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18 Feb 2008 : Column 196W—continued

National Offender Management Service

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many staff in the National Offender Management Service were involved in the central commissioning and contestability programme and whether this includes numbers at an area level. [182130]

Mr. Hanson: Reporting to the Director of Commissioning and Partnerships, the central Commissioning and Contestability Programme Unit is responsible for the development of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) commissioning and contestability policy and for supporting implementation by NOMS national, regional and local commissioners.

As at 24 January 2008, the total number of staff within the commissioning and contestability programme unit was 19.6 full-time equivalents all based at NOMS headquarters in London.

North East

Bill Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many full-time equivalent civil servants were employed by his Department in (a) Sunderland, (b) Tyne and Wear and (c) the North East region in each year since 2000. [183721]

Maria Eagle: The available figures are in the following table. Data for the Former Department for Constitutional Affairs are available for the North East Region, but are not available for Tyne and Wear and Sunderland. Figures are collated by the Office for National Statistics from Departmental Returns.

Information on the number of full-time equivalent staff employed by the public sector Prison Service in the North East region each year since 2000 are also in the following table. The public sector Prison Service does not employ any staff in either Sunderland or Tyne and Wear.

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Staff in post
F ull-time equivalents
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

Department for Constitutional Affairs (excl. Agencies)(1,)( )(4)








HM Courts Service(1)








Tribunals(1,)( )(3)








Lord Chancellor’s Department (excl. Agencies)(1)








Public Sector Prison Service(2)








(1) Figures as at 1 April each year, except for 2006 where figures are as at 30 September.
(2) Figures as at 31 March each year.
(3) From 1 April 2006, Tribunals became an executive agency of the Department for Constitutional Affairs.
(4) In 2003, the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) was created to take over the role of the Lord Chancellor’s Department.
The latest period for which the statistics are available is the year to September 2006 and so pre-date the creation of the Ministry of Justice

Offender Services

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the value is of new contracts for offender services let by probation boards to private and third sector providers in each of the last five years, in terms of (a) annual value and (b) value over the life of the contract. [185543]

Mr. Straw: Probation Boards have not been required to provide detailed information with regard to the value of sub-contracts awarded to private and third sector providers as detailed in the question. However, there was an initiative by NOMS in the period 2006-07 to identify, from then to March 2008, what percentage of sub-contracts existed in probation areas in England and Wales. This was also to provide NOMS with a view as to which private and third sector providers Probation Boards were sub-contracted with and the range of offender services provided. Information gathered in 2006-07 indicated that Probation Boards had at that time contracts with a range of providers from the private and third sector. The total amount of these contracts was approximately £25 million, with contracts starting from £89 to the highest value of £874,147 in that year. In 2007-08 total contracts amounted to approximately £28 million. The value of these contracts ranges between £360 and £613,500. The total value over the life of the contract cannot be reliably given due to the fact that many contracts are annual but had been renewed annually for many years.


Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what number and proportion of accused people whose cases were discontinued in the interests of justice were convicted of a further offence within two years of that discontinuation in the most recent period for which figures are available. [186179]

Maria Eagle: The information is not available. The published statistics on reoffending do not include reoffending after cases have been discontinued.

Offenders: Ethnic Groups

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether there are any programmes for which his Department is responsible which are made available only to ethnic minority offenders; and if he will make a statement. [186278]

Mr. Hanson: No. Accredited offending behaviour programmes in custody and community are available to offenders regardless of ethnicity.

Offenders: Foreigners

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many foreign nationals were convicted of indictable offences in each of the last three years for which data is available. [185553]

Mr. Straw: The following table gives the number of foreign national prisoners received into all prison establishments in England and Wales under immediate custodial sentence between 2004 and 2006:

Foreign nationals







Taken from table 7.5 of Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2006

This published table can be found at the following website: under chapter 7 of the supplementary tables. A copy of the Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2006 can be found in the House of Commons Library.

Information on the total number of foreign nationals convicted for indictable offences are not held centrally. The central databases of Crown court criminal cases collect information on defendants’ ethnicities, but do not presently contain information on their nationalities. This is because, as a general rule, nationality is not germane to the outcome of criminal court proceedings. Defendants will not be asked their nationality by the court for this reason. Information on nationality may be recorded where it is specifically relevant to the case (e.g. immigration-related offences) but this would be held on local files and would not be systematically recorded on central databases.

However, in preparation of the implementation of the UK Borders Act 2007, the Crown court IT systems are being changed to allow for the collection of nationality data. This Act introduces automatic—rather than discretionary—triggers for the deportation of foreign nationals who meet certain sentencing criteria, and it will require more detailed recording of data on foreign national criminal defendants. Upgraded systems to meet this requirement are expected to be in place in late 2008.

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Police Custody

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were serving prison sentences in short-term police custody cells due to prison overcrowding at the latest date for which figures are available. [186902]

Mr. Hanson: Operation Safeguard is the formal agreement between the National Offender Management Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers, used at times of high population pressure, that allows for prisoners to be held in police cells temporarily while a suitable place is identified in a prison. Wherever possible, prisoners will be held in police cells for no more than one night.

Prison Accommodation: Shipping

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what sites have been identified for mooring the prison ship announced on 31 January 2008. [185549]

Mr. Straw: A number of sites are currently being assessed but no decisions have yet been taken as to which have the most potential.

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many responses the Government received to their tender for a prison ship in October 2006. [185552]

Mr. Straw: Following the Authority's advertisement under the OJEU Procurement Regulations, 11 organisations submitted an expression of interest and of these, eight organisations elected to submit a response to the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). Following evaluation of the PQQ responses, five organisations were shortlisted to be issued with tender documents, of which in November 2006, resulted in three organisations finally submitting a tender for consideration.

The identity of the bidding organisations remains commercially confidential information.

Prisoners Release: Foreigners

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many foreign national prisoners were released from UK prisons in 2007. [186889]

Mr. Hanson: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Nick Herbert) on 21 January 2008, Official Report , column 1665W.

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many foreign prisoners have been released from HM prison Bronzefield in each month since the prison opened; and how many of these have been subsequently deported. [185174]

Mr. Hanson: Between June 2004, when HMP Bronzefield opened, and December 2007 there were on average fewer than 10 foreign nationals discharged each month.

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Information relating to immigration status including the numbers who have been subsequently deported is not centrally available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost by detailed cross referencing of BIA case files with Prison Service records.

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.

For the proportion of total prisoners who are foreign nationals, Council of Europe data on foreign national prisoners held in other major western countries reveal much higher proportions, for example in Austria (43 per cent.), Spain (33 per cent.), Germany (28 per cent.) and France (21 per cent.) than the figure for England and Wales (14 per cent.), based on 2006 population data.

Prisoners Release: Scunthorpe

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proposals there are for new arrangements for the accommodation and supervision of recently released criminals in Scunthorpe; and if he will make a statement. [186434]

Maria Eagle: The Bail Accommodation and Support Service provides accommodation for defendants on bail, and for those at the end of a sentence who are eligible for release on Home Detention on a tag after a thorough risk assessment by the prison governor. The service is provided through ClearSprings Management Ltd. One three-bedroomed property is being sought in Scunthorpe for this service.

Apart from this the Government have no plans to open new accommodation for ex-offenders in Scunthorpe.

Prisoners: Parole

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners are unable to have their applications for parole considered on the grounds that the Prison Service has been unable to provide the courses which must be completed successfully before parole can be given. [186487]

Maria Eagle: The fact that an offender has not completed an offending behaviour course does not preclude the offender from being considered suitable for parole; neither does the successful completion of an offending behaviour programme guarantee that the Parole Board would find the offender to have sufficiently reduced his risk of reoffending to warrant a positive parole decision.

The Parole Board looks at a range of relevant risk factors when determining whether or not offenders should be released on parole, which might include reports on the offender’s response to offending behaviour programmes if such work has been undertaken during the course of the sentence.

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Ultimate responsibility for the offender satisfying the Parole Board that the level of risk is reduced to the extent that he may be safely released into the community rests with the offender.

Prisons: Forensic Psychologists

Mr. Ronnie Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many (a) full-time and (1) part-time chartered forensic psychologists were employed by the Prison Service in England and Wales between 1997 and 2007; [186327]

(2) how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time forensic psychologists in training were employed by the Prison Service in England and Wales between 1997 and 2007; [186328]

(3) what proportion of forensic psychologists in training in the Prison Service (a) completed and (b) did not complete their training between 1997 and 2007. [186329]

Maria Eagle: It is not possible to report the number of chartered and in training forensic psychologists employed over the period 1997 to 2007. On average throughout this time period, the Prison Service has employed at any one time in the region of 350 psychologists in training.

Chartered staff employed at chartered psychology grades in the Prison Service as at 3 August 2007

Manager E


Manager F


Senior Manager B


Senior Manager C


Senior Manager D




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