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The Government provides support services for prisoners' families in a variety of ways ranging from grants to charities, investing in partnerships, and support provided within prisons themselves. There is no central account which specifically identifies all these resources. The Assisted Prison Visits Scheme for 200405 costs £1,870,386 (less
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staff and running costs.) This scheme provides help with travel costs for close relatives and partners on low incomes.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to provide career development opportunities for prison officers interested in assisting in the delivery of (a) prison education and (b) effective re-settlement; and if he will make a statement. 
Fiona Mactaggart: Education for offenders in custody is provided under contract. The public sector Prison Service is not normally involved in the direct employment of teachers who deliver this provision. The service is currently developing a new suite of offender management courses. They will be accessible to all appropriate staff who wish to deliver resettlement work.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase (a) public and (b) private sector prison capacity in each of the next five years, broken down by (i) category of establishment and (ii) security status; and if he will make a statement. 
Fiona Mactaggart: Additional prison places are being built under an ongoing funded building programme at existing prisons and will increase total capacity to around 80,400 by 2007. This includes the 1,300 additional places announced by the Home Secretary in September 2004 as well as the completion of an earlier building programme. Additional places will become available at a number of public and private sector prisons in the adult male closed estate. Details of these places are set out in the following table.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many working days were recorded lost in each prison in (a) 1997, (b) 2001 and (c) the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The following table details the total number of working days lost due to sickness absence within each public sector Prison Service establishment in 2001 and 2005, the last year for which figures are available. Data for 2001 have been adjusted to reflect the amount of under-reporting estimated as high as 8.7 per cent. by the National Audit Office at that time. Data for 2005 remain provisional. Information on working days lost, broken down to the level of establishment, is not available for 1997.
|East Sutton Park||1,066||884|
|North Sea Camp||1,446||2,080|
|Prison Service total||642,118||609,054|
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the ratios of (a) prison officers and (b) all prison staff to inmates were in (i) 1997, (ii) 2001 and (iii) 2005; and if he will make a statement. 
Information on the ratio of officers (including prison officers, senior officers and principal officers) to prisoners and total staff to prisoners is contained in the following table. This information relates to prisoners and staff within the
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public sector Prison Service only. The information shows a snapshot of ratios on the 31 March each year, as well as the latest available information. Information relating to privately managed prisons is not available and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Officer/prisoner ratio||All staff/prisoner ratio|
|31 March 1997||1:2.46||1:1.43|
|31 March 2001||1:2.51||1:1.36|
|31 March 2005||1:2.80||1:1.40|
|31 December 2005||1:2.77||1:1.40|
Fiona Mactaggart: The table contains information on the number of individuals who have held the position of governor in-charge in each public sector Prison Service establishment since 1997 and the average length of tenure over the same period. Temporary appointments are excluded from the figures. The average length of tenure of in-charge governors within the public sector Prison Service was two years 10 months.
|Area (region)||Establishment||Number of in-charge governors since 1 January 1997||Average length of tenure(68)|
|High Security Prisons||Belmarsh||4||2.5|
|High Security Prisons Average||33||2.5|
|North Sea Camp||3||3.7|
|East Midlands Average||59||2.9|
|East Sutton Park||3||4.1|
|North East Average||25||3.0|
|North West||Buckley Hall(71)||2||2.8|
|North West Average||56||2.7|
|South West Average||53||2.9|
|Surrey and Sussex||Coldingley||5||2.2|
|Surrey and Sussex Average||25||2.7|
|Thames Valley and||Albany||3||3.0|
|Thames Valley and Hampshire Total||43||2.8|
|West Midlands Average||42||3.3|
|Yorkshire and||Askham Grange||4||3.7|
|Yorkshire and Humberside Average||40||3.0|
|Public Sector Prison Service Average||499||2.8|
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of inmates at each prison (a) had access to and (b) enrolled in (i) recognised vocational education courses, (ii) further education courses, (iii) higher education courses and (iv) basic literacy and numeracy skills courses in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
With the exception of higher education, figures on the numbers enrolled in formal education and training schemes are not collected centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The latter data will however become increasingly available through Learning and Skills Council management information arrangements as they take responsibility for planning and funding offender learning and skills during 2006.
The following table shows the number of participants in undergraduate courses and openings courses directly funded by the Offenders Learning and Skills Unit via the Prisoners' Education Trust between April 2004 and March 2005.
|Establishment||Participants in openings courses||Participants in undergraduate courses (mainly first level courses)|
|HMP Camp Hill||3||3|
|HMP Channings Wood||||2|
|HMP Drake Hall||3||4|
|HMP Foston Hall||||7|
|HMP Full Sutton||||8|
|HMP High Down||||2|
|HMP Holme House||23||4|
|HMP Kirklevington Grange||||3|
|HMP Lancaster Farms||||1|
|HMP Latchmere House||||1|
|HMP Long Lartin||20||11|
|HMP Lowdham Grange||||11|
|HMP Morton Hall||||1|
|HMP Rye Hill||3||5|
|HMP Spring Hill||2|||
|HMP Standford Hill||||2|
|HMP The Mount||2||7|
|HMP The Verne||4||16|
|HMP The Wolds||||2|
|HMP Wormwood Scrubs||||5|
|HMP/YOI Askham Grange||||1|
|HMP/YOI Cookham Wood||4|||
|HMP/YOI East Sutton Park||||2|
|HMP/YOI Guys Marsh||2||4|
|HMP/YOI Hollesley Bay||||1|
|HMP/YOI Low Newton||1||7|
|HMYOI Stoke Heath||19|||
|HMYOI Swinfen Hall||||1|
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect of prison education on levels of offender recidivism; and if he will make a statement. 
Fiona Mactaggart: The Government published on 15 December 2005 a Green Paper called 'Reducing Re-Offending through Skills and Employment' (Cm 6702). The Green Paper outlined the Government's assessment of the importance of skills and employment as part of a broad package of interventions to reduce re-offending.
Evidence suggests that employment and a reduction in re-offending are linked and that those with higher skills, for example level two in the National Qualifications Framework, are more likely to be in employment than those without. The Home Office's longitudinal studySurveying Prisoner Crime Reductionwill assess the impact of a range of interventions, including education.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which prisons have intensive rehabilitation programmes for drugs; what his assessment is of the effectiveness of the programmes; what plans he has to expand the programmes; and if he will make a statement. 
Prisons running intensive drug rehabilitation programmes are shown in the following list.. There are currently no plans to expand the delivery of drug treatment programmes. Research evidence shows that it is possible to achieve up to a 10 per cent. decrease in the level of expected re-offending but this can only realistically be achieved where effective through-care arrangements exist and timely community after-care has been made available.
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Fiona Mactaggart: Three reports have been undertaken over the last 10 years, with a further report due later this year on the use of dogs in the high security estate. The number of dog sections has fallen, as high risk prisoners have been concentrated in eight high security prisons. The introduction of drug dogs began in about 1993 and has been expanded to each establishment within the service.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison dogs are designated as (a) passive and (b) pro-active in the detection of drugs; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what forecast he has made of the level of the prison population in each of the last three years; and what the actual level was in each year. 
Projections of the prison population are made on the basis of several possible future scenarios (a range of likely changes in sentencing and effects of new legislation, etc.) and are regularly updated. All published projections are available on the Home Office website. Taking the most recent projection for June in each case: in 2003 the projections ranged from 73,600 to 75,800 and the actual value was 73,700; in 2004 the projections ranged from 79,500 to 85,100
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and the actual value was 74,500; in 2005 the projections ranged from 76,100 to 76,600 and the actual value was 76,200.
Fiona Mactaggart: The proposals made by Her Majesty's Prison Service in respect of the performance improvement test of the prisons on the Isle of Sheppey were independently assessed by the National Offender Management Service.
Fiona Mactaggart: When the original contracts for the private sector prisons Blakenhurst, Buckley Hall, Doncaster, and Wolds and Service Level Agreement for the public sector prison Manchester were due to expire, the management of each prison was market tested. Brixton prison was selected for market testing on the basis that it is was underperforming. The three prisons on the Isle of Sheppey were the first cluster of prisons to be market tested. The criteria used for selecting the Sheppey cluster were geographical proximity; public sector management; range of security classification; and low likelihood of their being re-roled or closed.
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