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Legal Aid: Fees and Charges

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the new legal aid fee scheme on the number of legal practices undertaking criminal legal aid work. [181013]

Maria Eagle: Reforms to criminal legal aid were introduced on 14 January 2008 and included the introduction of fixed fees for police station work. Prior to the introduction of these reforms a national re-tender of the General Criminal Contract, which provides access to legal aid work for providers, took place in October last year.

Of those firms that already held a contract, 2,295 re-tendered, while a further 90 applications were received from new providers. In total there has been a reduction of only 5 per cent. in the number of providers delivering Criminal Legal Aid work under the new contract, which also came into effect on 14 January. This has had no impact on the accessibility of legal advice to clients in criminal legal aid cases.

Legal Services Commission: Fees and Charges

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much money the Legal Services Commission has received by way of (a) recovered costs and (b) interest on statutory charges in each year since 1997. [180507]

Maria Eagle: The information requested is shown in the following table. Data for the years 1997-98 to 1999-2000 relate to the former Legal Aid Board, which was replaced by the Legal Services Commission in 2000. The reduction in recovered costs was due to the removal of money cases such as personal injury from scope in 2000 following the introduction of conditional fee arrangements in 1995.

Financial year 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Recovered costs











Interest on Statutory charges











Members: Correspondence

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he will reply to the letter of 22 November 2007 from the hon. Member for Hornchurch on a new prison at Beam Reach, Rainham. [181781]

Mr. Hanson: I replied to the hon. Member on 16 January 2008.

Ministry of Justice

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he will publish the Brennan report on the structure of his Department. [181224]

Mr. Straw: I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Nick Herbert) on 15 January 2008, Official Report, column l206W.

National Offender Management Information System

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to date of developing the C-NOMIS IT system for prisons and probation in England and Wales has been. [181219]

Mr. Hanson: The total expenditure on the NOMIS Programme, of which C-NOMIS forms the very major part, to the end of December 2007 is estimated at £179 million.

Financial and business benefit from work completed on C-NOMIS is preserved. Nearly all of the expenditure
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attributable to C-NOMIS is relevant to its future use in HMPS as ‘Prison NOMIS’. The other projects in the programme will continue to derive benefit from the investment and work to date.

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the financial consequences for his Department’s budget are of not rolling out C-NOMIS to the Probation Service. [181220]

Mr. Hanson: The C-NOMIS project as originally intended included the roll out of C-NOMIS to the Probation Service. This was unaffordable and the revised plans now ensure that the overall costs will be contained within the Department’s budget. The business change and continuity consequences of not rolling out C-NOMIS to the probation service have been handled by other measures contained within the overall NOMIS programme.

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the developers of C-NOMIS, EDS, will be paid any compensation as a consequence of the system not being rolled out to the probation service. [181221]

Mr. Hanson: EDS will receive no compensation as a result of the C-NOMIS system not being rolled-out to probation areas. ‘Prison NOMIS’ continues the development of C-NOMIS, preserving the financial and business benefit from work completed to date.

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of how the decision not to roll out C-NOMIS to the probation service will affect its ability to comply with end-to-end management of offenders. [181222]

Mr. Hanson: Following the NOMIS programme strategic review, and taking into account the Offender Management (OM) strategic review, the newly revised and deliverable NOMIS programme will ensure both the protection of the public and the continued successful implementation of the Offender Management Model and end-to-end offender management.

The programme will ensure that offender managers have access to necessary information to effectively manage offenders within custody and the community. Building on and preserving work completed to date, the programme will enable staff in both prisons and probation access to information required to support OM.

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his original estimate was of the final cost of rolling out C-NOMIS to the Prison Service and Probation Service. [181223]

Mr. Hanson: When originally initiated in June 2004, the estimated lifetime costs, before VAT, cost of capital and depreciation was £234 million.

Personal Injury

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what assessment he has made of the merits of introducing measures to cap the level of fees for legal services in personal injury claims cases; and if he will make a statement; [179891]

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(2) what steps he plans to take following the consultation exercise on case track limits and the claims process for personal injury claims that closed on 13 July 2007 in relation to personal injury claims; and if he will make a statement; [179892]

(3) what plans he has to reform the civil justice system in respect of personal injury claims; and if he will make a statement; [179893]

(4) when his Department plans to publish the responses to the recent consultation on case track limits and the process for personal injury claims. [180060]

Bridget Prentice: The consultation paper: “Case track limits and claims process for personal injury claims” set out proposals for improving the system for certain personal injury claims, including proposals for fixed recoverable costs. These proposals represent a significant reform of the claims process for personal injury claims and it has been important to give careful consideration to the numerous and diverse range of views that we have received. A summary of responses and the Government's next steps will be set out in the Response to Consultation, which we aim to publish by the end of March.

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the impact of referral fees on the personal injury claims process; and if he will make a statement. [180061]

Bridget Prentice: The Ministry of Justice has not assessed the impact of referral fees in personal injury claims. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is responsible for the regulation of lawyers and ensuring that they comply with Rule 9 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007 which sets out the requirements on referral fees. The SRA are currently reviewing the provisions on referral fees and considering a range of options to improve compliance with Rule 9.

Peterborough Prison: Prisoners Release

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many convicted prisoners held at HMP Peterborough were released early as a result of prison overcrowding in the latest period for which figures are available. [180983]

Mr. Hanson: The End of Custody Licence was introduced on 29 June 2007. Eligible prisoners serving between four weeks and four years may be released under licence from prison up to up to 18 days before their automatic release date.

Up to the end of November 2007, the latest date for which figures are available, there had been 325 prisoners released under the End of Custody Licence scheme from HMP Peterborough; 77 of these were during the month of November.

The total number of releases by offence group, sentence length, age, gender, ethnicity and prison establishment have been published on the Ministry of Justice website for the first week of the scheme, the remainder of July, and every subsequent month since then.

The monthly published figures can be found on separate links under the following main link:

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Data on releases up to the end of December 2007 will be published at the end of January 2008 according to the schedule of MoJ statistical publications

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

Prisons: Drugs

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what key performance indicator is used to assess the effectiveness of drug treatment in prisons. [181488]

Mr. Hanson: The key performance indicators listed in the table as follows are currently used to monitor drug treatment performance. Research indicates that prison drug treatment, with effective follow-up in the community, can reduce the level of reoffending by at least 10 per cent.

Key performance indicators 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Number of prisoners entering clinical services (Detoxification/Maintenance)




Number of prisoners undergoing initial assessment(1)




Percentage of prisoners completing treatment programmes they have started




Random Mandatory Drug Testing (MDT) positive rate




(1) Through CARATs (counselling, assessment, referral, advice and throughcare services) or YPSMS (young persons substance misuse service).
(2) Improve on previous year.

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 1 May 2007, Official Report, column 1601W, on Drugs: prisons, how many detainees began clinical drug treatment on (a) detoxification and (b) extended prescribing programmes in 2006-07. [181571]

Mr. Hanson: During 2005-06, 51,520 prisoners entered prison detoxification and drug maintenance programmes.

Since April 2007, these two interventions have been reported separately. In the period April to October 2007, the following clinical interventions for prisoners with drug dependence in prisons were provided: (a) detoxification 26,932; and (b) extended prescribing 7,263. This is a total of 34,195 interventions.

Prisons: Education

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what steps the Government have taken to improve education and training provision in prisons since 1997; [175182]

(2) what progress has been made on developing an integrated Learning and Skills Service as indicated in
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the Government’s Reducing Re-offending National Action Plan. [174549]

Mr. Lammy: I have been asked to reply.

The transfer of responsibility for offender learning from the Home Office in 2001, to the Department for Education and Skills, now the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, brought the offender learning agenda within mainstream learning and skills arrangements. This led to the introduction of Heads of Learning and Skills, a new senior role within each prison responsible for co-ordinating delivery. Offender learning is inspected by Ofsted (and its predecessors) to the same standards as mainstream education, with published reports since 2002.

Between August 2005 and August 2006, the Learning and Skills Council completed the introduction of a new Offender Learning and Skills Service. This service is designed to integrate delivery both inside and outside prisons, as well as ensuring the quality is consistent with that available in the outside community.

The new delivery arrangements are governed by the policy framework set out in the ‘Reducing Re-Offending Through Skills and Employment’ Next Steps document, published jointly by the then Department for Education and Skills, the Home Office, and the Department for Work and Pensions in December 2006. Many of the further changes set out in the Next Steps document are now being piloted in our two test bed regions, the West Midlands and East of England.

Prisons: Young People

Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many juvenile sentenced receptions there were in to (a) prisons, (b) local authority units and (c) secure training centres in England and Wales for (i) less than one month, (ii) between one and three months, (iii) between three and six months and (iv) between six and 12 months in each of the last five years. [173546]

Mr. Hanson: The figures for (a), the number of juveniles received under sentence into all prison establishments in England and Wales can be found in the following table.

Sentence length 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Less than or equal to one month






Greater than one month and less than or equal to three months






Greater than three months and less than or equal to six months






Greater than six months and less than 12 months






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