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11 July 2007 : Column 1575W—continued


11 July 2007 : Column 1576W

Probation Officers: Vacancies

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of job vacancies for new entry probation officers in each probation region in each year since 1997. [148426]

Mr. Hanson: I am unable to give information regarding the number of job vacancies for new entry probation officers. The numbers for national recruitment for trainee probation officers are communicated to probation areas with the decision to recruit into other posts, including new entry probation officers, being made by local boards.

Not all probation areas in the national probation service operate a set establishment against which vacant posts can be measured. As a more representative alternative, probation areas are required to report regularly on the number of active vacancies they have. An active vacancy is one which a probation area is actively trying to fill through a recruitment process. The information that is collected is an overall figure for probation officers and does not distinguish those who are new entrants.

Rape: Sentencing

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 357W, on rape: sentencing, what his assessment is of the reasons for the differences in sentences given in Northern Ireland compared to those in England and Wales; and if he will take steps to bring the different sentences into line. [148488]

Mr. Hanson: The sentencing framework and policy remains the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Office in Northern Ireland and for the Ministry of Justice in England and Wales. Differences have historically occurred in operational practice.

The Northern Ireland Office undertook a comprehensive public consultation on proposals for reviewing the sentencing framework for Northern Ireland in 2006, and it will be publishing proposals based on this consultation in due course.

Young Offender Institutions

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to increase young offender institution capacity. [148493]

Mr. Hanson: As part of the 8,000 capacity programme, the National Offender Management Service is planning to provide additional capacity for young offenders including places at Belmarsh East, Hindley, Portland, Stoke Heath and Brinsford.

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of trends in the young offender institution population over the next 10 years. [148494]

Mr. Hanson: The latest projections of the prison population 2006 to 2013 were published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin 11/06, “Prison population
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projections 2006-2013, England and Wales”, on the Home Office website in July 2006. These projections do not estimate the population in young offender institutions, which accommodate 15 to 20-year-olds, separately.

Young Offenders: Sentencing

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offenders under the age of 21 years found
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guilty of an offence were given a (a) custodial sentence and (b) non-custodial sentence in each of the last 10 years. [148495]

Maria Eagle: The information requested, for the years 1995 to 2005, is contained in the following table.

Number of persons( 1) under the age of 21 sentenced to custodial and non-custodial( 2) sentences, all courts, England and Wale s
Number of persons
Type of sentence 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

Non-custodial(2)

196,080

205,648

212,683

229,196

229,908

227,715

Immediate custody

19,203

21,247

22,868

24,220

25,664

25,855

Total

215,283

226,895

235,551

253,416

255,572

253,570


Number of persons
Type of sentence 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

Non-custodial(2)

227,848

229,153

232,960

231,626

222,008

Immediate custody

25,544

24,779

21,638

20,961

20,246

Total

253,392

253,932

254,598

252,587

242,254

(1) Principal offence basis.
(2) Absolute and conditional discharge, fine, community sentence, suspended sentence order and otherwise dealt with.
Note:
These figures have been drawn from administrative data 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.
Source:
RDS-NOMS, Ministry of Justice


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