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Inter-war Records

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in reviewing the inter-war records relating to individuals held by the Security Service; and what is the time scale for the completion of the review. [144893]

Mr. Straw: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East (Dr. Kumar) on 16 November 2000, Official Report, column 751W.

Chelmsford Prison

Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to provide a new centre for visitors to Chelmsford Prison; and if he will make a statement. [144852]

Mr. Boateng: The visitors' centre at Chelmsford prison, as at many other establishments, is run by volunteers and funded by donations from local charitable organisations. The Governor and Area Manager responsible for Chelmsford prison are in discussion with various groups about its future development and operation. Communication links between the centre and the prison have been improved and a visitors' garden has been created funded by donations. However, there are no plans to provide a new centre.

15 Jan 2001 : Column: 92W

The Governor plans to create a separate visitors' entrance to the prison incorporating a refurbished waiting room with toilets and baby changing facilities.

In the visits area itself, new brighter furniture has been provided in a less formal arrangement, and a creche is now provided in visits as well as in the visitors' centre.

Immigration Detainees

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what weekly financial allowances will be given to people held in prisons in England and Wales as a result of immigration irregularities. [145162]

Mr. Boateng: All those held in prison including immigration detainees receive money for participating in the regime of the prison. The scales of payment are a matter for each individual prison, subject to rules and a national minimum of £2.50 a week set by the Prison Service, which can be enhanced by participation in work, education or training.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men and (b) women have been held in prison for immigration irregularities in prisons in England and Wales since 1 January. [145166]

Mr. Boateng: The requested information is not yet available. The most recent figures have therefore been provided. Provisional figures for 30 November 2000 show that there were 677 men and 22 women in prisons in England and Wales for immigration irregularities at that time. "Immigration Irregularities" have been taken to mean persons with an effective offence of assisting an illegal immigrant or being a deportee/detainee.

Prison Education

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total prison education budget for (a) England and Wales and (b) each London prison was in each of the last five years. [145175]

Mr. Boateng: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Vale of Clwyd (Mr. Ruane) on 8 January 2001, Official Report, column 429W. Information on education expenditure in each London prison in each of the last five years is set out in the table. The expenditure comprises payments to education contractors, expenditure on libraries and expenditure on education materials.

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Education expenditure in London prisons 1995-96 to 1999-2000

Latchmere House44,91219,33219,20018,52416,168
Wormwood Scrubs276,294275,121289,530280,952379,575


1999-2000 and 1995-96 spend includes any VAT charged, but not VAT refunds. 1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99 figures are net of VAT.

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Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison inmates in England and Wales took education courses in each of the last three years. [145161]

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Mr. Boateng: The information requested is not available. Data are collected only on the number of student hours and the number of teaching hours delivered.

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Foreign Language Leaflets (Prisons)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who is responsible for the provision of foreign language leaflets in prisons in England and Wales; and if he will list the languages in which such leaflets are provided. [145160]

Mr. Boateng: The Prison Service Race Relations policy highlights the importance of prisons being aware of the needs of non-English speaking prisoners. To assist in meeting those needs, all prisons have copies of the Prisoner Information Books which provide information on all aspects of prison life for males, females and life sentenced prisoners. The books have been produced in partnership with the Prison Reform Trust and are available in 21 languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Gujerati, Hindi, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese and Welsh.

Prisoner Information Books are generally made available during the induction process and copies are held by all prison libraries. Many of those prisons which have large numbers of foreign national prisoners also provide translated versions of local information leaflets in languages relevant to their prisoner population. In some prisons, audio materials are also available.

Induction staff will be responsible for making prisoners aware of the Prisoner Information Books but thereafter the Race Relations Liaison Officer, or in a few cases a designated foreign nationals liaison officer, will be responsible for ensuring that non-English speaking prisoners have access to information in an appropriate form.

Criminal Injuries Compensation

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to review levels of criminal injuries compensation following the judgment in the case of Heil v. Rankin. [144926]

Mr. Charles Clarke: We have no plans to review levels of compensation as a consequence of the Heil v. Rankin judgment in the Court of Appeal. The tariff-based compensation scheme introduced with effect from 1 April 1996 broke the link with common law damages. Applications received on or after that date are determined by reference to a tariff of awards for injuries of comparable severity. Changes in levels of damages paid for personal injury in civil cases more generally have no effect on such tariff awards. However, compensation being awarded in the residual cases lodged before 1 April 1996 under the former common law damages scheme takes due account of the judgment.

Prisons (Liverpool)

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many new prison places have been created in the last 12 months at (a) Liverpool Prison and (b) Altcourse Prison; [145217]

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Mr. Boateng: On 12 January 2001, the certified operational capacity of Liverpool prison was 1,510 and the certified operational capacity of Altcourse prison was 850.

No new uncrowded places were created at either prison in the preceding 12 months, although the operational capacity at Altcourse did change three times during the year to reflect changes to the number of overcrowded places available at the prison. In February 2000, the operational capacity at Altcourse increased to 900, from 860, in November 2000 it fell to 880 and in January 2001 it fell to 850.

Official statistics on prison population are only held for the last day of each month. The total number of prisoners held in Liverpool and Altcourse prisons on the last days of January 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 are given in the table. Provisional population statistics are available for 8 January 2001 and these are included in the table.

DatePopulation of Liverpool PrisonPopulation of Altcourse Prison
31 January 19961,154(22)--
31 January 19971,243(22)--
31 January 19981,451459
31 January 19991,452670
31 January 20001,364685
8 January 2001(23)1,130755

(22) Altcourse opened on 1 December 1997

(23) Provisional figures

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