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Mr. Straw: The Government's priorities for increasing the skills and employment outcomes of offenders are outlined in the document Reducing Re-offending Through Skills and Employment: Next Steps published in December 2006 and Prison Policy Update in January 2008. It emphasises the need to make many prisons places of work and learning.
We have recently launched our plans to increase the range of constructive work available to offenders inside prison, and in turn their job opportunities in the community. Through the Reducing Re-offending Corporate Alliance over 100 employers are working with us to improve the employment and employability of offenders. We are seeking to engage private, public and voluntary organisations in providing a range of constructive work activities through prison workshops and industries. The Prisons Minister is to host a forum shortly to seek to expand this work.
The number of workshops and training centres in existing prisons obviously depends on the size, design and original purpose of the establishment. Training and/or work facilities are a key part of new designs of prisons for appropriate categories of prisoners. Some prisons, for example Category C prisons, are dedicated as whole prisons to training, work and rehabilitation.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of mechanisms to prevent inmates identified in an (a) F2058 form and (b) unit observation book from associating; what the reasons are for inmates not being permitted to associate; under what circumstances inmates who have been identified as unsuitable for association may remain on the same unit or wing and not be transferred to an alternative location; who is responsible for determining which inmate should be re-located in those circumstances; and if he will make a statement. 
Prisoners may be denied association for contravening prison rules, to prevent bullying or other threats to good order and discipline in the prison or for medical reasons or as a result of specific intelligence or requests from the police or courts to keep prisoners
apart. Prisoners at risk of attack may at their own request be held without association while an alternative location is found for them. Those prisoners on the basic level of the incentives and earned privilege scheme may also be denied association.
Those committing less serious breaches of discipline may be held without association as an alternative to being held in the segregation unit. Prisoners at risk of attack from other prisoners may be held on normal location, with limited or no association, if dedicated units for these prisoners are full. The duty governor has overall responsibility for decisions on the allocation of prisoners. I am satisfied that these arrangements are working despite the increased prisoner population.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the estimated cost of a prison place was in England and Wales in an (a) dispersal, (b) category B, (c) category C and (d) open prison in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hanson: The latest available cost per place figures are shown in the 2006-07 annual report and accounts. The cost per place for prisons in each of the categories listed in the question is shown in the following table.
|Table 1: Cost per place|
The Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP) has already been implemented. All probation areas in England and Wales are equipped to deliver either IDAP or the Community Domestic Violence Programme. IDAP is normally delivered at
the rate of one session a week, but three probation areas are piloting a more intense pattern of delivery. Whether we promote this intensive method will depend on the outcome of the evaluation, which is expected shortly.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the caseload of the Probation Service in England and Wales was at the latest date available, broken down by (a) supervision orders and (b) licence and parole. 
Mr. Hanson: At 30 September 2007, the number of offenders supervised by the Probation Service in England and Wales under all court orders was 149,777. The number supervised on all post release licence was 28,113.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what estimate he has made of the proportion of those leaving Probation Service employment who will be replaced in the next two financial years; 
To date, long-term work force planning has been conducted in a limited manner within the Probation Service and has largely been undertaken in concert with the annual intake on to the Diploma in Probation Studies (DiPS), which is led by NOMS probation area co-ordination unit. Responsibility for all other recruitment and work force planning rests with each of the individual probation areas. With the forthcoming cessation of the DiPS and the development and implementation of its replacement, the process by which work force planning will be conducted, nationally and locally, is currently being reviewed in order to align it to future arrangements.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many Probation Service staff left the service during 2007-08; and how many of those were replaced, broken down by Probation Service area. 
Mr. Hanson: Information on the number of starters and leavers in the NPS is currently only available up to June 2007. The following table shows the number of starters and leavers in each probation area between July 2006 and June 2007.
|Q2 2006-07||Q3 2006-07||Q4 2006-07||Q1 2007-08|
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