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At the end of June 2006 there were 8,243 prisoners declaring themselves as Muslim in all prison
establishments in England and Wales out of a total prison population of 77,982, or 11 per cent. This information can be found in the Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2006, a copy of which is in the House of Commons Library and on the Ministry of Justice website:
Information on the religion of staff within the public sector Prison Service is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Sufficient information from the contracted out prisons to give a comprehensive response is similarly not available.
|Nationality||Total||White||Mixed||Asian or Asian British||Black or Black British||Chinese or Other ethnic group||Not Stated/Not recorded 1991 Census codes|
|(1 )Countries with fewer than 50 prisoners declaring themselves as Muslim are not included.|
The higher number of Muslims in prison may partly reflect the age profile of prisoners. Most prisoners are aged between 18 and 34. The following table shows age group and ethnicity for 18-34 males and the proportion of the total male population.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Shipley (Philip Davies) of 20 February 2008, Official Report, columns 783-84W, on prisons: traveller days, if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidance produced by his Department and by HM Prisons Service on traveller days. 
Maria Eagle: No such document exists. Traveller days are local initiatives at individual prisons and, while supported in principle by HM Prison Service, they are not mandated and there is no central prescription or guidance about how they are organised.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to improve standards of supervision of offenders in the community; and what assessment he has made of the likely effect of changes to the funding of the Probation Service on standards in each of the next three financial years. 
Maria Eagle: The National Standards for the Management of Offenders were revised in 2007 and issued by the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, my right hon. Friend the Member for Delyn (Mr. Hanson). Priorities and targets are set each year for the achievement of standards and mechanisms are in place for the monitoring and improvement of performance.
Priorities for achievement of these standards are identified within the annual planning cycle and targets are set by NOMS for probation areas. Compliance with the National Standards and achievement of the targets is monitored monthly based upon an analysis of a sample of case files. This process is referred to as NSMART, taking its name from the spreadsheet into which the results are entered.
The performance of each probation area is assessed and benchmarked quarterly as part of the integrated probation performance framework (IPPF). Performance reports are published quarterly. These have shown the National Probation Service consistently performing well against the standards and targets set.
Where individual areas are identified as significantly under-performing, the Probation Performance Improvement Unit in NOMS initiates a targeted improvement programme, which includes an element of sharing of best practice across probation areas, and across related sectors.
In addition, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation conducts area-based and thematic inspections of probation practice. A national programme of offender management inspections is ongoing at present. The Inspectorate reports to the Minister. Where areas' performance is below standard, an action plan is required of the area and a 12 month follow-up inspection is conducted.
Probation areas have been informed of their budget allocation for 2008-09. Until January 2008-09 this was a flat cash allocation, but further resources were then made available amounting to a 2.7 per cent. increase to the main resource grant and an average 5.4 per cent. increase to the funding of approved premises.
so that sentencers can be confident that the resources are in place to deliver effective community punishments.
A number of probation areas have expressed general concerns about the level of resources. With regard to unpaid work specifically I am aware of a short-term difficulty in responding to demand in one area (Staffordshire) earlier this year and this has now been resolved.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, my right hon. Friend the Member for Delyn (Mr. Hanson) announced, on 11 March, an additional £40 million to probation in 2008-09, so that sentencers can be confident that the resources are in place to deliver effective community punishments.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of trainee probation officers qualifying in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009, who will not be offered permanent employment as probation officers. 
Maria Eagle: 563 trainee probation officers are due to qualify in 2008 and a further 553 are due to qualify in 2009. It is not possible to estimate how many may or may not be offered permanent employment as probation officers as this stage.
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