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Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) the rate of turnover of prison staff and (b) the ratio of staff to prisoners in public sector prisons is; and what estimate he has made of the equivalent figures in private prisons. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The rate of turnover of permanent Prison Service staff during the year ending 30 September 2005 was 8.4 per cent. The calculation includes retirements but excludes staff who have transferred out of the public sector Prison Service to other public sector organisations due to structural re-organisations. The ratio of staff to prisoners in public sector prison establishments on 30 September was one member of staff to 1.5 prisoners.
Information on staffing turnover in the contracted estates is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. As at 30 June 2005, there was a ratio of one member of staff to 1.8 prisoners within contracted prisons.
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) starting salary and (b) average salary is of prison officers in public sector prisons; and what estimates he has made of the equivalent rates in private sector prisons. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The current starting salary for new entrant prison officers in public sector prisons is £17,319. For new entrant prison officers regrading from elsewhere in the Prison Service the current starting salary is £18,483. The current average salary for prison officers in public sector prisons is £23,595.
Independent research carried out by DLA MCG Consulting on behalf of the Prison Service Pay Review Body into pay of staff in the 11 privately managed prisons indicates that the average starting salary for prison custody officers is £15,334 and that the current average salary of a prison custody officer is £16,950.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the change in the (a) number and (b) percentage of prisoners leaving custody and entering employment, education or training in each of the last five years. 
Fiona Mactaggart: Information on the numbers of prisoners leaving custody and entering employment, training or education is only available for the last three years. The outcomes include those who attended FRESHSTART appointments at Jobcentre Plus, whereby prisoners who do not have a job or training place to go to on release are linked into employment, training and benefits advice and support immediately after release.
|ETE outcomes (inc. FRESHSTART)||21,327||33,946||41,146|
|ETE outcomes (inc. FRESHSTART)|
as percentage of total discharges
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of prisoners convicted since 1990 have continued to protest their innocence, broken down by category of prisoner. 
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to improve educational resources for prisoners by (a) improved ICT facilities and (b) increased internet access in prisons. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The Government have increased ICT provision within the prison estate considerably in recent years through projects such as Prisoners' ICT Academy, which has seen new or upgraded computer workshops installed at 18 establishments, and involvement of Learndirect, which aims to provide up to around 7,000 offenders with secure web-based access to Learndirect courses by December 2006.
Colleagues at the Department for Education and Skills are currently in the process of developing an Offender ICT strategy. As part of this, a pilot at Her Majesty's Prison Leyhill is evaluating a commercial design for a secure 'Internet Kiosk', and the practical benefit that offenders can gain from e-learning within the security constraints required by the prison environment.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in Essex who were tagged on early release from prison breached the rules governing their early release in each of the last five years. 
The number of prisoners who were released on the Home Detention Curfew scheme (HDC) from Her Majesty's Prison Bullwood Hall and Her Majesty's Prison Chelmsford who breached the rules governing their early release for each of the last five years is provided in the following table. The area in which electronically tagged prisoners reside upon release is not recorded centrally.
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Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what projections he has made of the prison population in the next five years; and what plans he has to meet those projections. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The latest prison population projections are published in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin 10/05 Updated And Revised Prison Population Projections, 20052011, England and Wales". Figures for 10 scenarios can be found in this document. The scenarios range from 'High' to 'Low'. Projected total prison population figures (annual averages) for High and Low scenarios for the relevant financial years are presented in the following table.
The National Offender Management Service keeps under review the demand on prison places and the capacity of prisons to accommodate those prisoners sent to them by the courts. We are increasing the operational capacity of the prison estate by bringing accommodation back into use and through additional places built at existing prisons.
Fiona Mactaggart: All newly recruited Prison Officers now undertake an eight-week Prison Officer Entry Level Training course (POELT), previously known as Prison Officer Initial Training (POINT). The POELT course has recently been rewritten and provides new staff with a foundation level of training in all core skill areas and covering interpersonal skills, mental health awareness, race and diversity, violence reduction and safer custody, along side the more traditional security awareness and practical skills needed to be a prison officer.
There has been an increased emphasis across all prison officer training on offender management and the care of all offenders. The Prison Service is in the process of embedding race and diversity throughout all training courses, where appropriate. An improved quality
21 Nov 2005 : Column 1773W
assurance system is now in place for all courses, which adheres to the Adult Learning Inspectorate common inspection framework.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received regarding the placing of unsuitable prisoners at Spring Hill prison, with particular reference to (a) arsonists and (b) violent offenders. 
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS among Prison Service staff; what guidance he has issued to Prison Service staff to ensure the care received by those with HIV/AIDS is fair and equitable; and what plans he has to issue further guidance on this issue. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The Prison Service has issued a number of documents giving comprehensive guidance to support staff with HIV/AIDS. These include Prison Service Order (PSO) Occupational Health", and is available on the Prison Service website: www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/resourcecentre/psispsos.
In addition, PSO 3845, Blood Borne and Related Communicable Diseases" and the Health and Safety Guidance Note 02/2005 Risk Assessment and Immunisation for Communicable Diseases" provide further advice and guidance. Copies of these documents are in the Library. All these documents are available to staff via the Prison Service intranet and as hard copies where required. Staff have access to occupational health advisers and additional support is available through staff care and welfare services.
The Prison Service is committed to ensuring that all those in custody receive fair and equitable treatment. Staff guidance is available in the Health Services for Prisoners Standard" to ensure that those with HIV/AIDS receive appropriate care and was updated in May 2004. There are no immediate plans to issue further guidance on this issue but regular reviews are undertaken to ensure best practice is followed.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the prison establishments where educational services are provided by Amersham and Wycombe College; and what the (a) commencement and (b) end date of the contract is in each case. 
All Amersham and Wycombe contracts started on 1 January 1999 and are contacted to end on 31 August 2007. The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is currently tendering the education provision for all prisons as part of the Offender Learning and Skills Service. The expected start date for these contracts is 1 August 2006. Providing there are no slippages in the timetable then all the education contracts will be terminated by the Prison Service earlier to coincide with the LSC contract start dates.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the main routes through which drugs are smuggled into prisons; and if he will make a statement. 
Fiona Mactaggart: As I stated in my reply to a question by the hon. Member for Jarrow on 2 November, 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.
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