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17. Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will make it his policy to consult on the proposals in the Governance of Britain Green Paper by means of digital television and the internet. 
Mr. Wills: We have set up the Governance of Britain website to provide information and updates on proposals in the Green Paper. The site will also give people the opportunity to contribute to discussion and debate. We do not intend to consult by means of digital television.
18. Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost has been to the public purse of inquests into the deaths of members of the armed forces killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan since 19 March 2003. 
The cost to the public purse is not kept centrally. Costs have been met by individual local authorities in respect of coroners who have conducted inquests. Other costs have been met by the Ministry of Defence in respect of support provided to families and where as an Interested Person it has engaged legal representation, and by the Legal Services Commission in respect of representation of bereaved families at inquests. Central Government funding has also been provided since June 2006 to the Oxfordshire and Wiltshire and Swindon coroners, because of the singular burden in these jurisdictions in consequence of the decision to repatriate overseas military fatalities via
RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and, since 1 April 2007, via RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire. The total costs authorised in relation to legally aided representation for families at inquests into military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are around £100,000 since 19 March 2003. To date, £385,112 has been spent by central Government in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. Between 2003 and 2007, the costs incurred by the Ministry of Defence on its own legal representation amounted £1,160,281.66. This figure includes external legal advice on inquest-related matters, as well as costs for representation at inquests. This is normally when potentially complex issues could arise and MOD Counsel could assist the Court in the relevant questioning of witnesses to elicit as clear and full an understanding as possible of what took place. The costs incurred by the Ministry of Defence on support to bereaved families are not kept centrally.
Mr. Hanson: In addition to prison establishments, a limited number of police cells have been made available to help ensure that exceptional population pressures can be managed safely and securely. Arrangements are in place for a small number of court cells to be used as a contingency of last resort when required.
Mr. Hanson: No. All those located in open conditions have been risk assessed and categorised as being of low risk to the public. Time spent in open prisons affords prisoners the opportunity to find work, re-establish family ties, reintegrate into the community and ensure housing needs are met. For long-term prisoners, these are essential components for successful resettlement and an important factor in protecting the public.
The number of absconds is at its lowest level since centralised reporting of this type of incident began in 1995. Since then, the number of absconds has fallen steadily across most years. In the last two years, the number of absconds recorded has been just over half the levels recorded in 1997.
Bridget Prentice: Existing judges and members of the pensions appeal tribunal will transfer to the proposed new first-tier tribunal, where they will continue to hear war pensions appeals. We will also extend appeal rights by providing a new onward right of appeal from the first-tier tribunal to the upper tribunal in assessment cases.
Bridget Prentice: The Government are committed to reforming the coroner service for England and Wales, and to making non-legislative improvements ahead of a Coroners Bill. Both legislative and non-legislative changes are underpinned by three main aims: an improved service for bereaved families and others touched by the service; a service with national leadership, with the best features of a locally based service; and more effective investigations.
Mr. Hanson: Between 1995 and 2005, the total number of community sentences given by courts increased by more than 50 per cent. We expect these trends to continue. The Government have recently re-affirmed their commitment to providing the courts with tough and effective alternatives to short-term custody, including maximising the use of community sentences to reduce drug misuse.
Maria Eagle: Pay levels for prison officers fall within the remit of the independent Prison Service Pay Review Body. Their 2008 recommendations were accepted in full and announced in a statement by my right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Mr. Straw) on 7 February 2008, Official Report, columns 86-87WS.
Mr. Hanson: The Government have announced a programme to provide an additional 20,000 prison places and increase overall capacity to just over 96,000 by 2014. The programme has already provided 2,162 places, and will provide a further 2,409 places this year.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what percentage of appeals by employees of (a) his Department and (b) its agencies were (i) heard and (ii) upheld by the Civil Service Appeal Board in each of the last 10 years; how much was awarded in compensation by the Board to each successful appellant in each year; what the reason was for each compensation award; how many appellants were reinstated by the Board in each year; and what the reason was for each (A) dismissal and (B) reinstatement. 
Maria Eagle: The ex-DCA does not hold the information centrally in the format requested. This could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. A system has recently been put in place to record the information, although not to the detail requested in this question.
|August-December 2006||January-December 2007|
For NOMS and OCJR, the information has only been collected centrally since 2005, in which time there have been no appeals. To obtain information prior to this could be done only at disproportionate cost.
Angela Browning: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what guidance has been given to ClearSprings Management Ltd on the appropriateness of placements for people who are homeless and bailed by the courts; 
The regional offender managers, and the director of offender management for Wales, have identified in which towns accommodation is needed, based on the distribution of origins of prisoners. It is for ClearSprings to seek properties in those locations. ClearSprings are required to consult the local
authority, police and the Probation Service in selecting properties, in order to avoid inappropriate locations.
By definition, those remanded on bail in the community are not prisoners, and they may not have been held in prison before being bailed by the courts. The contract with ClearSprings is to provide housing and support in the community for defendants whom the courts have remanded on bail, and for sentenced prisoners who have been released on home detention curfew by the prison governor.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice who was responsible for the decision to locate MW7217 Ameyaw on Osprey Unit at HM Young Offender Institution Feltham in May 2005; for what reason that decision was taken; and if he will make a statement. 
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many violent incidents were recorded at properties operated by ClearSprings Ltd under the Bail and Accommodation Support Service in each of the last three years; 
(3) how many offenders were placed in properties in Cornwall by the Bail and Accommodation Support Service in each of the last five years; and what the average period of their detention was, broken down by category of offence; 
(4) how many (a) properties were used by and (b) beds were available through the Bail and Accommodation Support Service in the latest period for which figures are available; and how many of these were managed by (i) ClearSprings Management and (ii) other private contractors in (A) each parliamentary constituency in Cornwall and (B) Cornwall; 
(5) how many people (a) on bail and (b) on home detention curfew were provided with accommodation by (i) the Bail Accommodation and Support Service, (ii) ClearSprings and (iii) other private contractors in
(A) each parliamentary constituency in Cornwall and (B) Cornwall in each month since July 2007; 
(6) what the (a) average cost per person per night and (b) cost per month of providing bail and home detention accommodation through (i) the Bail Accommodation and Support Service, (ii) ClearSprings Management and (iii) other private contractors was in (A) each parliamentary constituency in Cornwall and (B) Cornwall in the latest 12 month period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hanson: The Bail Accommodation and Support Service has been in operation only since 18 June 2007. From that date until 6 March 2008 734 people have been released into the service. Six incidents involving violence at ClearSprings addresses have been reported and, if appropriate, service users have been recalled to prison, had their bail revoked or been offered support as victims.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) young and (b) adult offenders have been sentenced to terms of immediate custody of six months or less in the last five years for which records are available. 
|Number of persons( 1) sentenced to custody for less than or equal to six months, all courts, England and Wales 2002-06|
|Number of persons|
|Type of offender|
|Juveniles( 2)||Adult( 3)|
|(1) Principal offence basis.|
(2) 10 to 17-year-olds.
(3) 18 years and older.
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.
RDS-NOMS, Ministry of Justice
6 March 2008
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