26166]

Mr. Michael: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the right hon. Member for Berwick upon Tweed (Mr. Beith) on 27 January 1998, Official Report, columns 140-42.

Data Protection

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the cost to (a) industrial, (b) charitable and (c) voluntary organisations, of implementation of the measures contained in the Data Protection Bill [Lords], in respect of (i) initial and (ii) annual revenue running costs; and what estimates have been made by EU institutions of such costs in (1) the United Kingdom and (2) other member states. [26044]

Mr. George Howarth: A compliance cost assessment for the 1995 European Communities Data Protection Directive to which the Data Protection Bill gives effect is included in the Regulatory Appraisal, a copy of which is in the Library. Costs to business are estimated at £836 million initially, and £630 million a year thereafter. Costs for charities and voluntary organisations are estimated at £120 million initially, and £37 million a year thereafter.

I am not aware of any assessment by European Union institutions of the costs of the Directive as adopted.

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the decision of the Data Protection Registrar's Management Board, on 16 January, that the Security and Intelligence Services should register under the Data Protection Act 1984; and if he will make a statement. [26291]

Mr. George Howarth: I know of no such decision.

Speed Cameras

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total sum collected in fines for speeding where the offence was identified using a speed camera, broken down by police force in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [26157]

Mr. Michael: The information requested is not available centrally nor is information available to distinguish whether or not speeding offences dealt with by fines were detected by automatic cameras. However,

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the average fine for all speeding offences in England and Wales is given in the table, together with the number of camera detected offences dealt with by court proceedings.

The majority of speeding offences detected by automatic cameras are dealt with by fixed penalty notice, the current charge being £40. The number of such offences for England and Wales is also contained in the table.

Such figures by individual police force area could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Speeding offences by how detected and how dealt with and average fines

Camera detected offences dealt with by fixed penaltyCamera detected offences dealt with by court proceedingsAverage fine for speeding (all offences)

(21) Provision figures

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