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In addition, prisoners with any history of sexual offending (who are not required to register as a sex offender) or serving sentences for the following categories of offences are considered unsuitable for release on HDC and can apply for HDC only if there are exceptional circumstances:

Defendants and offenders who are not excluded, who otherwise have no suitable address and who apply for bail or home detention curfew will be considered for the scheme. But a defendant will be released into the service only if granted bail by the court. The court can refuse bail if it considers that there is a risk that the defendant will abscond, offend or interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice. An offender will be released into the service on Home Detention Curfew only on the decision of a prison governor following consultation with probation and a thorough assessment of risk and of the suitability of the proposed location.

Information on how many offences have been committed by defendants and offenders while accommodated by ClearSprings cannot be obtained except at disproportionate cost.

Information on the categories of offences committed by offenders prior to their transfer to bail and Home Detention Curfew cannot be obtained except at disproportionate cost. However the service is available only to those who are granted bail or who are released on Home Detention Curfew, and to those who have not committed offences or been charged with offences that would exclude them, as mentioned.

I will provide information on how many defendants or offenders released into ClearSprings service who have been returned to custody as soon as possible.

ClearSprings staff personally call on the immediate neighbours of a BASS property to provide information on the BASS scheme and a 24/7 contact telephone number. Where it is not possible to make face-to-face contact an introductory letter is left providing ClearSprings' contact details.

ClearSprings consult with local authorities, and with police and probation, when acquiring properties so that local knowledge can inform the selection of addresses and avoid inappropriate locations. The scheme endeavours to return people to their own communities unless there is reason not to.


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Commission for Racial Equality

Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the Commission for Racial Equality was asked to conduct a race impact assessment on the introduction of the indeterminate sentence for public protection. [180285]

Mr. Hanson: The Commission for Racial Equality worked with the Home Office to identify a list of provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003, prior to its introduction, for impact assessment—this list did not include the provision relating to the sentence of imprisonment for public protection.

Community Orders: Expenditure

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how much was spent by his Department on programmes directed at offenders given community sentences in each of the last five years; [179661]

(2) how much was spent by his Department on programmes directed at offenders with community sentences in each of the last five years. [179897]

Maria Eagle: Probation boards meet the cost of delivering accredited programmes through their grant as they see fit to meet their statutory duties. Accredited programmes can be delivered to offenders on both community sentences and on licence in the community following a custodial sentence. Data are only available on the budgeted cost of delivering programmes to offenders under probation supervision and are not differentiated by sentence type. Probation boards’ budgeted spend on Accredited programmes is as follows:

£ million

2005-06

77

2006-07

85

2007-08

86.5


There is no information relating to expenditure for years leading up to 2005.

Community Orders: Per Capita Costs

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent on administering each type of community sentence in each of the last five years; and what the cost per offender was in each category. [179896]

Maria Eagle: Probation Boards meet the cost of delivering community sentences through their grant as they see fit to meet their statutory duties. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 established the new community order as a single community sentence with a number of elements in respect of offences committed after 4 April 2005. This replaced the separate community sentences which existed previously. 2005-06 was a transitional year with pre-CJA 2003 and post CJA 2003 sentences. From 2005 to present, cost exercises have been carried out by Probation Boards annually and have produced the planned cost of a range of activities. These together represent the best available data on the planned cost of
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administering and delivering the Community Order and include Probation Board overhead costs. The planned costs are as follows:

The costing methodology changed between the 2005-06 and subsequent exercises which means that they are not directly comparable. The 2005-06 exercise provides a cost per offender commencement; subsequent exercises provide a cost per offender under supervision.

There is no information relating to expenditure for years leading up to 2005.

Departmental Data Protection

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether personal data for which his Department is responsible are (a) stored and (b) processed overseas; and if he will make a statement. [176016]

Mr. Wills: The Department does not have any personal data for which it is responsible stored or processed overseas.

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what obligations his Department and its agencies place on contractors in relation to the audit of personal data and IT equipment. [176467]

Mr. Wills: The Department’s information technology is provided mainly through contracts with external suppliers. The contracts place obligations on contractors to provide IT and data management systems that meet government security standards, including the standard for Information systems risk management known as HMG Infosec Standard 2, and the Ministry of Justice’s own security policies and standards.

The contracts place obligations on contractors to comply fully with all legislative requirements, including the relevant provisions of the Data Protection Act.

There is also provision for the Department to undertake audits to ensure compliance with all provisions of the contracts. For example, all new systems, and any that involve a significant upgrade or change, are subject to rigorous audit before acceptance into live service.

The Department also has appropriate measures in place to protect the confidentiality and integrity of its data and systems. For example, contracted staff employed by Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS) and the National Probation Service, are security cleared to an appropriate level commensurate with the level of access they have to data.

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what audits his Department and its agencies have carried out in relation to personal data and IT equipment in each of the last 10 years. [176473]


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Mr. Wills: Our IT suppliers are contractually obliged to maintain the Department’s IT systems in accordance with government security standards, and the relevant provisions of the Data Protection Act. Assurance that these security standards are being met is obtained through compliance with the HMG standard for information systems risk management, known as HMG Infosec Standard 2.

The Ministry of Justice and its agencies undertake a formal programme of audits each year as well as carrying out other internal reviews as required. The scope of these audits is dependent on the reason for the audit taking place, or the specific terms of reference for the review. Past audit programmes undertaken by the former Department for Constitutional Affairs have contained a number of audits that have included coverage of systems and procedures incorporating aspects of personal data, including their storage and processing. Audit reports have been issued and action taken where necessary.

Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS) is subject to continuous audit, under the oversight of the NAO. The results are considered by the HMPS’s audit committee.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many posters or displays there are in the offices of his Department and its agencies displaying the names and photographs of Ministers; and what the cost has been of producing such posters or displays since its establishment. [179914]

Maria Eagle: Since the Ministry of Justice was established on 9 May 2007, no posters or displays showing the names or photographs of Ministers have been displayed in the offices of the Ministry or of its agencies.

English Language

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department has spent on English language classes for staff in the last year for which figures are available. [177488]

Maria Eagle: There is no centrally held information on English language classes for staff. Written and oral communication skills are tested as part of the recruitment process. Line Managers work with individuals to identify any learning and development needs. Staff who need to expand their English language skills are able to access support via the Department’s Further Education Programme.

Forced Marriage

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to ensure that people vulnerable to forced marriages are made aware of the provisions of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007. [179606]

Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice is working closely with other Departments to decide the best ways in which to publicise the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 to victims and potential victims of forced
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marriage when it comes into force in autumn 2008. We will build on the ongoing outreach programme of the joint Home Office/Foreign and Commonwealth Office Forced Marriage Unit. The Forced Marriage Unit in collaboration with Karma Nirvana (an NGO based in Derby) are piloting a survivor's helpline this year, and helpline staff will receive guidance in the provisions of the Act. We are considering how best to engage public authorities and voluntary sector organisations before the Act is implemented, to raise their awareness and ensure they meet their statutory obligations and provide co-ordinated support for victims.

Harriet Harman

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice on what date the Permanent Secretary of the former Department for Constitutional Affairs received notice of each donation made to the then Minister of State in relation to her campaign for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party; and if he will make a statement. [180108]

Mr. Straw: In accordance with the requirements of the ministerial code, a list of Ministers’ relevant interests declared to their permanent secretary will be published in due course.

HM Prison Service

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will make a statement on the recruitment procedures in place for the appointment of the Director General of HM Prison Service. [180053]

Maria Eagle: As the Director General, HMPS has not indicated an intention to retire, there are no plans in place for recruitment of a successor.

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the Director General of HM Prison Service has given notice of his intention to retire; and if he will make a statement. [180065]

Maria Eagle: It is not appropriate to comment on individuals and their future plans.

Retirement provisions are common across the senior civil service. In accordance with the provisions of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, from 1 October 2006, retirement age for senior civil servants was raised to 65.

Homicide: Bail

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what guidance his Department provides the judiciary on the granting of bail to people accused of murder; and if he will make a statement. [179695]

Mr. Straw: Whether to grant bail, or not, is and must remain a decision for the courts to make within the statutory framework provided by Parliament in the Bail Act 1976 as amended, taking account of relevant case-law. It is the responsibility of the Government to keep the statutory framework under careful review, bringing proposals for change to Parliament as necessary.


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The 1976 Act as amended provides for a general presumption that bail will be granted in all cases, including murder, except in specific circumstances which have to be supported by evidence. The court can impose conditions to prevent absconding, committing further crime while on bail, interfering with witnesses or for the purpose of medical or other reports: s3(6A) deals with the need for such a report when bail is granted in murder cases. In addition, it may require a defendant to provide security. The exception to this, under section 25 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, is that bail can only be granted in exceptional circumstances in cases of homicide (or rape) where there has been a previous conviction for such an offence.

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many suspects were (a) remanded in custody, (b) bailed on tag and (c) bailed without tagging for a charge of (i) murder, (ii) rape, (iii) manslaughter and (iv) grievous bodily harm in the last year for which information is available. [179921]

Mr. Straw: Data published by my Department show that 13,900 persons were remanded in custody in 2006 for offences in the ‘Violence against the Person’ group, which includes the offences of murder, manslaughter and grievous bodily harm, as well as a wide range of other offences. 2,300 persons were remanded in custody for sexual offences, which include rape. These figures exclude persons held in police cells. These data are taken from the annual publication “Offender Management Caseload Statistics, 2006”, table 7.2. No further breakdown is available by offence type within the groups.

64,800 persons were bailed by the courts for offences in the ‘Violence against the Person’ group in 2006. 10,100 persons were bailed for sexual offences. These figures include those also held in custody for some but not the whole period of the proceedings. These data are taken from the annual publication “Criminal Statistics 2006, England and Wales”, table 4.9. No further breakdown is available.

The total number of times the courts imposed ‘bail on tag’ in 2006-07 was 18,321. A breakdown of data by offence type for bail involving electronic tagging is not available.


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