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17 Dec 2007 : Column 1108W—continued


Prisoner Release: Electronic Tagging

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent on the pilot project using satellite tracking for prisoners released on licence carried out by Group 4 Securicor; and for what reasons the pilot project was not put into operation more widely. [173966]

Maria Eagle: The project using satellite tracking for certain prisoners released on licence and offenders who received exclusion orders from the courts was piloted in three areas between 2004 and 2006, during which 517 offenders were tracked. The satellite tracking service was provided by three suppliers up to March 2005, after which it was provided by Group 4 Securicor (G4S) and Serco Monitoring under new electronic monitoring contracts.

The total cost of the project was £4.75 million. This included the cost of the service provision from G4S, which amounted to £2.39 million.

The pilot project was subject to an independent evaluation by Birmingham university, whose final report was published in August 2007. After consideration of the evaluation report, and the recommendations of a National Offender Management Service working group, there are no current plans to implement the scheme more widely until the technology has been developed further to provide assurance of its capabilities and cost-effectiveness. This issue will be kept under review.

Prisoners: Employment

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans the Prison Service has to make the development of structured work a central part of the national prisons strategy. [173941]

Maria Eagle: Providing an appropriate range of purposeful activity for prisoners, including work, is part of the Prison Service's strategy and will continue to be so in future developments. Work for prisoners in prison can be broadly divided into four categories: producing goods for the internal market; undertaking work for external contractors; providing essential services such as catering and laundry; and land-based activities.


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Prisoners: Foreigners

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many foreign national prisoners are serving sentences of (a) less than 12 months and (b) 12 months or more. [174906]

Mr. Hanson: At the end of October 2007 there were 7,510 foreign national prisoners serving immediate custodial sentences in all prison establishments in England and Wales, of whom 1,000 were serving sentences of less than 12 months, and 6,510 serving sentences of 12 months and over. These figures were rounded to the nearest 10.

The figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors in data entry and processing.

Prisoners: Police Custody

Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners have been accommodated in police custody suites in (a) the north-east and (b) Northumbria police area in 2007. [173563]

Mr. Hanson: The following table shows the total number of occasions on which prisoners have been held in police cells in each police force in the north-east in 2007. This does not correspond directly to the number of prisoners; one occasion is one prisoner night held in a police cell.

Police force area Occasions( 1)

Cleveland

12

Durham

1,083

Northumbria

1,113

(1) To 10 December.

Prisoners: Self-Mutilation

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what criteria are applied by the Prison Service when deciding whether an event is to be reported as a self-harming incident. [173965]

Maria Eagle: The Prison Service defines self-harm as any incident in which a prisoner deliberately harms himself irrespective of method, intent or severity of any injury.

Prison Service Order 2700: Suicide Prevention and Self-Harm Management instructs that all incidents of self-harm must be reported on incident report forms and an F213SH self-harm form must be completed. Noose/ligature making must also be reported on the F213SH even if no injury has occurred. Information from the F213SH is logged at establishments on the Incident Reporting System (IRS). All incidents in which resuscitation and or transfer to outside hospital as the result of self-harm have been required must also be reported to HMPS National Operations Unit by telephone.

Prisons

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many on-site monitors there are in each prison in England and Wales. [173964]


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Mr. Hanson: The 11 establishments within the contracted estate have a controller, who is a Crown servant. Controllers are responsible for monitoring the contract and carry out a number of statutory duties as representatives of the Secretary of State. The three public-sector establishments with which NOMS has a service level agreement, HMP Blakenhurst, HMP Buckley Hall and HMP Manchester, have monitors. They are responsible for monitoring the contract but do not carry out operational duties. However it is not a requirement for controllers, monitors or their teams, to be on-site.

Details of the current number of on-site controllers and monitors, and their staff, are outlined in the following table.


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Controllers'/monitors' teams currently on-site in contracted prison establishments and those with whom NOMS has a service level agreement
Establishment Controller's team

HMP Altcourse

1 Controller

1 Deputy Controller

2 Assistants

HMP Bronzefield

1 Controller

1 Deputy Controller

1 Assistant

HMP/YOI Doncaster

1 Controller

2 Assistants

HMP Dovegate

1 Controller

1 Deputy Controller

2 Assistants

HMP Wolds

1 Controller

1 Assistant

YOI Ashfield

1 Controller

1 Assistant

HMP Forest Bank

1 Controller

1 Deputy Controller

HMP Lowdham Grange

1 Controller

1 Deputy Controller

1 Assistant

HMP/YOI Parc

1 Controller

1 Deputy Controller

1 Assistant

HMP Peterborough

1 Controller

1 Deputy Controller

HMP Rye Hill

1 Controller

1 Deputy Controller

HMP Buckley Hall

1 Monitor

1 Assistant

HMP Blakenhurst

1 Monitor

1 Deputy Monitor

HMP Manchester

1 Monitor

2 part-time assistants


Probation Officers: Training

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent on probation officer training in England and Wales in each financial year since 1997-98. [173805]

Maria Eagle: Reliable figures are only available from 2003-04, when the Home Office took over the funding arrangements for the universities. The figures for these years are as follows.

Amount (£)

2003-04

51,579.000

2004-05

56,531.000

2005-06

50,819.000

2006-07

38,273.000


In addition to these sums, probation areas will identify training needs within their individual areas and fund these from their allocated budgets.

Probation Service: Expenditure

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent on electronic monitors for the probation service in England and Wales in each financial year since 1997-98. [173804]

Maria Eagle: Since the start of the electronic monitoring service in England and Wales in January 1999 the cost of the electronic monitoring (EM) of offenders has been met centrally, and is not devolved to the probation service.

Prior to April 2007, data on the breakdown of the cost of the EM service by the agencies using the service were not recorded. However, data have been collected since April 2007 which identify costs of monitoring court-ordered curfew requirements with a probation supervision requirement, and curfew requirements recommended by the probation service for offenders who were sentenced to a single curfew requirement without a probation supervision requirement. In the period from 1 April 2007 to 31 October 2007 this amounted to £20,162,610.

R v Roland P Wright

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will make a statement on the case of R v. Roland P Wright, Case No. T2003/0089 in Aylesbury Crown Court. [174210]


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Maria Eagle: On 6 May 2003 Roland Peter Wright was committed to Aylesbury Crown Court from Wycombe and Beaconsfield magistrates court. He was indicted on 13 counts of indecent assault on a male person and three counts of indecency with a child. The offences were alleged to have taken place between August 1964 and May 1970. On 25 September 2003 the case was listed for an Abuse of Process hearing. On 26 September the judge determined that the application made on behalf of the defendant should succeed and ordered that the indictment be stayed.

Witnesses: Children

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Government have taken to ease the burden of criminal court proceedings on children who are called as witnesses. [173095]

Maria Eagle: The Government have already done much to assist child witnesses in criminal proceedings. We have

In June the Government issued a Consultation Paper, “Improving the Criminal Trial Process for Young Witnesses”, which looked at further ways of helping young witnesses give evidence, including more choice regarding special measures. We intend to publish a response to this consultation next year.

Witnesses: Protection

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the cost of running the witness protection programme was in the last 12 months; [172834]

(2) how many UK citizens are in witness protection programmes; and how many have been in programmes in each of the last 10 years. [172835]

Maria Eagle: Witness protection programmes are one of a number of measures taken by police forces to support witnesses. A review of national provision in 2004 estimated that such programmes cost in the region of £22 million per annum. However, because of the operational sensitivity of this area of work, details of the programmes and witnesses assisted cannot be disclosed.


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Young Offenders: Sentencing

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the extent to which issues of parenting have been considered in pre-sentence reviews used in youth courts, as referred to in the Respect Action Plan. [173854]

Mr. Hanson: The Respect Action Plan called for the inclusion of parenting assessment in all pre-sentence reports submitted to the magistrates youth court. In the majority of cases, youth offending teams will
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include an assessment of parenting within a pre-sentence report as standard practice.

The Youth Justice Board will be reinforcing the importance of parenting assessment through current work that will update ‘National Standards’. The revised ‘National Standards’, due to come on stream in 2009, will ensure that all pre-sentence reports include an assessment of the need for parenting support.

I am confident that these measures will ensure that we meet the expectations contained in the Respect Action Plan.


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