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Prison Service Orders provide clear guidance to governors and staff on categorisation, including moves to open conditions. This emphasises that prisoners should be assessed as trustworthy and sufficiently low risk before allocation to open conditions, given the physical security levels common to the open estate. Formal training is given to countersigning officers who endorse reviews, who
forward this training to their staff; and on the OASys (Offender Assessment System), and similar assessment tools.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many members of HM Prison Service were disciplined for racist behaviour in each of the last five years, broken down by grade of staff member; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Central records on disciplinary cases involving public sector prison staff are currently being revalidated by reference to records held in individual prisons for the period 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2006. I will write to the hon. Gentleman with this information once the exercise has been completed.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) the previous governor of HM Prison Wandsworth, (b) the area manager for London, (c) the performance test team leader and (d) the performance test deputy team leader received bonus payments on completion of the performance test bid for HM Prison Wandsworth; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether all new prisoners at each prison establishment have their fingerprints taken on entry; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Policy on the taking of fingerprints is set out in the National Security Framework, Function two - Accounting and Control. It states that any prisoner convicted of a criminal offence, except those committed for the non-payment of a fine, must be fingerprinted upon first reception.
Persons held under the Immigration Act 1971 must have their fingerprints taken if required for confirming their identity. Fingerprints of prisoners charged with, but not convicted of, a criminal offence may also be taken under certain circumstances with the prisoner's consent.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 10 January 2007 to the right hon. Member for East Yorkshire, Official Report, column 630W, on the Prison Service, who the investigating officer is required to notify of any concerns relating to the Commissioning Authority that he may have during the course of an investigation; and if he will make a statement. 
staff must bring any potential conflicts of interest to the attention of a senior manager.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 10 January 2007 to the right hon. Member for East Yorkshire, Official Report, column 629W, on the Prison Service, whether a commissioning authority aware of a personal conflict of interest is obliged (a) to consult his own line manager, (b) to inform the Professional Standards Unit and (c) to inform another appropriate body; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Professional Standards statement included in Prison Service Order 1215 contains a section on conflicts of interest which must be adhered to by all staff. In particular it states that
staff must bring any potential conflicts of interest to the attention of a Senior Manager.
However, in 1997 the Office for National Statistics undertook a survey of mental ill health in the prison population of England and Wales. It reported both on prevalence of mental disorder and on the intellectual functioning of remanded and sentenced prisoners. Further information is available in the report of this survey: Psychiatric Morbidity Amongst Prisoners in England and Wales (1998) a copy of which is available in the Library.
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 30 January 2007]: Time available to prisoners for phone calls varies and depends on a number of operational factors including regime, privileges and population. The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring forward proposals to reintroduce the power of prison officers to strip search prison visitors suspected of trafficking drugs to prisoners. 
In clearly defined circumstances and on the designated in-charge governors authority, prison officers, operational managers and prison custody officers may conduct full searches, previously known as strip searches, using powers contained in the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) the Firearms Act (1968), and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984).
Mr. Sutcliffe: The information requested is contained in the following table. The working definition of an act of concerted indiscipline is an incident in which two or more prisoners act together in defiance of a lawful instruction or against the requirements of the regime of the establishment. The indiscipline may be active or passive and those involved may not necessarily be acting in a common cause.
|Acts of concerted indiscipline in prisons 2001-06|
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