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1 May 2008 : Column 643Wcontinued
Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prosecutions there were for dog fighting in the last 12 months. 
Maria Eagle: The information held by my Department on court proceedings does not contain information about the circumstances behind each case other than the information that may be gleaned from the offence itself. As a result offences involving illegal dog fighting cannot be separately identified from other offences of animal cruelty under the Protection of Animals Act 1911, nor can it be separated from offences of animal fighting' under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent representations he has received on the system of electoral registration; and if he will make a statement. 
Bridget Prentice: Since November 2007 my Department has received 105 representations about the system of electoral registration, including access to the electoral register, franchise arrangements for overseas voters and reducing the voting age to 16. I have personally written to 54 Members of Parliament in response to these representations. During the same period, I have also answered 25 parliamentary questions relating to electoral registration.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have applied for a non-molestation order since 1 July 2007. 
Bridget Prentice: From 1 July 2007 to 31 March 2008, 11,915 applications for a non-molestation order were made to county courts.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to Prison Service Instruction 2005/33, on the practice of paganism in prison, how many wands are available in prisons in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland. 
Maria Eagle: This information is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Prison Service policy is to enable prisoners of different faith traditions, including Paganism, to practise their
religion. Guidance on the practice of religion in prisons is set out in Prison Service Order (PSO) 4550 (Religion), a copy of which is in the Library of the House.
The PSO contains details of religious artefacts which are allowed in possession for relevant faiths so that prisoners can practise their religion within the constraints of good order and discipline. The information on Paganism was developed in consultation with the Pagan Federation and enables prisons to facilitate its practice properly and responsibly. The religious artefacts for Pagan prisoners include a flexible twig for a wand.
Information on prisons in Northern Ireland is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many early release offenders who have been recalled since June 2007 are still at large; what steps are being taken to apprehend them; and what offences they were convicted of. 
Mr. Hanson: The end of custody licence was introduced on 29 June 2007. Eligible prisoners serving between four weeks and four years may be released under licence from prison up to up to 18 days before their automatic release date.
All prisoners released on ECL are liable to recall if they are reported to have misbehaved during the period of the licence. A decision to recall an offender from ECL lies with the governors of establishments, and it is the responsibility of the establishments to ensure the police are notified that the prisoner's ECL licence has been revoked and the offender is to be returned to custody.
Between 29 June 2007 and 29 February 2008, 745 offenders were notified as recalled, following their release on ECL. This equates to 4 per cent. of those released on ECL. As of 21 March 2008, 612 (82 per cent.) of these offenders had been returned to custody, while 133 (18 per cent.) had not yet been returned to custody. The offences for which those 133 offenders were convicted, are listed in the following table:
The police local to the area where the offender was living will be notified of the recall of the offender by the Governor of the releasing establishment. Arrest and return to custody of those offenders is an operational matter for the police.
Information about end of custody licence releases and recalls is published on a monthly basis on the Ministry of Justice website at
The latest report was published on 31 March and refers to February as the reporting month.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the effects on prisoners of being released early. 
Mr. Hanson: During the year 2006-07 there were 4,285 offenders subject to Post Release Licence (offenders serving 12 months or more and those under 22 years of age). Of these 246 (5.7 per cent.) were recalled following an allegation of a further offence.
The Home Detention Curfew Scheme (HOC) began in 1999. It is applied to prisoners serving sentences of between three months and under four years who meet the eligibility criteria. It allows prisoners to live outside prison providing they do not breach the rules of their curfew. Approximately 148,000 prisoners have been released on HDC since the scheme began. 85 per cent. complete their curfew successfully. About 4 per cent. are reported to re-offend during the curfew period.
The End of Custody Licence Scheme (ECL) came into effect on 29 June 2007. Prisoners serving sentences of four weeks or more but less than four years who meet the eligibility criteria are released under licence up to 18 days earlier than they would otherwise be released. Between 29 June 2007 and 31 March 2008 about 23,700 prisoners have been released under the scheme. Of those released NOMS have been notified that about 3 per cent. have been recalled and just 1 per cent. have been notified as allegedly offending during the ECL period.
All prisoners who are subject to HDC/ECL including those who are not subject to Post Release Licence are liable to recall if they are reported to have misbehaved during the HDC/ECL period.
During the HDC/ECL period offenders who are subject to Post-Release Licence are required to meet their Offender Manager after release and to have regular contact after that in line with Probation Service National Standards. During the HDC/ECL period prisoners are encouraged to seek employment and training and to engage with relevant community resources. These measures apply only to those who have accommodation to go to.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many new prison blocks have been
commissioned in each of the last five years; and how many of them were commissioned under the private finance initiative model; 
(2) how many new prisons have been commissioned in each of the last five years; and how many of them were commissioned under the private finance initiative model. 
Mr. Hanson: 27 new prison accommodation units, which are now in use, have been commissioned since the 2003-04 financial year. Of these, two are in contracted prisons.
|Financial year||Number of units in public sector prisons||Number of units in contracted prisons|
The contract signature for conversion works to commence at HMP Kennet, a public sector prison, took place in the financial year 2006-07. No other contracts for new prisons have been signed in the last five financial years.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many men aged (a) 40 to 49, (b) 50 to 59, (c) 60 to 69, (d) 70 to 79 and (e) 80 years and above were prosecuted for offences relating to prostitution in each year since 1997, broken down by (i) offence and (ii) police force area. 
Maria Eagle: The information requested covering offences relating to prostitution is provided in the following tables.
The figures given relate to males for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
|Number of males aged 40-49 proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences related to prostitution, by police force area and offence class, England and Wales 1997 t o 2006( 1, 2, 3, 4)|
|Procuration||Child prostitution and pornography( 5)|
|Police force area||1997||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2004||2005||2006|
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