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1 Mar 2004 : Column 741Wcontinued
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police cells are being brought up to Government standards in Lancashire; how many are sub-standard but are being used; how many cells are not used by Lancashire Police; and how many are mothballed. 
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In 2002, a national review of anti-bullying work in prisons indicated that establishments had generally implemented local strategies with innovative and monitored actions being taken in many establishments.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to make it compulsory for prisoners to take part in educational activities; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Goggins [holding answer 23 February 2004]:The Prison Service needs to be able to respond to and address a range of factors which contribute to offending behaviour, according to individual need. It therefore has no plans to introduce a compulsion for all prisoners to take part in learning activities. However, the majority of offenders have very poor skills which are a serious obstacle to their rehabilitation and chances of employment on release. Through increased investment, increased partnership working, and the appointment of new Heads of Learning and Skills across the prison estate, we are working towards a new service which will embed learning and skills across the range of prison activities, drive up quality and enhance continuity between opportunities in custodial and community settings.
Paul Goggins [holding answer 23 February 2004]: The Prison Service is currently piloting a secure approach to offering prisoners examinations on demand. Future rollout will be informed by the success of this pilot.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the prison population has access to the internet; and what proportion of the prison population regularly uses it. 
Paul Goggins [holding answer 23 February 2004]: Because of security considerations only a very small number of prisoners have limited internet access. The prison population on 13 February 2004 was 74,420. Of these, 31 prisoners have regular but restricted access to the internet as part of their employment.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he has taken to ensure that overcrowding in prisons does not negatively affect the healthcare available to prisoners. 
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Paul Goggins: Since 1997, 15,000 new prison places have been provided. In addition, our programme of reform of health services for prisoners will see spending on health services increase by more than £40 million a year in the three years to March 2006.
Paul Goggins: In 1997, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) undertook a survey of "Psychiatric morbidity amongst prisoners in England and Wales", which reported that around 90 per cent. of prisoners sampled showed evidence of at least one of the five disorders, personality disorder, psychosis, neurosis, alcohol misuse and drug dependence. The report included a range of information on the prevalence of specific mental health problems in black and minority ethnic prisoners. A copy of the ONS study is in the Library.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners are being prescribed more than one type of psychotropic drug for treatment of mental illness; and what proportion of those being prescribed one or more psychotropic drug are from ethnic minorities. 
Paul Goggins: We want the most cost effective custodial and community sentences possible, no matter who delivers them. We also want to encourage partnerships between public and private sector providers and the voluntary and community sectors which can harness their respective strengths.
An implementation team has been established to consider the specific details of how this will be realised. We are also seeking views on how to improve contestability and value for money within the new structure of the National Offender Management Service.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign nationals were held in prisons in England and Wales on 30 June 2003, broken down by nationality; and how many foreign nationals are held in each prison in England and Wales. 
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|Cameroon, United Republic||16|
|Central African Republic||8|
|Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)||14|
|Democratic Republic of Congo||43|
|Sao Tome and Principe||1|
|Korea Republic of (Sth)||6|
|Myanmar, Union of (Burma)||2|
|Serbia and Montenegro||114|
|Syrian Arab Republic||6|
|United Arab Emirates||5|
|Yemen, Republic of||8|
|United States of America||96|
|French Southern Territories||3|
|Papua New Guinea||1|
|St Christopher and Nevis||2|
|St Kitts and Nevis||4|
|St Vincent and The Grenadines||5|
|Trinidad and Tobago||85|
|Total Foreign Nationals||8,799|
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|East Sutton Park||10|
|Grendon (Spring Hill)||52|
|North Sea Camp||15|
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Paul Goggins: The publication Prison Statistics England and Wales 2002 provides a demographic breakdown of the prison population. A copy of this publication is available in the House of Commons Library.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the size of the United Kingdom's prison population as compared to other European countries. 
Paul Goggins: Women are generally permitted to wear their own clothes, but if there are any difficulties in obtaining them, clothing will be supplied by the Service from existing stocks or outside suppliers. In certain situations, for example outdoor work, suitable clothing will be automatically provided for the women.
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Paul Goggins: Housing is the major resettlement priority for women leaving prison and considerable investment has been made in housing advice projects through the custody to work programme, Prison Service Plus and other funding streams. Much of the investment has gone into local prisons so that housing needs can be assessed and acted on when women first enter custody as well as prior to their release. In addition, the Home Office is leading cross-Government work on the Women's Offending Reduction Programme to address the complex criminogenic factors that affect women's offending. The Correctional Services are also jointly contributing to the development of a National Accommodation Strategy for all offenders as part of a wider rehabilitation strategy.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase the availability of (a) therapeutic, (b) counselling and (c) support provision for prisoners identified as being vulnerable or at risk. 
Paul Goggins: The prison population contains a substantial number of people who have experienced negative life events, all of which are identified as significant risk factors for suicide and self-harm. These include family background and relationship problems, social disadvantage or isolation, previous sexual or physical abuse, and mental health problems. Self-harming and suicidal behaviour often pre-date custody, and may have started early in life. Studies show that 27 per cent. of men and 44 per cent. of women on remand report having attempted suicide in their lifetime; and that 90 per cent. of all prisoners have shown evidence of at least one of the following: personality disorder, psychosis, neurosis, and alcohol misuse and drug dependence.
Intervention strategies have been introduced for people who self-harm. These include counselling, support groups, and specialised psychological interventions. A network of establishments has been set up to develop interventions, facilitate evaluation and share good practice, and guidance to staff on managing people who self-harm has been circulated to establishments. A video is also being produced.
A number of prisons, particularly women's, provide a range of therapeutic interventions for prisoners who self-harm. These include Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), an innovative programme developed in the USA for women diagnosed with 'borderline personality disorder' (BPD) who also self-harm or who are suicidal. The Prison Service has introduced DBT to the women's estate, starting with an initial development programme at three sites: Durham, Bullwood Hall and Holloway.
A number of prison establishments have introduced counselling for vulnerable prisoners. At both Bullwood Hall and Holloway prisons, all prisoners who have been identified as at risk of suicide/self-harm are offered individual crisis counselling. If appropriate, they are also referred to other agencies such as the general counselling service or CRUSE, a charity working with people who are suffering from
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bereavement, or the prison's art therapist, Counselling, Assessment, Referral and Throughcare (CARAT) services or Chaplaincy.
The F2052SH self-harm warning system identifies and reviews the particular needs of prisoners experiencing periods of distress or crisis. The pilot of a replacement system began in January 2004 at five establishments. It aims to build on the successful aspects of the existing system, but build in a greater focus on care with teams of specially trained staff assessing the level of risk that at-risk prisoners present.
Further avenues of support available across the prison estate include help with substance misuse issues, the input of healthcare professionals and/or mental health in-reach teams, helping maintain contact with family and friends, and the encouragement of self-help, for example, through education, IT or sport. There are numerous agencies and support mechanisms available to prisoners identified as at-risk, including Samaritans.
Several prisons have set up support groups for prisoners who self-harm, or are at risk of self-harming. These are usually run by staff such as Suicide Prevention Co-ordinators or Occupational Therapists. These may either be informal 'drop-in' groups, that prisoners can choose to attend for as many or few sessions as they wish, or groups which run for a specific period of time with the same set of participants.
A range of anti-alcohol interventions are available. Detoxification for alcohol is available on reception in all local and remand prisons; some prisons run alcohol awareness courses; Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) run services in around 50 per cent. of prisons and more intensive courses are run in nine prisons. Some offending behaviour programmes address the underlying criminogenic factors, which occur in alcohol related violent crime. Further expansion of interventions will depend on the availability of additional resources. There are no plans to introduce a target for alcohol reduction.
In April 2003, a new high level measure of violence was introduced, based on the number of reported serious assaults. This replaced the previous measure, which was based on positive adjudications for assault. All establishments are currently developing a violence reduction strategy and action plan for personal safety.
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