Supplementary memorandum submitted by
HM Prison Service
Questions 27 and 28: How many prisoners completing
accredited offending behaviour programmes still have two or more
years to serve?
We have been able to make some estimates for the
cognitive skills and CALM programmes. The issue is complicated
by the fact that release dates are variable, because prisoners
will get varying periods of parole, so in general we have used
parole eligibility date as the point of reference. The data do
not include life-sentenced prisoners, because these have no fixed
parole eligibility date and there is no comparable reference point
that we can use. But subject to those caveats, evidenced estimates
are that, in 2000-01, the numbers are:
588 (12 per cent) of 4,974 prisoners
that took a cognitive skills course;
52 (28 per cent) of the 184 of the
CALM graduates for whom a parole eligibility date is available
in the data we have.
We do not have equivalent data on the number of prisoners
who completed the Sex Offender Treatment Programme or the Cognitive
Self Change Programme in these circumstances. The Sex Offender
Treatment Programme is much smaller, and there are many more variables
that come into play when making such judgements. For example,
the programme is in fact a number of component programmes; and
the index offence of those who undergo it may not be an overtly
sexual one - it could be murder, say, or manslaughter.
The Cognitive Self Change Programme is also a small
programme and the nature of it means that, at present collecting
such data would not benefit its effective delivery or development.
We will be monitoring this issue and considering whether we should
start collecting it in respect of those programmes.
There are in any event a number of reasons why we
do not see early completion of a programme as a bad thing:
the prisoner may be doing a cognitive
skills programme as a foundation for other work: for example,
it is a distinct advantage if a sex offender does a cognitive
skills programme first, because this is likely to make him more
receptive to the very difficult and demanding nature of the Sex
Offender Treatment Programme; and prisoners who undergo the core
Sex Offender Treatment Programme may need to go on to the extended
doing a programme early gives the
prisoner the opportunity to practice the skills he has learned
in the stable conditions that prison provides;
the Sex Offender Treatment Programme
has now, and the cognitive skills programmes should have soon,
a follow-up booster programme;
undergoing a programme generally
has a beneficial effect on the prisoner's general self-awareness
and behaviour in prison, so doing a programme early can contribute
importantly to the prisoner's general development and to good
order and discipline in the prison.
Question 50: Prisons with newly introduced drug
In recognition of the need to expand the number of
places on rehabilitation programmes in the juvenile estate, funding
was reallocated to three Young Offender Institutions (YOIs). Delays
in recruiting staff (due to a shortage in the market) and the
transfer of one prison from one Area to another has meant that
only one of the three YOIs has the proposed drug rehabilitation
The details are as follows:
Glen Parvathe programme based on the Phoenix
House model began on 11 February. The programme provides places
for ten prisoners and lasts for eight weeks. The programme will
run six times a year and the annual number of entrants will be
Ashfieldresponsibility for the prison
has been transferred from the South West Area to the Juvenile
Operational Management Group and the proposed new drug rehabilitation
programme is currently on hold.
Bullwood Hallthe programme will not be
operational this financial year. The recruitment process for drug
workers is underway. The annual number of entrants to the programme
is expected to be 50.
Question 59: Cost of renegotiating contracts at
contracted out prisons to effect regime changes?
There have been two occasions when a major change
of regime at a private prison has meant additional cost to the
At HM Prison and Young Offender Institution Ashfield,
where the juvenile population was increased in 1999 from 80 to
300 and the regime had to be changed so that it was compliant
with Prison Service requirements for juveniles. The cost is £1,059,532
per year at current prices; and
At HM Prison and Young Offender Institution Parc,
where new separate provision for 28 juvenile offenders has been
agreed with effect from 4 March 2002 at an annual cost of £1,051,111
and start-up costs of £363,975. This is in response to the
growing number of juvenile offenders in Wales.
Other, smaller changes to regime have been generally
cost neutral. For example, at HM Prison Rye Hill, where in exchange
for a reduction in the unattainable target of purposeful activity
of 35 hours of purposeful activity per prisoner per week to 32
hours, the prison has agreed to increase literacy and numeracy
accreditations and key work skills.
I mentioned HM Prison Lowdham Grange in my evidence
to the Committee. Although there have been changes to the regime,
it has not been necessary to change the contract to reflect this.
Questions 60 and 61: Purposeful activity figures
for HM Prisons Dovegate, Forest Bank and Rye Hill?
Purposeful activity performance for Rye Hill for
January to March 2001 was 26 hours per prisoner per week. For
the year to date (April 2001 to January 2002) it currently stands
at 29.3 hours per prisoner per week. This is provisional and will
be finalised at the end of the year.
Dovegate opened in July 2001 and will be excluded
from this year's (2000-01) Annual Report. Year to date performance
(July 2001 to January 2002) is 28.7 hours per prisoner per week.
Appendix 4 of the NAO report gives the 2000-01 figure
for Forest Bank27.5 hours per prisoner per week.
Questions 94-97: Extent of the use of volunteers
in helping prisoners with literacy and numeracy?
At present there is very little involvement by voluntary
groups in support for numeracy, but there are a number of literacy
and family learning projects operating across the prison estate.
These are helping prisoners to improve their own literacy or reading
skills as well as to support their children's learning development.
These projects depend for their success on the support of voluntary
organisations such as the National Literacy Trust, Safe Ground,
the Federation of Prisoners' Families Support Groups, Parents
in Prison and the Writers in Prison Network Ltd. The Prisoners'
Learning and Skills Unit conducted a survey last year which identified
over 40 prisons that were running family literacy or family learning
The Prison Reform Trust has recently carried out
a survey of volunteering by prisoners which show that at least
3,000 prisoners volunteer. Some of these are involved as "study
buddies" or peer partners and offer reading support to other
prisoners. Peer partnership schemes operating currently have been
very successful and we would like to see this kind of good practice
replicated more widely.
A survey carried out in September 2000 for the Home
Office's Active Community Unit suggested that there are at least
4,000 volunteers working in prisons. We suspect the actual number
is substantially higher. This figure includes 130 volunteers involved
in vocational education (mainly as mentors) and 49 in health education.
It does not include 1,400 prison visitors and 1,700 Board of Visitors
members or volunteers based in visitor centres outside prisons.
A recent survey carried out by the Prison Service Chaplaincy showed
that there are 6,000 chaplaincy volunteers.
The Prison Service has been successful in securing
matched funding from the Active Community Settlement for projects
which will increase the numbers of volunteers by about 1,000 over
three years. Total funding for the period 2001-04 stands at £892,000.
Question 163: Prisoners unable to complete programmes
or courses due to transfers to other prisons?
Information about the number of prisoners forced
to drop out in the middle of an offending behaviour programme,
due to a transfer to another establishment, is being collated
and I will write again with the data. (Subsequent information
is at Annex A).
A prison would, however, be penalised at the annual
audit of programme implementation for transferring programme participants
for non-clinical or non-security considerations so I am confident
that, in practice, the number of prisoners forced to drop out
as a result of transfer to another establishment is small.
There is no centrally held information on prisoners
forced to drop out of drug treatment programmes due to
transfers. However, Area Drug Co-ordinators would be aware of
any significant problems in their establishments and no such problems
have been reported to the Drug Strategy Unit. The decision to
transfer a prisoner to another establishment is an operational
one but we would expect every effort to be made for those prisoners
on a drug treatment programme to complete the programme before
being transferred. The transfer of prisoners mid-way through a
programme is inadvisable given the importance of completing the
sequential content of the programme and the therapeutic benefits
of staying within the same group. In addition, a transfer may
cause problems because of differences in content from one programme
to the next. So although we recognise the importance of maintaining
continuity of treatment, regrettably, there will be occasions
when the operational need for transfers will be of over-riding
The Prison Service does not collect information centrally
on the participation and achievement of individuals in learning,
only at establishment level. Nevertheless, we recognise that the
issue of prisoners being unable to complete their course because
of transfer to another establishment is one that we need to address.
Many establishments try hard to retain those prisoners who are
working towards qualifications until they have been able to complete
their course. For example, HMP Birmingham aims to retain as many
prisoners as possible who are following basic and key skills courses,
and HMP Leeds aims to retain prisoners undertaking hairdressing
qualifications. We also know that the timing of tests at the end
of courses are often not flexible enough to accommodate prisoners,
and are working with examination awarding bodies to address this.
I am aware of isolated examples of establishments arranging transfers
to ensure that prisoners will be able to continue their studies,
and am keen to encourage all prisons to follow this example where
Question 187: Reconviction ratesprisoners
I am attaching below some key statistics on released
prisoners not reconvicted within two years. It should be noted
that these are essentially the reverse side of the coin from the
As I indicated at the hearing, it is important to
recognise that reconviction rates are only one measure of reoffending.
While some ex-prisoners reoffend and are not caught, others get
caught and convicted for what may be a very trivial offence relative
to the one they were originally imprisoned for. So offending may
be reduced in that the seriousness of offence is reduced.
Moreover, reconviction rates give no indication of
rates of offending, which may also be significantly reduced. So,
for instance, an offender who may have been committing several
offences per week before custody, may be released and commit one
offence in the first year and be reconvicted. Reoffending is reduced,
but not reconviction results.
Offender Behaviour Programmes generate reductions
in reconviction which can be as high as 15 per cent in some cases.
This shows that where appropriate funding and resources are available,
the Prison Service can and does achieve significant reductions
in offending with some of the highest risk offenders.
In 1997 42 per cent of persons discharged from custody
were not reconvicted within 2 years. The "success" rate
varies by type of offence, length of sentence, age, gender and
whether a person has any previous convictions.
For males, 41 per cent are not reconvicted; for females
it is 49 per cent; for young offenders it is 25 per cent; for
adults 46 per cent.
|Offence categor within 2 yearsy
||Percentage not reconvicted
|Violence against the person||53 per cent
|Sexual offences||82 per cent
|Burglary||22 per cent
|Robbery||43 per cent
|Theft/Handling||27 per cent
|Fraud/Forgery||70 per cent
|Drug offences||64 per cent
|Sentence length||Malespercentage not reconvicted
||Femalespercentage not reconvicted
|Upto and including 12 months||39 per cent
||44 per cent|
|Over 12 months upto and including 4 years
||44 per cent||65 per cent
|Over 4 years upto and including 10 years
||69 per cent||79 per cent
|Over 10 years not including life||77 per cent
||100 per cent|
By examining the number of previous convictions, non-reconviction
rates were higher for those whom a custodial sentence was the
encounter with the Criminal justice system.
|Prisoners released and not reconvicted within 2 years
||Number of previous convictions
||1 or 2||3-6
||7-10||11 or more
|Males aged under 17||49
|Males aged 18-20||70
|Males aged 21-24||82
|Males aged 25-34||88
|Males aged 35 and over||95
Reconviction is more likely to occur closer to discharge than
When considering all prisoners discharged from custody, 89 per
cent will not have been reconvicted within 3 months of release,
falling to 57 per cent one year after release, and 42 per cent
two years after release. Seven years after release 27 per cent
will not have been reconvicted. It is not unreasonable to assume
that the effects of any sentence of imprisonment diminish over
Question 187: Prisoners with evidence of mental ill health?
A survey of mental ill health in the prison population of England
and Wales, undertaken in 1997 by the Office for National Statistics,
showed that some 10 per cent of remanded men, 7 per cent of sentenced
men and 14 per cent of all women prisoners had suffered from a
functional psychosis in the past year. Some 59 per cent of remanded
men, 76 per cent remanded women, 40 per cent of sentenced men
and 63 per cent of sentenced women had a neurotic disorder. Applying
these rates to the current population would indicate that, at
any one time, around 5,300 prisoners would be suffering from a
functional psychosis and around 30,000 from a neurotic disorder.
Some prisoners will have both conditions, which taken together
constitute the mental illness element of the survey.
The ONS survey also reported that only one in ten prisoners or
fewer showed no evidence of any of the five disorders considered
in the survey (personality disorder, psychosis, neurosis, alcohol
misuse, and drug dependence). That would indicate that, at any
one time, upwards of 60,000 prisoners would have a mental health
problem of some kind.
Statistical returns from Prison Service establishments indicate
that at the end of June 2001 128 prisoners had been accepted for
admission to hospital for in-patient treatment for mental disorder
and were awaiting a place. A further 175 were either awaiting
assessment or, having been assessed, were awaiting a decision
concerning acceptance. At the end of December, the respective
figures were 121 and 132.
Question 196: Details on whether education spending has kept
pace with the increase in the prison population?
Prior to 2001-02, levels of expenditure at individual prisons
reflected differing levels of commitment to education by prison
governors who were, in the absence of an allocation methodology,
able to cut education budgets to create efficiency savings. In
April 2001 prison education was ringfenced and is now administered
jointly by the Home Office and Department for Education and Skills.
Overall funding is set to increase from £58 million this
year to nearly £70 million by 2003-04a real terms
increase of 15 per cent. Education funding continues to be ringfenced
once transferred to establishments and cannot now be spent on
The following table sets out education expenditure and the prison
population over the last ten financial years.
There is some difficulty in comparing like for like each year
due to the accounting procedures then relevant for VAT. We believe
96-97, 97-98 and 98-99 years are net of VAT.
Question 196: Cost benefit analysis?
During the 2000 Spending Review the first proper cost benefit
analysis of programmes to reduce re-offending were made. Though
to an extent crude and limited by the available data, these represent
a significant step forward in enabling judgements to be made about
the effectiveness of investment.
The analysis was limited to those programmes for which the Prison
Service was seeking additional funding and for which reasonable
estimates of the impact on re-offending were possible. The table
below sets out the details of the calculations in respect of Drug
Treatment Programmes, for the teaching of basic literacy and numeracy,
and for medium-intensity Offending Behaviour Programmes.
It is important to note that the calculations are based on the
best evidence available at the time. As programme evaluations
are completed, more accurate, programme-specific calculations
will be made. A forthcoming study of one resettlement programme,
the High Intensity Treatment Programme at Thorn Cross, will give
details of the cost effectiveness of that programme, based on
the methodology set out below but applied to a more detailed breakdown
The costs of programmes were calculated based on the extra resources
identified by Prison Service during the Spending Review as required
to deliver the outputs proposed.
The benefits were calculated based solely on benefits attributable
to reductions in re-offending (including social and psychological
costs). Benefits arising from other outcomes, such as for instance
greater prosperity due to the increased employability of ex-offenders,
were not calculated.
The calculations were based on:
the output targets proposed;
an estimate of the reduction in reconvictions
associated with those outputs (based on Home Office researchers'
advice on the best available international evidence of average
programme effectiveness for each type of intervention);
an estimate of underlying offending rates, and
hence of offences avoided for each reconviction "saved"
(based on estimates of general offending levels, and on data on
types of offending and frequency of reconviction for different
estimates of the costs of each type of offence
(based on RDS work which led to the later publication Economic
Cost of Crime, Home Office Research Study 217 (Brand et al.,
2000), taking into account financial and non-financial costs to
the community, as well as costs in the Criminal Justice System).