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10 Jan 2005 : Column 298W—continued

Freedom of Information

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff in his Department were employed to deal with Freedom of Information Act 2000 issues in (a) 2001, (b) 2002, (c) 2003 and (d) 2004; and how many staff are budgeted to deal with Freedom of Information Act 2000 issues in (i) 2005 and (ii) 2006. [205044]

Fiona Mactaggart: Managing records and handling requests for information is part of the work carried out by all officials. There are, in addition, a small number
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dedicated to handling information requests whether under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information or the Data Protection Act. This centre of expertise has also been making preparations for the onset of the Freedom of Information access responsibilities that commence in January 2005 and will then concentrate on handling incoming cases.

Numbers provided are for staff leading on Information Access (including FOI) issues but do not include staff dealing with routine information requests received across the department. Where peaks of activity resulted in fluctuating numbers of staff within specific years the maximum number of staff has been cited.

(a) 2001=4, (b) 2002=6, (c) 2003=7, (d) 2004=25.5. Future staffing requirements will be reviewed in 2005 in the light of experience. This will depend on: the number of requests for information received; the complexity of requests, and the number of appeals received. Staff numbers for 2005 are provisional at this stage and are again for staff leading on all Information Access (including FOI) issues. Predictions for 2006 will be made later in 2005.

(i) 2005=29.5, (ii) 2006=to be reviewed.

Generic Sentences

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what additional funding will be available for financial year 2005–06 to the Probation Service for the introduction of generic sentences. [205685]

Paul Goggins: The budget for the National Probation Service has not yet been set for 2005–06 so it is not yet possible to say how much will be allocated for the generic community sentence.

Halliday Report

Mr. Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to publish the final conclusions of the Halliday Report on sentencing reform. [200256]

Paul Goggins: The Halliday Report ("Making Punishments Work"), which reviewed the sentencing framework of England and Wales, was published in July 2001. The report recognised the need for widespread changes to the sentencing structure. The Government's response was set out in the 2002 White Paper "Justice for All". The Criminal Justice Act 2003 made radical changes to the sentencing framework based heavily on Halliday's recommendations.

HMP Holloway

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many female prisoners, held in HM Holloway prison, have (a) attempted suicide and (b) committed suicide in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [201853]

Paul Goggins: The reasons why people self-injure is complex, and it is difficult to distinguish between acts of self-harm that were attempts at ending life, and those which occurred for other reasons. It is not possible, therefore, for the Prison Service to determine from recorded incidents of self-harm those acts that could be
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described as attempts at suicide. The following figures for self-harm include all acts of self-harm, however serious.
HMP Holloway

Number of self-inflicted deaths(5507180086)Number of recorded incidents of self-harm(5507180087)

(5507180086) The Prison Service employs the term "self-inflicted death' rather than suicide. This includes all those deaths where it appears the person acted intentionally to take his/her own life.
(5507180087) These figures record the number of incidents of self-harm, not the number of individuals. Some individuals repeatedly self-harm.
(5507180088) In December 2002, a new form for reporting self-injury (the F213SH) was introduced across the prisons estate in England and Wales, which is known to have improved reporting practices. Please note therefore that much of the increase in reported self-harm in 2003 may result from the change in reporting procedures rather than reflect an actual increase in incidence of self-harm.

Up to 2 December 2004, there have been two apparently self-inflicted deaths at Holloway; up to the end of September, 725 incidents of self-harm were reported at the establishment.

The prison population, and the female prison population in particular, includes a large number of individuals with a combination of psychiatric disorders, alcohol and drug dependency, family background and relationship problems, histories of self-harm and previous abuse, all of which raise their risk of suicide and self-harm. A targeted and separate suicide prevention and self-harm management strategy is being developed for women prisoners.

Holloway has a First Night in Custody Project that focuses on the needs of women at the vulnerable stage of entry into prison. The Project was established in October 2000 and is run by the Prisoner Advice and Care Trust. It employs a full-time project worker and two link workers to help identify women at risk of self-harm or suicide. The project sees over 100 prisoners a month and makes referrals to services in and outside the prison on housing needs, mental health problems, drug or alcohol problems.

Holloway is also piloting Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, an innovative programme developed for women with "borderline personality disorder" who also self-harm or engage in suicidal behaviours.

Home Detention Curfews

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons were recalled to custody having been released on home detention curfew in (a) each of the last 12 months and (b) each of the last five years. [203516]

Paul Goggins: Prisoners who are subject to the Home Detention Curfew scheme can have their licences revoked under the powers available to the Secretary of State provided in sections 38A(1) and 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991. The reasons for revocation are as follows:

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The table gives a breakdown of the number of prisoners who have been recalled to prison while subject to the Home Detention Curfew scheme over the past five years and a monthly breakdown for the past 12 months. The total figure is broken down into the various
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categories of recall as set out previously and includes those prisoners who have not breached the conditions of their licence, but whose whereabouts can no longer be electronically monitored following a change in their circumstances.

The increase in the number of recalls is an expected consequence of expanding the Home Detention Curfew scheme. Of the 100,345 prisoners placed on the scheme since January 1999, a total of 8,698 have had their licences revoked, which represents 8.7 per cent. of the total.

These statistics are based on information recorded on the central Prison Service IT system at week ending 24 October 2004. Further updates and amendments may be made to records on this system in future, resulting in revised figures.

Breach of curfewInability to monitorRisk of serious harmBreach of probation supervision/charged with further offenceTotal recalls
January to September 20041,33253804932,363
October 200316270063295
November 200312258049229
December 200314766052265
January 200416061063284
February 200414161048250
March 200413462063259
April 200415754049260
May 200415270054276
June 200414053054247
July 200415673060289
August 200416045061266
September 200413259041232

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