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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the impact the Sentencing Guidelines Council is likely to have on the size of the (a) probation and (b) prisons caseload over the next five financial years. 
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring forward plans to ensure that the courts impose a fine or community sentence as the first option for most non-violent offences. 
The Government have made it clear that prison should be reserved for the most serious, dangerous and persistent offenders, and that
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community sentences are an effective alternative to short-term imprisonment for less serious, non-violent offenders. It is for the Sentencing Guidelines Council to provide guidelines to the courts on seriousness and the starting points for offences.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision the Government makes to assist women to fulfil community sentences, with particular reference to child care. 
Paul Goggins: Many local probation areas have developed their own strategies to ensure that women are able to fulfil community sentences. Such policies include supporting access to childcare provision registered with the local authority.
Most offending behaviour programmes (excluding sex offender and domestic abuse programmes) are accessible to female offenders and have materials appropriately adapted. The National Probation Service has also developed one programme specifically designed for women offenders. Some probation areas are able to deliver programmes to women only groups.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how the changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in 2001 affected prisoners who were victims of historical sex abuse. 
Paul Goggins: The changes made to the Tariff Scheme in 2001 included an increase of about 10 per cent. in tariff bands 723 inclusive, higher awards in sex cases, higher awards for serious multiple injuries, some re-ordering and re-wording of several injury descriptions (including many of those for physical and sexual abuse), and the addition of a number of new injury descriptions.
All successful applicants submitting claims after these changes came into force, including prisoners who were victims of historical sex abuse, would have benefited from these improvements. But the basic eligibility criteria and the interpretation of the Scheme rules by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority remained substantially unchanged, and the 2001 changes are not thought therefore to have had any other effect on the group in question.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the factors underlying the take-up rate of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in historical child abuse cases. 
Reducing the rate of self-inflicted deaths in prison establishments is a key priority. As the hon. Member is aware, I made an announcement on 31 March 2004 about the Prison Service's suicide prevention strategy. This will link existing programmes and planned investment in five broad areas of work:
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations she has recently received regarding the relaxation of the requirements for Premier League and First Division football grounds to be all-seater; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Caborn: In September 2004 the Department received representations from Peter Caton, Campaign Co-ordinator of the Stand Up Sit Down campaign asking the Government to consider their proposals for the reintroduction of standing at Premier League and First Division football matches.
The Department has also received a number of letters from Members of Parliament following representations they have received from their constituents asking the Government to consider the Stand Up Sit Down proposals.
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Having carefully considered the Stand Up Sit Down solutions, it is clear that these measures would run against the Government's current policy that football grounds in the top two divisions shall be all-seated. There is also a concern that the proposal would seek to introduce standing accommodation without the safeguards that are currently required on standing terraces in the lower divisions.
The all-seater policy has been in place since 1991, following Lord Justice Taylor's report into the Hillsborough disaster. Lord Taylor summarised his position by saying that there is no cure-all solution that will achieve complete safety and solve all problems to do with crowd behaviour and control. However he was satisfied that seating does more to achieve those objectives than any other measure.
Following a pre-election commitment, the Government reviewed the all-seater policy in consultation with the Football Licensing Authority (FLA) in 1997. That review concurred with Lord Taylor's conclusion that seated accommodation is demonstrably safer than standing accommodation, regardless of how the stadium is configured.
The FLA's figures for injuries at UK stadia over recent seasons consistently show that spectators are approximately twice as likely to be injured at grounds where standing is permitted, compared to all-seater stadia.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent requests she has received from organisations requesting a meeting to discuss legislation relating to seating at football matches; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Caborn: In September 2004 the Department received representations from Peter Caton, Campaign Co-ordinator of the Stand Up Sit Down campaign offering to meet the Department to discuss their proposals for the reintroduction of standing at football matches.
The Department has carefully considered the Stand Up Sit Down proposals in consultation with the Football Licensing Authority (FLA) which is one of the Department's sponsored bodies and is our advisor on matters of safety at football grounds.
It is right that the Government should consider any representations made regarding standing at football matches. As Lord Taylor recognised, the debate about the virtues of seating at football matches is a controversial one and must be approached with sensitivity and an open mind.
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