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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to improve the (a) management of and (b) operational effectiveness of Leyhill Open Prison in relation to the number of prisoner absconds; and if he will make a statement. 
Leyhill has improved allocation checks of incoming prisoners, risk assessments are continuously carried out and any indication of an increase in risk of abscond is managed vigorously resulting in the return of prisoners to closed conditions if necessary. The local Police Liaison Officer is now a full time post to ensure that police intelligence is appropriately used.
Drug misuse is a significant contributing factor to the number of absconds and the supply of drugs into the prison has been reduced resulting in a 75 per cent. reduction in positive drug tests over the past 6 months. CCTV cameras have been installed and some fire doors alarmed. Intelligence is managed proactively and PIN phones identify prisoners with an increased risk of absconding.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the ratio of offenders to probation officers has been in each of the last five years, broken down by probation service area. 
|Average court order caseload per officer, at 31 December 2000|
|Probation area( 1)||Court order caseload per officer( 2)|
|(1) A number of probation areas merged in April 2001. Avon merged with Somerset to become Avon and Somerset; Berkshire and Ox and Bucks became Thames Valley; Cornwall and Devon areas became Devon and Cornwall; Hereford and Worcester and Shropshire became West Mercia; East and West Sussex became Sussex; Dyfed and Powys became Dyfed-Powys; Mid, West and South Glamorgans became South Wales; and Inner, SE, NE, SW London areas and Middlesex became London. (2 )Court orders only are included in offender caseload, not those supervised on licence following release from prison.|
|Average court order caseload per officer, at 31 December(( 1, 2) )|
|(1 )The methodology for producing average caseload per officer figures was revised for 2002 data onwards. The court order figures in 2000 and 2001 include Community Rehabilitation Orders, Community Punishment and Rehabilitation Orders, Suspended Sentence Orders and Money Payment Supervision Orders. 2002 onwards additionally includes Community Punishment Orders and Drug Treatment and Testing Orders. The officer figures for 2000 and 2001 include whole-time equivalent of maingrade probation officers and senior practitioners, excluding temporary and trainee, on fieldwork duties. 2002 onwards additionally includes senior probation officers on fieldwork duties, and all probation services officers. The effect of the revised method is to produce much lower average caseload figures, due to the expanded number of staffing grades included in the calculation. (2) Court orders only are included in offender caseload, not those supervised on licence following release from prison.|
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