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17 Mar 2003 : Column 593W—continued

Prison Service

Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the Prison Service staff referred to on page 195 of the 2001–02 Home Office annual report are based in prisons. [101910]

Hilary Benn: Of the 42,057 permanent Prison Service staff included in the total quoted in the 2001–02 Home Office Annual Report, 39,983 were based in prisons.

Prisoners

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners in UK prisons have been diagnosed with a mental illness; and what support is given to them. [102231]

Hilary Benn: 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 in the week prior to being interviewed for the survey. These rates are considered to be still representative of the prison population. Applying them to the current population would indicate that, on any one day, there would be over 5,500 prisoners in England and Wales who would have suffered from symptoms of a functional psychosis in the previous 12 months and over 32,000 who would have suffered symptoms of a neurotic disorder in the previous week. Some prisoners will fall into both categories. All Prison Service establishments and their NHS partners are working to implement the improvements to mental health services set out in 'Changing the Outlook, a Strategy for Developing and Modernising Mental Health Services in Prisons' published in December 2001. Prisoners who need in-patient treatment for mental disorder may be transferred to psychiatric hospitals. The care and treatment of mentally disordered prisoners who do not need to be admitted to hospital is generally undertaken by prison healthcare staff under the supervision of NHS specialists and increasingly, in establishments with the

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greatest mental health need, by NHS-funded multi-disciplinary in-reach teams. The commitments made in the NHS Plan (2000), for an additional 300 staff to be employed by 2004 to provide such in-reach services to prisoners, are being implemented. Mental illness in the prison population of Scotland is a matter for the Scottish Executive. While the institutions in Northern Ireland are dissolved, responsibility for this subject rests with Ministers in the Northern Ireland Office.

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of prisoners aged (a) 18–20 and (b) juvenile prisoners are drug dependent on entering prison. [102448]

Hilary Benn: Neither the Prison Service nor the Youth Justice Board keep records of the percentage of drug-dependent prisoners who, on entering prison, are (a) aged 18–20 or (b) juveniles. Based on research conducted by the Office for National Statistics, however, it is estimated that 54 per cent. of those being received into custody report drug-dependency in the year prior to justice.

A review into substance misuse by young people is already under way. The findings from this review, expected to be available in the summer, will help inform the drug—and other substance misuse—needs of young people in custody.

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were held in prisons in England and Wales on 30 June 2002, broken down by ethnic group. [102456]

Hilary Benn: The number of prisoners held in prisons in England and Wales on 30 June 2002 broken down by ethnic group is given in the table.

Ethnic groupNumber of prisoners held in prisons
White54,988
Black11,022
South Asian 2,198
Chinese and other2,947
Unrecorded63
Total71,218

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were (a) considered and (b) approved for parole in each of the last five years. [102457]

Hilary Benn: The information is as follows:

YearCases consideredParole awarded
1997–985,2422,006
1998–996,0782,383
1999–20006,2192,561
2000–015,5762,584
2001–025,5142,791

The information requested is published by the Parole Board in its Annual Reports and Accounts for 2001–02.


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Reconvictions

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of 18 to 20-year-olds who were reconvicted within two years of leaving prison in each of the last three years were drug-addicts; and if he will make a statement. [102447]

Hilary Benn: The information is not available.

Visas (Subcontinent)

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has undertaken since August 2002 of changes in the rate of refusals of family visit visa applications from (a) New Delhi, (b) Islamabad, (c) South Asia, (d) Amman, (e) Tehran and (f) the Middle East; and if he will make a statement. [101403]

Mr. Rammell: The Foreign Office, the Home Office and the Lord Chancellor's Department have been working closely together since the Government introduced the right of appeal in family visit cases. An interdepartmental review was established in January 2001. The final report of the inter-departmental review group has been delayed due to pressures of commencing Part 5 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. The research work commissioned by the Immigration Research and Statistics Service at the Home Office is now being finalised and I understand that it should be published very shortly.

Youth Inclusion Programme

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he plans to expand the number of areas in which the Youth Inclusion Programme operates; [102459]

Hilary Benn: The Youth Inclusion Programme (YIP) is managed by the Youth Justice Board. Since 1999, 70 YIP schemes have run in the most deprived neighbourhoods in England and Wales, each targeting the 50 young people, aged 13 to 16 in the local area, at greatest risk of social .exclusion.

We know that a total of 22,688 young people have been actively engaged in YIP schemes since the programme began, but a detailed breakdown of the number of 13 to 16-year-olds that have participated in

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each of the last four years in each of the 70 schemes is not available centrally. Nor do we hold data on arrests of all 13 to 16-year-olds, or overall levels of recorded crimes, broken down by the neighbourhoods in which each YIP scheme operates.

We measure the success of the YIP schemes principally through arrest rates among the scheme's participants, which show that overall arrest rates have been reduced by 64 per cent. among those in the target group who have been actively engaged in the programme. In addition, independent evaluation of the YIP programme showed that between January and March 2002 around 70 per cent. of YIP areas showed reductions in overall crime, with reductions up to 40 per cent. We consider these to be more reliable measures of success than attempting to assess the extent to which the programme has reduced the risk that individual participants will subsequently offend.

We announced on 21 October last year that the existing YIP programme will continue for a further three years from April 2003, with Home Office funding of £7 million per year. This is the minimum provision and does not prevent additional schemes being funded, for example by Children's Fund partnerships in meeting the requirement we are placing on them from April this year, to spend at least 25 per cent. of their allocations on specific youth crime reduction measures.

We are looking more fundamentally at relevant services, programmes and interventions for young people at risk of crime and other negative outcomes in the Green Paper on children at risk that we will be publishing later in the spring.


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