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6 Dec 2004 : Column 392W—continued

National Offender Manager

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the National Offender Manager will be assuming responsibility for core National Probation Directorate functions. [199956]

Paul Goggins: No decision has yet been made on when the National Offender Manager will assume responsibility for core National Probation Directorate functions.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to whom the National Offender Manager in the National Offender Management Service will be accountable. [199957]

Paul Goggins: The National Offender Manager is accountable to the Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service.

New Prisons

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the sites which are under consideration for the building of new prisons; [199443]

(2) if he will publish the site evaluations of the potential new sites for prison establishments that have been carried out in the past 12 months. [199444]

Paul Goggins: The process of identifying suitable sites is still in progress. Details of the sites and evaluations cannot be disclosed for commercial reasons.
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Prison Service Resettlement Survey

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the key findings were of the Prison Service's Resettlement Survey 2003; and if he will place a copy of the survey in the Library. [199530]

Paul Goggins [holding answer 29 November 2004]: The survey was conducted to measure progress towards the Key Performance Target for increasing the number of prisoners having employment or training arranged on release. The Prison Service Annual Report 2003 states that the number of prisoners in the last two or three weeks of sentence who had employment, training or education (ETE) arranged was 25,906, as measured by the 2003 resettlement survey.

In addition, the report states that there were an additional number of cases counted toward the target of 28,200 which comprised:

Publications are placed in the Library as a matter of course. The detailed results of the 2003 resettlement survey are due for publication this financial year.

Prison Suicides

Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many reports on suicides in prison have been completed by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman in the last 12 months; and when each was published. [200464]

Paul Goggins: Investigation of all deaths in custody (whether apparently self-inflicted or otherwise) became the responsibility of the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman on 1 April 2004. Since that date, investigations have begun into 163 deaths in prisons, immigration detention and probation approved premises. This includes 59 apparently self-inflicted deaths in prison. Three reports into apparently self-inflicted deaths in prisons have been through all their stages and submitted to the respective Coroner. Nine reports into other deaths have also been completed and a further 10 are drafts upon which the relevant service is commenting in line with the Ombudsman's reporting procedure. To avoid prejudice, it is not anticipated that reports will be published until after the inquests are heard.

During 2003–04, the Ombudsman was commissioned to investigate three prison deaths, two of which were apparently self-inflicted. Those reports have also not been published as the inquests have yet to be held.

Prisoners (Sexual Abuse)

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the percentage of the prison population who were victims of sexual abuse. [199509]

Paul Goggins: It is estimated that 10 per cent. of male prisoners and a third of female prisoners report having suffered sexual abuse at some time in their lives. This is based on figures from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons' (HMCIP) thematic reviews and an Office for
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National Statistics' study of psychiatric morbidity among prisoners (Singleton et al, 1999). In an HMICP thematic Inspection of Young People in Custody in October 1997, 17 per cent. of the young people interviewed admitted having suffered abuse of a violent, sexual or emotional nature.

Many factors prevent the disclosure of sexual abuse and it is the least reported of all forms of abuse. Disclosure of sexual abuse is recorded on individual records but not routinely collected. Data is recorded and analysed on the history of all forms of abuse through the Offender Assessment System.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken to provide victim support-based treatment for prison inmates who were victims of sexual abuse prior to incarceration. [199510]

Paul Goggins: The steps taken to provide support-based treatment for prisoners who were sexually abused prior to imprisonment vary between prison establishments, reflecting local circumstances. Prison psychologists, for example, may be able to offer one-to-one help in some cases although any sort of psychological or therapeutic work done with victims of sexual abuse is a long process. Help may have to be limited to information and advice, or referring victims to appropriate agencies in their local communities on release. Some prison programmes, such as anger management, may address the impact of abuse indirectly. Prisoners who have a history of sexual abuse are at a greater risk of suicide or self-harm and guidance to staff on managing prisoners who self-harm has been circulated to establishments.

The Women's Team at Prison Service Headquarters is currently working with a small group of local practitioners (including prison staff and voluntary agencies) to develop Good Practice Principles so that they can achieve consistency in the standard of support offered to women prisoners who report they have suffered abuse. This work will be completed by late 2005 and will draw on a published literature review by Carol-Ann Hooper (2003), University of York on "Abuse, Interventions and Women in Prison".

Probation Hostels

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hostels run by (a) the probation service and (b) the voluntary sector are available in England and Wales, broken down by number of places. [199981]

Paul Goggins: The number of approved premises (hostels) run by the National Probation Service (NPS) is currently 88, and by the voluntary sector 12. Total number of beds (approximate as it can vary) is 1,977 for NPS and 261 for the voluntary sector.

Probation Service

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason the Probation Service Pay and Reward Review was not implemented in April. [199413]

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Paul Goggins: The Pay and Reward Review for staff in the National Probation Service (NPS) could not be implemented in April 2004 because at that date no agreement had been reached with the trade unions. Negotiations are continuing between the employers' side of the NPS National Negotiating Council (NNC) and the trade union side about the introduction of affordable new pay and grading arrangements for the service. The discussions cover wide-ranging and complex issues and have been necessarily prolonged.

Sex Offenders

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many sex offenders are in sex offender treatment programmes in (a) overcrowded prisons and (b) non-overcrowded prisons. [199512]

Paul Goggins: The table sets out the 2004–05 completion targets for the Sex Offender Treatment programme (SOTP) for those prisons defined as overcrowded and uncrowded as at 31 October 2004.
Number of prisons delivering SOTP178
Total number of expected completions 2004–05800380

Information is not recorded on how many of those prisoners undergoing sex offender treatment are currently occupying cells designated as overcrowded.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on (i) inmate and (ii) prison staff perceptions of sex offenders and the influence of such perceptions on sex offenders' participation and completion of Sex Offender Treatment Programme. [199514]

Paul Goggins: The Prison Service has undertaken research into the reasons why offenders choose not to participate in the Sex Offender Treatment Programme in prison. As part of this work, the perceptions of both staff and prisoners and their influence on participation in the programme were considered. The Prison Service is implementing a strategy to address the issues identified by the research, with the aim of reducing the numbers refusing treatment.

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