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Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance his Department has issued to prison Governors on the permission of expression of religious faith; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Prison Service Performance Standard on Religion and the Prison Service Order on Religion (4550) provide guidance to Governors on the practice of religion by prisoners. Copies of both are in the House Library.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had on the closure of (a) Church of England and (b) Roman Catholic chapels across the prison estate; if he will list those (i) considered and (ii) determined for (A) closure and (B) amalgamation at each establishment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: There have been no discussions at national level about the closure of Church of England and Roman Catholic chapels across the prison estate. We have no information centrally about local proposals for individual chapels. Prison Service policy is to provide suitable places of worship for all faiths; how this requirement can best be met will depend on local circumstances. In some prisons, increased ecumenical co-operation has enabled a rationalisation of chapels for the common good.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the sites of consecrated ground within the prison estate; what the denomination is of each; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Centrally held records list no consecrated land on the prison estate. It is possible that a few prison chapels may have been consecrated but information on this would need to be obtained from local Church of England or Roman Catholic Diocesan records.
Mr. Sutcliffe: Sudbury was awarded High Performing Prison status in July 2006. This is granted to establishments which have consistently held the highest position in the Prison Service Performance Rating System and who demonstrate clear potential for continuing to deliver excellent performance. Recipients are given wide recognition for their achievements, including a plaque, certificate and a performance bonus intended to reward staff and stakeholders.
Mr. Sutcliffe: Sudbury prison was awarded a plaque and certificate by the Director General to commemorate the achievement and spent the majority of the financial award on a celebratory event for staff and stakeholders. A smaller amount remains unspent but committed to the creation of a quiet area for staff who are on a break from duty.
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Chaplain General is successfully taking forward a programme of work to ensure that chaplaincy is best able to serve the needs of prisoners and staff. To be fully effective, chaplaincy teams need to be wholly integrated into the life of the establishment and operating in an inclusive way. In this work, the Chaplain General is responding to the direction of ministers and successive director-generals of the Prison Service. The Chaplain General works closely with the Chaplaincy Council (representing the major faith traditions) and a wide range of NOMS, Prison Service and other colleagues. The Chaplain General, who is licensed by the Archbishops of Canterbury, York and Wales, also works closely with the leaders of the Christian Churches. I hope that in the future he will build on what has already been achieved and continue to develop chaplaincy and the faith strand of the Faith and Voluntary and Community Sector Alliance. In doing so he seeks to ensure chaplaincy makes a full and distinctive contribution to the life of offenders and ex-offenders.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from different faith groups concerning the future of chaplaincy services within the prison estate; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 18 October 2006]: Many representations are received about faith provision in prisons; I am not aware of any specifically about the future of chaplaincy services within the prison estate from faith groups.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to alter the commissioning arrangements for chaplaincy services in prisons; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on the enforced sharing of religious facilities across the prison estate; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 18 October 2006]: Prison Service policy is to enable prisoners to practise their religion which includes being able to participate in weekly corporate worship and to have access to a chaplain from their own religion or denomination. The Performance Standard on Religion requires that suitable places of worship and meditation are provided for all faiths and that such accommodation acknowledges the religious, cultural and symbolic requirements of each faith tradition. It is a matter for governors, in consultation as necessary, how this is best done.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to support and protect the individuality of particular Christian denominations' liturgical expression at each prison establishment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 18 October 2006]: Prison Service policy is to enable prisoners from all faiths to attend the main act of corporate worship for their faith each week. Christian corporate worship in prisons is led by chaplains and ministers from a range of Christian denominations to meet the needs of the prisoners in each establishment. The particular liturgy and style of service used is a matter for individual chaplains, in accordance with guidelines and canons of their own denominations.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners have undertaken pre-release placements with voluntary sector providers in the scheme operated by Community Service Volunteers; and if he will make a statement. 
Since 1984, 4,500 prisoners have been placed in a variety of social care and environmental opportunities, completing more than 720,000 hours. 98 per cent. of those who take part in the programme go on to complete their placement. Volunteers are aged
primarily between 18 and 39 and the period of release (on temporary licence) is usually for the last four weeks in custody.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many women from Wales were sentenced to prison (a) for first time offences, (b) for periods of less than a year, (c) for periods of between one and two years, (d) for periods of between two and three years, (e) for periods in excess of four years and (f) for shop-lifting offences in each year from 1995 to 2005, broken down by local authority area. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The available information is contained in the following table and shows the number of women reported as having been dealt with by police forces in Wales and sentenced at all courts to immediate custody for all offences and for theft from shops separately in each year from 1995 to 2004, broken down by police force area.
The figures provided 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 although shown to the last figure, the number may not be accurate to that level.
|Women sentenced to immediate custody by sentence length and number sentenced to immediate custody for theft from shops, by police force area in Wales, 1995 to 2004|
|Sentence length and type of offence||Police force area|
|All offences||Dyfed-Powys||Gwent||North Wales||South Wales||Total Wales|
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