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18 Dec 2006 : Column 1678Wcontinued
As of July 2006,108 public sector prisons and nine contracted prisons in England and Wales had a member of staff assigned to the role of foreign national co-ordinator. The number of hours
spent on this role will depend on the number of foreign national prisoners in the establishment but is not centrally recorded and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Foreign national co-ordinators carry out the duties and functions of the prison, but they will liaise and work with non-governmental organisation wherever possible and appropriate.
Stephen Pound: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the responsibilities and job content are of a foreign national prisoner co-ordinator; and if he will place an example of a job description in the Library. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: There is no centrally prescribed job description which covers the responsibility and job content for foreign national prisoner co-ordinators. This remains a matter for individual prison governors to determine. The amount of time allocated to the role and the responsibilities undertaken will vary according to the size and nature of the prison and the number of foreign national prisoners held. It is therefore not possible to provide a common job description.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many Prison Service staff attended the Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre after 28 November to assist in dealing with the incident which occurred there on that date; 
(2) what the cost was of seconding prison staff from gaols in England and Wales to attend the incident at the Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre on 28 November; and whether he plans to recoup the cost from the company which runs the centre; 
(3) what the cost was of co-ordinating the Gold Command Centre in connection with the Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre incident on 28 November. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: About 512 Prison Service staff from across England and Wales attended Harmondsworth immigration removal centre after 28 November to assist in dealing with an incident. 42 staff from contracted prisons also attended.
The cost of seconding Prison Service staff to attend the incident at Harmondsworth is approximately £84,000. The protocol for the provision of Prison Service assistance to immigration service removal centres states that
the IRC contractor will be responsible for the payment of the Prison Service costs incurred in any incident.
The cost of co-ordinating the Prison Service gold command suite is estimated at £12,000.
All figures provided are provisional. It is not possible to provide accurate figures until the investigation has been completed.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research his Department has (a) conducted and (b) examined on the effect of prisoner education on re-offending rates; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 29 November 2006]: The Home Office has not published or evaluated any research regarding the effect of prisoner education on re-offending rates.
The Home Office is currently undertaking a reconviction study based on information collected in three resettlement surveys undertaken in 2001, 2003 and 2004. The chief objective of the research is to increase understanding of links between resettlement factors (including education in custody) and reconviction, and it is planned to publish a report on the reconviction analysis before the end of this financial year.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison service employees are on long-term sick leave. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: On 31 October 2006 there were 1,093 staff who were on long-term absence, of which 44 were contracted prison staff. (Information was not available for Ashfield and Dovegate prison). Absences of 20 working days or more are defined as long-term.
Tackling high levels of sickness absence remains one of the services top priorities. In the public sector, prison service absence rates have fallen significantly in recent years, from 14.71 days per member of staff in 2002-03, to 11.37 days so far in 2006a fall of over 20 per cent.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to carry out research into the feasibility of community prisons. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: [holding answer 5 December 2006]: There are no plans at present to carry out research into the feasibility of community prisons.
The Government remain committed to the importance of reducing re-offending by introducing offender management, which bridges the divide between custody and the community.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the inquiries conducted at HM Prison (a) Wandsworth, (b) Wormwood Scrubs, (c) Pentonville and (d) Belmarsh into allegations of prisoner abuse since 1998; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many inquiries were conducted at each London prison establishment into allegations of prisoner abuse in each year since 1998; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 12 December 2006]: The Investigation Support Section, formed in July 2000, holds and monitors centrally all formally registered investigations as per Prison Service Order 1300 - Investigations. Therefore it is not possible to examine records before July 2000.
The following table details the number of formal investigations into allegations of inappropriate treatment of individual prisoners by the Prison Service which have been conducted in the London area prisons since July 2000.
In addition four reports have been prepared into the Management of Wormwood Scrubs and the treatment of prisoners there during the 1990s, and one review was carried out into allegations of racist behaviour by staff at Brixton in 2003.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints were received by the Prison Service's Professional Standards Unit concerning HM Prison Pentonville in each of the last 18 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Dealing with complaints is not within the remit of the professional standards unit, which leads and delivers the policy and procedures on professional standards issues. This includes processing intelligence on staff corruption in the Prison Service. However, when complaints are received they are passed to the appropriate line management for action. During the past 18 months no complaints have been received about Pentonville prison.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff are (a) under investigation and (b) suspended from service at HM Prison Pentonville; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: As at 11 December 2006 27 members of staff were under disciplinary investigations at HMP Pentonville, and 17 members of staff were suspended from duties.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the capacity of each prison was in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The information requested is contained in the following table.
Operational capacity for establishments is the total number of prisoners that an establishment can hold taking into account control, security and the proper operation of the planned regime. It is determined by senior operational managers on the basis of operational judgement and experience.
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