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All staff are required to report fit for duty. This includes not being unfit through either alcohol or drug misuse. Failure to meet this standard may result in disciplinary action. Staff are also liable to be searched when reporting for duty.
Fiona Mactaggart: Successful data transfer/exchange is an urgent priority as part of the implementation of the new offender learning and skills service. The three development regions (north-east, north-west, south-west) which went live in August 2005 have implemented the Learning and Skills Council's Individual Learner Record arrangements, whereby centrally held records are available to education providers involved in delivering offender learning services, but we regard this as only a partial solution.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners took part in higher educational courses in prisons in each year since 2000, broken down by (a) age, (b) gender and (c) ethnicity. 
The Department for Education and Skills provides support funding for Open University Openings access courses, Open University undergraduate course modules and contributions to tutorial costs. The table shows the number of places funded (figures are available centrally only from 2002).
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to implement the recommendations of the Independent Monitoring Board on diverting mentally ill and addicted prisoners in young offenders institutions to appropriate care and treatment. 
All prisoners undergo health screening, which will identify mental health problems and addictions, on reception into prison. They will then be referred on for appropriate interventions. Measures in place to ensure that prisoners who need in-patient
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treatment for mental disorder are transferred to hospital quickly are now being augmented through a two year project which will establish a national waiting time for such transfers along with referral guidelines.
Fiona Mactaggart: Prison doctors were advised in 1995 that they should make condoms available to individual prisoners, on application, if in their clinical judgment, there is a risk of transmission of HIV infection during sexual activity. The Prison Service is planning to issue, in early 2006, revised guidance and instructions which aim to clarify the policy on condoms so that it can be applied more evenly across the prison estate.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the quantity of drugs taken into prisons in the North East region by (a) prisoners, (b) visitors, (c) prison officers and (d) other means in each of the last 10 years. 
The Mandatory Drug Testing programme, which is the principle means of measuring drug misuse in prisons, shows that in the North East the percentage of positive tests has reduced from 32.9 per cent. in 199697 to 10 per cent. in 200506 (August 2005).
The Home Office recently commissioned a substantial piece of research that identifies patterns of drug use and supply routes. The six main routes identified were social visits, mail, new receptions, prison staff, over the perimeter and reception after court visits. Measures are already in place to target these routes and the report will inform the further development of supply reduction strategies.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people whose family homes are in South Tyneside are (a) on remand and (b) convicted prisoners in a prison more than 50 miles from their family home. 
Fiona Mactaggart: As at 31 June 2005, the latest date for which figures are available, (a) no remand and (b) 44 convicted prisoners whose home area was recorded as South Tyneside were held in prisons more than 50 miles from their home.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of violent incidents in prisons have occurred in overcrowded cells in each of the last three years for which records are available. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment is made of prisoners in young offenders institutions to ensure that they are not allocated a cell shared with a potentially hostile inmate. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The National Security Framework, the core security document for the Prison Service, requires that prisoners are risk assessed on reception and induction and are accommodated in line with a number of risk assessments. This includes the reception health screening process, which incorporates an assessment of mental health, and a cell-sharing risk assessment. The latter must be completed for every new prisoner received into custody on the first night of reception before allocation to his/her cell. Any prisoner identified as being at high or medium risk of harming others has a risk minimisation plan, which, along with the cell-sharing risk assessment, is re-consulted every time that a prisoner moves location within the prison or to another prison.
Fiona Mactaggart: In 2005 to date (to 20 October), of the 64 apparent self-inflicted deaths in prisons in England and Wales, 19 (30 per cent.) followed self-harm incidents that occurred in double cells and 45 (70 per cent.) in single cells. 17 of the 19 prisoners who died following self-harm incidents in double cells were being held in prisons that were, in the month of the prisoner's death, operating over their Certified Normal Accommodation (the un-crowded capacity of an establishment after adjusting for accommodation out of use). However, records collated centrally do not indicate whether these 17 prisoners were accommodated in cells certified for one.
Fiona Mactaggart: Information about the number of prisoners with HIV is not collected centrally. The Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) undertook an unlinked, anonymised survey of the prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) among the prisoners in eight prisons in England in 199798. Prevalence of HIV was 0.36 per cent.
Fiona Mactaggart: A number of places at Ranby (46 places), Dartmoor (98 places) and Glen Parva (120 places) have been permanently decommissioned. It is not economic or feasible to bring these places back into use.
Two wings at Long Lartin (152 places) have been taken out of use as they are no longer fit for purpose and a decision to refurbish or replace them is under consideration. The relative cost of each option is still to be determined.
Fiona Mactaggart: There is a funded building programme to increase operational capacity to 79,100 by June 2006 and 80,400 by 2007. We continue to investigate options for providing further increases in capacity.
The mandatory drug testing (MDT) programme monitors levels of drug misuse. Prisoners are tested routinely for a panel of seven illegal drugs. No prison, in the past eight years, has been entirely free of illegal drugs.
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