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12 Dec 2005 : Column 1714W—continued


Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in Essex are electronically tagged on early release from prison. [19056]

Fiona Mactaggart: As of 13 October, the number of prisoners released on the Home Detention Curfew scheme (HDC) from Her Majesty's Prison Bullwood Hall and Her Majesty's Prison Chelmsford was 17.

The area in which electronically tagged prisoners reside upon release is not recorded centrally.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ask Jamie Oliver to assess prison food and suggest ways of improving it. [20500]

Fiona Mactaggart: The National Audit Office (NAO) is currently undertaking a study of catering and physical exercise within prisons. Part of the study includes research by Professor John Edwards into the nutritional qualities of meals for prisoners. The Prison Service always welcomes suggestions on improving catering and is currently waiting on the NAO report to see what action may be needed.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average cost per (a) breakfast, (b) lunch and (c) dinner is in prisons. [20501]

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Fiona Mactaggart: The average public sector Prison Service daily food cost per prisoner for 2004–05 was £1.85. The average cost per meal per prisoner is based on the understanding that breakfast, lunch and dinner account for approximately 20 per cent., 40 per cent. and 40 per cent. respectively of the daily food cost. Using these figures the average cost per meal per prisoner was: breakfast 37.5p; lunch 73.8p; and, dinner 73.8p. But these percentages may vary from one establishment to another dependant on a variety of issues including seasonal choices of product and the local regime.

Daily food costs per prisoner are based on average national figures as individual governors of prisons have had the authority to set their own catering budgets since 1994. Prisons are required to meet the minimum nutritional standards as laid down in Prison Service Order 5000 (Catering Manual) but there is no set financial formula that prisons are required to follow on the cost of each meal.

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has issued to prison governors in respect of the dietary requirementsof diabetic inmates; and if he will make a statement. [20874]

Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 1 November 2005]: The Prison Service Catering Manual provides general food policy guidance to all prisons. The manual, Prison Service Order 5000, provides full guidance on hygiene and food safety, nutritional requirements and diets for special groups. Prisons and their national health service (NHS) partners are implementing the National Service Framework (NSF) for diabetes. In line with the NSF, improvements in the treatment of diabetics in prison include: better identification on reception into prison; assuring an appropriate diet; the establishment of specialist diabetes clinics in prison; closer links with NHS diabetes services; the introduction of retinopathy screening and practice-based registers as well as improved continuity of treatment on transfer or release.

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to minimise the effect of passive smoking on prison (a) employees and (b) inmates; what guidance he has issued to prison
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governors in respect of his policy on the sharing of cells between smoking and non-smoking inmates; and if he will make a statement. [20876]

Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 1 November 2005]: Each prison develops its own no smoking" policy in line with current health and safety advice and taking into account the type of establishment it is, its population and the special needs of that population. Such local arrangements also require staff to be protected from the effects of passive smoking. Wherever possible prisoners should not be required to share accommodation with a smoker if they so request.

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many girls under the age of 18 years there are in adult prisons in England and Wales. [29913]

Fiona Mactaggart: On 30 September 2005, there were 80 females under the age of 18 in prison establishments in England and Wales as recorded on the Prison Service IT system. These were all aged 17 and were located in separate juvenile units attached to female establishments that hold young adult or adult women, or in designated juvenile accommodation on young adult wings within such establishments. Females under the age of 17 who are committed to custody are not normally placed in prison or YOI accommodation but in secure children's homes or secure training centres.

Probation Service

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many trained probation officers there were in each probation area in each of the last five years. [23831]

Fiona Mactaggart: Information is not available for the full period requested. Data collected prior to 1 April 2003 is unreliable, and is not directly comparable with the more accurate figures collected since that time. The figures presented in the table show full-time equivalent (FTE) figures at the close of each quarter from 1 April 2003 to 30 June 2005.

In addition, the information required to breakdown the number of Probation Officers in post by Area in Quarter 1 2003–04 is no longer held. As a result, only the total figure has been provided for this period.
Quarter 1Quarter 2Quarter 3Quarter 4Quarter 1Quarter 2Quarter 3Quarter 4Quarter 1
Avon and Somerset96.40112.90110.40151.90148.10153.70153.30154.40
Devon and Cornwall136.80149.35146.30141.76141.60149.10150.30151.10
Dyfed Powys46.7046.3043.7043.2042.7049.1046.7048.10
Greater Manchester414.70399.80387.58370.20373.20404.40406.26402.21
North Yorkshire66.2075.8075.6078.3075.2088.6093.6088.60
North Wales58.7067.1067.5071.8072.8084.2083.2083.70
South Wales155.60157.60172.30169.60169.70195.90191.48188.50
South Yorkshire183.50203.00202.40196.80195.50212.70208.10203.90
Thames Valley163.00176.70182.00175.00169.30176.40175.80164.00
West Mercia123.31125.46125.90121.84142.58141.30138.10137.10
West Midlands374.50429.20406.82403.97447.50444.50446.30443.50
West Yorkshire275.57310.48313.86321.16320.58343.37331.88335.37

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