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Mr. Straw: The following figures give the number of occasions on which prisoners were held in police cells under Operation Safeguard in England and Wales in each of the last six months and the average number of prisoners per night. One occasion is defined as one prisoner night spent in a police cell.
|Month||Number of occasions||Average number in Safeguard per night( 1)|
|(1) Based on number of nights that Safeguard was available in each month|
Police forces invoice NOMS in arrears and it is not possible to attach a specific cost to each of these figures. However, the current estimated average cost of a Safeguard place is about £385 per night.
In addition there were some 144 ad-hoc lockouts in the last six months. This is an emergency measure to hold prisoners overnight. It is used, for example, when the designated prison's reception will be closed before their arrival time, usually due to the distance of the journey or time of departure from court. Ad-hoc lockouts cost an average £120 per night.
Police cells have been used to hold prisoners before. They were used to hold prisoners regularly from 1982 until 1993, and from 1994-95. They were also used from July to November 2002. Their use peaked in 1988, and peaked again in 1990-92, when more than 1,000 prisoners a night were being regularly held in police cells.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost per night was for holding people in custody in (a) police cells and (b) prisons in Essex in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Straw: Police forces invoice in arrears for Operation Safeguard and it is often difficult deriving an accurate average for a particular force. In the case of Essex, however, invoices and data for Safeguard use between 16 October 2006 and 30 September 2007 allow us to calculate an average cost of £349 for holding a prisoner in a police cell overnight during that period.
Mr. Straw: Since October 2006 the Government have used police cells in significant numbers to help manage pressure in the prison population. The Governments policy however is that juveniles should only be held overnight in police cells in the most exceptional circumstances. It should not happen routinely. Our records indicate that since October 2006 two juveniles have been held overnight in police cells in Essex. Data prior to this cannot be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hanson: At the end of February 2008 there were (a) 480 prisoners serving indeterminate public protection sentences in all Category C prison establishments in England and Wales and (b) 50 in all Category D prison establishments in England and Wales.
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 and are rounded to the nearest 10.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will introduce an additional system of reward and penalty for prisoners who have been returned to prison as a result of a licence recall. 
Mr. Hanson: There are no plans to introduce an additional system of reward and penalty for prisoners returned to prison as a result of a licence recall. On entering custody all prisoners are placed on the standard level of the Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme and the appropriateness of the level is reviewed after one month.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to ensure that prisons comply
with their responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. 
Mr. Hanson: The Ministry of Justice has just published its Disability Equality Scheme which covers all prisons. It sets out the approach that the Ministry of Justice will take to fulfil its statutory obligations to deliver equality of opportunity to disabled staff, offenders and other persons who come into contact with the Ministry of Justice.
The National Offender Management Service will in April issue a revised prison service order and standard, to expand on and update existing instructions. These explain the duties and responsibilities prisons have for prisoners with disabilities. It sets out those actions which must be undertaken by prison staff to ensure that the duties under the Disability Discrimination Act are met.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what mechanisms are in place for the rehabilitation of female youth offenders, with particular reference to programmes involving the construction industry. 
Mr. Hanson: All young women aged under 18 in custody receive a minimum of 22 hours of learning and skills provision, which must contain one third core education (English, Maths etc), one third vocational education, and one third for other education such as physical education and citizenship. In addition, depending on the young woman's individual needs, she may be required to attend offending behaviour programmes or receive specialist substance misuse services.
Although I am not aware of a specific construction programme for young female offenders, the Government have been engaging employers as part of the reducing re-offending Corporate Alliance. The aim of this alliance is to work in partnership with employers to improve the skills and employment outcomes for offenders. To date, we have over 100 employers signed up, some of whom are from the construction industry.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of female offenders (a) were given custodial sentences in each of the last 10 years and (b) have been given these sentences in 2008 to date; and if he will make a statement. 
|Number of women sentenced( 1) and given immediate custody, all courts, England and Wales, 1997 to 2006|
|(1) Principal offence basis.|
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
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will provide a breakdown of the number and proportion of women given custodial sentences by the length of sentence in (a) each of the last five years and (b) in 2008 to date; and if he will make a statement. 
|Number of women sentenced( 1) to immediate custody and percentage of total, all ages, all courts, England and Wales 2002-06|
|Number of persons|
|Length of sentence||Number given custody||% of total||Number given custody||% of total||Number given custody||% of total||Number given custody||% of total||Number given custody||% of total|
|(1) Principal offence basis.|
(2) Indicates a percentage total of less than 1 per cent.
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
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