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24 July 2006 : Column 1171Wcontinued
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of (a) prisoners, (b) prison officers and (c) prison governors were from non-white ethnic groups in each of the last five years, broken down by (i) prison and (ii) ethnic group; and if he will make a statement. 
Information on the percentage of minority ethnic prisoners and prison officer grades and operational managers (for public sector prison establishments) is provided in the following table. Information on the ethnic breakdown from prisoners prior to June 2005 is not available on a comparable basis because the new ethnic categories based on the 2001 Census were introduced into the prison IT system
in 2003 and information by these new categories was available from the middle of 2005.
Information on the ethnic breakdown of staffing in the contracted estate is not routinely collected and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
The data on staffing by public sector prison establishment, which are obtained from the Prison Service Personnel Corporate Database, are not shown separately for prison officers and operational managers because the numbers are small and the accuracy at this level of detail cannot be guaranteed.
The figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system, and so is not necessarily accurate to the last whole number.
|Number of visitors arrested||Number of prisoners found guilty at adjudication of smuggling rugs through visits|
|(1) Figures not available|
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were released on temporary licence from each prison in the London area in each of the last 24 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Information on the annual number of releases on temporary licence from prison establishments in England and Wales between 1994 and 2004 is published in table 10.6 of Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2004. The data, which are obtained from the prison IT system, are not shown separately by month and establishment because the numbers are small and the accuracy at this level of detail cannot be guaranteed.
Release on temporary licence (ROTL) enables prisoners to participate in precisely defined and specific activities, which cannot be provided in prison, that directly contribute to their resettlement into the community and their development of a purposeful, law-abiding life.
All prisoners are rigorously risk assessed before release on temporary licence and prisoners are not released if there are concerns for public safety.
Full details of the eligibility criteria are set out in Prison Service Order 6300 Release on Temporary Licence which is available on the HM Prison Service website.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 8 June 2006, Official Report, column 819W, on prisons, what
categories of offences had been committed by each of the 33 foreign national prisoners who absconded from Ford Prison in 2006; what the term of the prison sentence was of each; whether the prisoner was (a) being considered for enforcement proceedings by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, (b) going to be deported and (c) remains at large in each case; and on what date each escaped. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 4 July 2006, Official Report, column 1056W, on prisons, what estimate he has made of the cost of answering the question. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Just over 3,100 prisoners are currently being held in open prisons. To examine each prisoner's record would result in a resource cost well in excess of the £600 limit that Government Departments are advised is considered disproportionate.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in prison (a) have mental health problems, (b) are veterans and (c) are veterans with mental health problems; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The prevalence of mental health problems among prisoners is considerably higher than for the general population. The most reliable evidence comes from the 1997 ONS study of psychiatric morbidity among prisoners which found that 90 per cent. of prisoners have at least one significant mental health problem, including personality disorder, psychosis, neurosis, alcohol misuse and drug dependence (Singleton et al, 1998).
Data from a Home Office survey of over 2,000 prisoners nearing release found that 5.6 per cent. were veterans of the armed forces (cited in Dandeker et al, 2003). Of these 85 per cent. had been in the Army, four per cent. in the RAF, and 11 per cent. in the Navy. However, there are no estimates available of the proportion of veterans in custody who have mental health problems.
Singleton, N., Meltzer, R., Gatward, R. with Coid. J., Deasy, D (1998).
Psychiatric morbidity among Prisoners in England and Wales.
Office for National Statistics.
Dandeker, C., Wessely, S., Iverson, A. and Ross, J. (2003).
Improving the Delivery of Cross Departmental Support and Services for Veterans.
A joint report of The Department of War Studies and the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London (KCL). Available on line:
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) rules, (b) instructions
and (c) administrative practice are within the Prison Service governing the use of (i) handcuffs and (ii) other physical constraints on pregnant women attending maternity and other appointments in hospitals outside prison; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The policy on the use of mechanical restraints is contained in the Prison Services national security framework. Any use of restraints is based upon a thorough security risk assessment of the individual prisoner and this includes pregnant women. Where a need to use restraints is identified, the general expectation is that the restraints will be removed upon arrival at the hospital and not re-applied until the prisoner is ready to be returned to prison.
Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of intensive treatment programmes for prisoners with moderate to severe drug misuse problems and related offending behaviour in the West Midlands. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Seven intensive drug treatment programmes for prisoners are delivered in the West Midlands area. Research shows that intensive drug treatment programmes can reduce re-offending by 10-15 per cent. below predicted levels, where effective aftercare arrangements are made.
Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the availability of class A drugs in prison establishments; and what action he is taking to reduce the availability of drugs in prisons. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The best measure of drug misuse in prisons is provided by the random mandatory drug testing programme. The percentage positive rate for Class A drugs in 2005-06 was 4 per cent.
A comprehensive series of measures is in place to reduce the availability of drugs, from which establishments draw, based on local need.
Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there have been for supplying illegal drugs in prisons in the West Midlands in each year since 1998. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Decisions to prosecute are taken by the Crown Prosecution Service and the number of prosecutions undertaken is not collated by NOMS. The number of visitors arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs and the number of prisoners found guilty at adjudication of offences involving drug smuggling through visits in prisons in the West Midlands is given in the following table.
|Visitors arrested||Prisoners found guilty at adjudication of smuggling drugs through visits|
|(1) Figures not available.|
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 13 July 2006, Official Report, column 2031W, on prisons, what estimate he has made of the cost of seeking the information necessary to answer the question, broken down by main cost area. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: To obtain the information requested, each recaptured prisoners file would have to be examined by the prison now holding them and enquiries made with both the police and the courts to check whether the prisoner is subject to further proceedings. The estimated resource cost of such enquiries would be in excess of the £600 limit recommended by HM Treasury.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisons have (a) permanent and (b) temporary accommodation providing facilities for visitors. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Records held centrally on facilities for visitors do not differentiate between permanent and temporary accommodation. In excess of 130 establishments have access to recognised facilities for visitors. It is recognised that these vary considerably in the amenities and the services which they are able to provide.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on the provision of facilities for visitors to HM prisons; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Prison Service policy states that all visits should take place in the most humane conditions possible, with regard to the physical environment in which visits take place as well as the treatment of visitors.
Responsibility for the provision of facilities to prisoners is devolved to governing Governors. Local practice in the range of facilities and services offered to visitors varies from one prison to another depending on the location of the prison, the needs of the visitor and security considerations. They include visitors centres, play areas in visitors centres and visits halls, family and children visits, and family contact workers.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times illegal drugs have been found in each prison in London in each of the past five years. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Prison Service does not hold centrally data on drugs' finds broken down by type of drug.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of suspected fraud have been investigated in (a) each London prison and (b) the London area office of the prison service in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The following table relates to formal investigations commissioned in the London area (including by London area office), due to suspected fraud, in each of the past five financial years.
|Investigations commissioned in the London area|
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