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Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what account prison governors take of representations from (a) psychiatrists and (b) legal counsel in determining the eligibility date for early release of an offender; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what mechanisms exist to ensure that, in determining the eligibility of an inmate for early release, a prison governor, (a) has access to and (b) takes full account of (i) a complete set of the papers involved in the case and (ii) a full report of the sentence from the sentencing judge; and if he will make a statement. 
Prisoners may only be released on HDC subject to meeting the eligibility criteria and passing a risk
assessment. Prisoners who are assessed as presenting a high risk to the public or a victim, who have a high risk of reoffending during the curfew period or who are likely to be unable to comply with the curfew condition will not be granted HDC.
Psychiatric reports may be included in the assessment of risk, where appropriate. Legal representations are unlikely to be included in the risk assessment unless they present evidence that affects the assessment of risk.
A streamlined, presumptive HDC scheme exists for prisoners serving less than 12 months. Under the scheme eligible prisoners serving sentences of between three months and under 12 months are released on HDC unless there are compelling reasons not to do so. This streamlined scheme is applicable only to low risk, less serious offenders. Drug dealers and violent offenders are not eligible for Presumptive HDC and are subject to the standard risk assessment process. Psychiatric reports would not routinely be examined where a prisoner is eligible to be considered for Presumptive HDC.
Details of the sentence(s) currently being served by the prisoner are set out on the warrant of imprisonment which, in the case of sentences imposed by a Crown court, are supplemented by the court record sheet. Details of the current sentences are provided to the governor as part of the HDC case papers. Comments made by the sentencer at the time of sentencing are not normally provided to the prison unless the prisoners release is subject to a decision by the Parole Board.
Under ECL, prisoners serving between four weeks and four years are released under temporary licence for the final 18 days of their sentence subject to meeting strict eligibility criteria and providing a release address. There is no individual assessment of risk; however the most serious violent offenders and registered sex offenders are excluded from the scheme.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) under what circumstances an inmate sentenced to serve a 12 month prison sentence could be released after serving just three months in custody; on how many occasions this has occurred in each of the last five years; what proportion of those sentenced to serve 12 months this represents in that period; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many inmates serving sentences of 12 months or less have received remission of (a) 90 days or (b) less than 90 days in considering eligibility for early release; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: Prisoners serving a sentence of 12 months could be released on home detention curfew (HDC) after serving a minimum of three months in custody, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria for early release and passing the risk assessment.
The following table shows the number of prisoners serving a sentence of between three months and 12 months who would be potentially eligible for HDC and, of these, the number released on HDC and the proportion.
|Potentially eligible population in sentence length band||Released||Percentage|
Data are not available on the actual periods served on HDC by each prisoner released. The maximum period that a prisoner may serve on HDC is tapered according to length of sentence. Prisoners serving sentences of between three months and 12 months may serve between 15 days and three months on HDC.
Prisoners serving between four weeks and four years who are not released early on HDC may be eligible for release up to 18 days earlier than their automatic release date (normally the half way point of sentence) under the End of Custody Licence scheme (ECL). Data about the scheme is published every month on the Ministry of justice website. Since the scheme began in June 2007 to the end of January 2008, 18,583 prisoners had been released on ECL of whom 15,175 prisoners were serving sentences of less than 12 months.
These data have been drawn from the relevant OMCS and Prison Statistics England and Wales publications and the End of Custody Licence report, all of which may be accessed via the Ministry of Justice website.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what account prison governors are required to take of the minimum term to be served identified by the sentencing judge in determining the early release date of an inmate; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) under whose discretion an inmate serving a prison sentence of 12 months would be released after three months, where the sentencing judge determined that a minimum of six months should be served; what conditions are placed on the exercise of such discretion; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: Statutory provisions determine when an offender will be released. In the case of an indeterminate sentence, the judge specifies a minimum term, which is served in full before release is possible. For determinate sentences, the judge specifies the total sentence length and release is then according to statutory provisions in respect of the length and type of sentence imposed.
Prisoners serving a sentence of 12 months may be eligible for release under the Home Detention scheme up to three months earlier than their automatic release date if they meet the statutory eligibility criteria and pass the risk assessment.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice under what circumstances an inmate would receive remission of 90 days when considering
eligibility for early release from a prison sentence of 12 months or less; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: Prisoners sentenced to 12 months or less are statutorily entitled to automatic release at the half way point of their sentence. They may be released earlier under the Home Detention Curfew scheme (HDC) if they meet the statutory criteria and are considered suitable. To be released 90 days early, a prisoner must be serving a sentence of at least 360 days. Prisoners serving shorter sentences would not be eligible for release 90 days early.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will make a statement on an inmates eligibility for early release from prison when serving a sentence of (a) less than 12 months, (b) between 12 months and four years and (c) more than four years. 
Prisoners who are subject to the release provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 who are serving sentences of less than four years are automatically released at the halfway point of the sentence. Those serving sentences of four years or more are eligible for consideration for early release by the Parole Board at the half way point in their sentence and, if early release is not granted, are automatically released at the two thirds point of their sentence.
Prisoners serving standard determinate sentences of at least 12 months who are subject to the release provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (the 2003 Act) are automatically released at the half way point in the sentence. Prisoners serving extended sentences for public protection under the provisions of the 2003 Act are eligible for consideration for release by the Parole Board at the halfway point of the custodial term.
In the case of prisoners given indeterminate sentences for public protection or life sentences, the minimum period to be served before parole will be granted is determined by the sentencing judge and release is thereafter at the discretion of the Parole Board.
The Home Detention Curfew scheme enables eligible prisoners serving primarily between three months and less than four years to be released, depending on their sentence length, up to 135 days earlier than their statutory automatic release date. Long term prisoners serving sentences of four years who are subject to the release arrangements of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 are statutorily ineligible for HDC. Prisoners serving sentences of four years or more and who are subject to the release arrangements of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 are not statutorily excluded from HDC but are presumed unsuitable unless there are exceptional circumstances. Some groups of prisoners are excluded from HDC, such as registered sex offenders and prisoners serving extended sentences.
Under the End of Custody Licence scheme, prisoners serving between four weeks and four years are released under temporary licence for the final 18 days of their sentence subject to meeting strict eligibility criteria and providing a release address.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many diabetics received treatment while in prison in (a) the last 12 months and (b) the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: The information requested is not collected centrally. In April 2006, responsibility for commissioning health services in publicly run prisons in England fully devolved to national health service primary care trusts. The aim of the Gvernment is to ensure prisoners have access to the same quality and range of health care services as the general public receives from the NHS. Treatment of prisoners with diabetes is therefore provided in line with the National Service Framework on diabetes.
|Number of prisoners( 1) involved in self-harm incidents( 2)|
|(1) These are estimates of the number of individuals, based on 94 per cent. of recorded incidents of self-harm. Recorded self-harm is based on information supplied by prisons through the Prison Service Incident Reporting System (IRS). Self-harm is a high volume incident and is subject to technical and recording problems but the system provides a sensible indication of the numbers of incidents and individuals who self-harm.|
(2) Recorded self-harm incidents (and particularly figures of prisoners involved derived from them) before 2003, when new procedures were introduced, are not fit for purpose.
clinical services (alcohol detoxification), available in all local and remand prisons, as well as some young offenders institutions;
Alcoholics Anonymous run groups in 67 per cent. of prisons;
where alcohol is part of poly-drug misuse, CARATs (counselling, assessment, referral, advice and throughcare services) are available in all prisons with the exception of HMP Blantyre House;
a range of more intensive interventions is being piloted; and
the Young Persons Substance Misuse Service for 16 to 18-year-olds provides support for those with both alcohol and drug problems in 18 prisons.
clinical services (detoxification and maintenance prescribing);
CARAT services which also take the lead Drug Intervention Programme (DIP) role in prisons, engaging with prison resettlement teams and criminal justice integrated teams (CJITs) in the community; and
intensive drug rehabilitation programmes, run in 99 prisons.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people over the age of 18 years were placed in custody in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England and Wales in each year since 1997. 
|Number of persons aged 18 and over sentenced(1) to immediate custody in South Tyneside, the North East and England and Wales, all courts, 1997-2006|
|Number of persons|
|(1) Principal offence basis. (2) The South Tyneside district includes an adult and a youth court. (3) The North East region includes; Northumbria, Durham, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Humberside and Cleveland. Source: RDS-NOMS, Ministry of Justice 17 March 2008, Ref: PQ(RN)125-08|
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