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Mr. Charles Clarke: The Home Office has two executive agenciesthe Criminal Records Bureau and the UK Passport Service. Neither of these agencies directly employ press officers. All media inquiries to and about the work of these two agencies are dealt with by the central Home office press Office in London. The UK Passport Service funds the salary of one press officer (information officer) in the Home Office press office.
Fiona Mactaggart: On 30 November 2005, there were 1,504 life licensees prisoners in the community under active supervision by probation officers. All life licensees are liable to recall to prison for the rest of their lives if their potential risk of harm to the public warrants such action.
There are no early release programmes as such for lifers. Lifers progress through sentence under the framework of a life sentence plan (LSP). This provides the prisoner with a structured means to help him or her reduce their risk.
The bulk of this work is conducted in the secure or closed" prison estate. Most lifers can normally be expected to progress to open conditions in preparation for possible release, but only where the Secretary of State considers such a move appropriate on risk grounds. Consideration of release cannot take place until the prisoner has served the minimum period of imprisonment deemed necessary for the purposes of retribution and deterrence (the tariff"). The responsibility for the release of lifers now lies with the independent Parole Board. If the lifer is not released at the tariff expiry point, the Parole Board will consider the
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case again at no more than two yearly intervals thereafter. The main criterion governing the Parole Board's consideration is the level of risk of serious harm that the lifer may pose to others.
Prisoners have the right to practise their religion, and the opportunity to attend the main religious observance of the week for the faith in which they are registered. The Prison Service is committed to providing the necessary facilities, including suitable places of worship. Chaplaincy HQ together with the
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Chaplaincy Council and Area Chaplains continue to work with prison establishments to ensure suitable provision for all faith traditions.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many adult prisoners were (a) disciplined and (b) prosecuted for drugs offences while in custody in the last five years for which figures are available. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The number of adult prisoners found guilty of drug offences while in custody is given in the table. Any decision to prosecute a prisoner for drug offences in custody would be taken by the Crown Prosecution Service and the Prison Service does not collate details of prosecutions undertaken.
|Number of prisoners found guilty at adjudication of attempting to smuggle drugs through visits(22)||Prisoners guilty of supplying drugs||Prisoners punished for unauthorised use of a controlled drug||Prisoners punished for possession of a controlled drug|
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cells in prisons housing adult prisoners in England and Wales were designed to accommodate (a) one, (b) two, (c) three and (d) four prisoners; and how many in each category have been accommodating more prisoners than they were designed to house in the last five years for which figures are available. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The total number of prison cells and other accommodation, or levels of cell occupancy, is not recorded centrally. The standard unit of prison accommodation is the prison place, which may be located in cells, cubicles, dormitories, rooms or wards. The wide range in age and type of prison accommodation means there is no standard design of prison cell. Cell capacity is determined by senior operational managers on the basis of their operational judgment and experience.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) adult males and (b) females were in prison and (i) males and (ii) females were in young offender institutions in England and Wales in the latest period for which figures are available. 
|Young adults(23) and 15 to 17-year-olds||10,586||545||11,131|
Fiona Mactaggart: The Prison Service currently has a Director General's Long Service Award, which is awarded to staff in recognition of 25-years service. The Service continues to explore with government colleagues a separate recognition opportunity or medal to reward such very high levels of achievement and long service.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the projects to build new prisons which have been funded by private finance initiatives; how many have been completed; and what stage each of the remaining projects has reached. 
|1998||HMP Lowdham Grange|
|2000||HMP Forest Bank|
|2001||HMP Rye Hill|
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of inmates (a) had access to and (b) enrolled in formal education and training schemes in each prison in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
All offenders in custody are encouraged to access learning and skills provision. Figures on the numbers enrolled in formal education and training schemes are not collected centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The data will however become increasingly available through Learning and Skills Council management
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information arrangements as they take responsibility for planning and funding offender learning and skills during 2006.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what opportunities exist for prisoners to develop (a) interpersonal, (b) social, (c) life, (d) self-management and (e) coping skills within the Prison Estate; what assessment he has made of the diversity of provision of such education; and if he will make a statement. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The Prison Service offers a broad spectrum of opportunities to develop the skills and meet the needs of prisoners including formal education, specialist programmes, work, training and resettlement courses as well as input from other staff, probation, the voluntary sector, other outside organisations and prisoners themselves.
The opportunities available in a particular area or establishment will vary but are subject to regular review. The roll-out of a common offender assessment system across the National Offender Management Service, and improved offender management arrangements that are being introduced will enable the needs of prisoners to be better met.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to reduce thesupply of (a) mobile phones, (b) drugs and (c) alcohol into the Prison Estate; and if he will make a statement. 
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills set out our strategy to improve the skills and job prospects for offenders in the Green Paper Reducing Re-Offending
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Through Skills and Employment" published on 15 December and copied to all Members of Parliament. The document was published jointly on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills, the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions. We have now embarked on an extensive period of consultation, running until the end of May, during which we welcome a full range of views.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government are taking to bring the number of prisoners held at Leeds prison down to its certified level; and if he will make a statement. 
Fiona Mactaggart: Prison capacity is determined by senior operational managers on the basis of operational judgement and experience. The population at HMP Leeds is currently within its useable operational capacity, which is the total number of prisoners that an establishment can hold taking into account control, security and the proper operation of the planned regime. We have looked very closely at the population level at the prison and have reduced the operational capacity by 104. This will enable HMP Leeds to focus on the many challenges facing it as a local prison.
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