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Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what changes have been made to the Legal Services Commissions (a) targets for handling (i) correspondence and (ii) complaints and (b) quality control checking procedures since its establishment, and on what dates; how these changes were notified to (A) regional directors and (B) account managers; and what procedures are in place to advise the Commissions customers of such changes; 
(2) which categories of Legal Services Commission staff have job descriptions which include an element of customer service; what the paybands of each category are; what customer services are assessed; how staff performance against customer service objectives is measured; and what account is taken of customer service performance in staff remuneration; 
(3) whether an element of the remuneration of (a) the Chief Executive, (b) members of the executive team, (c) regional directors and (d) account managers of the Legal Services Commission is linked to (i) the level of complaints made against the Commission and (ii) the Commissions customer service performance. 
The LSC strives to maintain the highest standards of customer service and effective complaint handling. In order to pursue this each year the LSC measures its performance against a national customer service score. In 2006-07 the LSC exceeded this target by achieving 92 per cent. against a target of 88 per cent. In 2006-07 the number of complaints received dropped by 15 per cent., which was a continuing trend compared to previous years.
Information on the LSCs remuneration policies and executive team pay is also published in the LSCs annual reports. The latest remuneration report is at pages 48-53 of the LSCs Annual Report and Accounts 2006-07.
Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what guidance the Legal Services Commission gives to those wishing to make complaints about the Commission; and what undertakings it makes to complainants about the handling of their complaints. 
Bridget Prentice: The Legal Services Commission is committed to providing the best possible service for all its customers. It strives to maintain the highest standards of customer service and effective complaint handling. Information on LSCs procedures and undertakings for handling complaints can be found on the How to Complain leaflet and available at their website at:
Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many complaints the Legal Services Commission has received concerning its Chief Executive since 1 April 2007; when each complaint was received; how it was processed; and what the outcome of each complaint was; 
(2) how many complaints concerning the Chief Executive of the Legal Services Commission are outstanding; and how many of these relate to failures to process complaints in accordance with the Commissions procedures. 
Bridget Prentice: There have been no complaints made about the chief executive since April 2007 within the formal complaints procedure. One individual has contacted the chief executive directly with a variety of complaints. The chief executive wrote to the individual in March 2008 with a response to all complaints raised. The individual continued to complain, and accused the chief executive of failing to follow the LSCs complaints procedure. The individual has been advised to meet with the appropriate regional director so that the complaints can be dealt with at the appropriate level.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) male and (b) female prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment were convicted for serious offences within two years of their release from prison in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hanson: This information is not available. The published statistics on reoffending do not include a breakdown at this level of detail. The information requested is not readily available from any single data source and would require data matching and manual checking of records to ensure that it was reliable. Providing this information would therefore incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners have had decisions on parole delayed by the cancellation of the Parole Board meeting at which decisions were due because the Board had not received the relevant paperwork in the last five years. 
The information requested is set out in the following table and is based on data held by the Parole Board. It includes determinate and indeterminate prisoners whose parole reviews were delayed while the Parole Board sought additional information. It excludes the Parole Board's review of recalled prisoners. It covers the period from April 2004
to March 2008; data on deferrals broken down by reasons for the deferral were not collected prior to 2004-05.
|Number of deferrals|
Bridget Prentice: Since the commencement of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in October 2007, Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) forms and related guidance have been available free of charge from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Registration of an LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian attracts a fee of £150.00. This represents a small increase on the cost of registering an older Enduring Power of Attorney of £125.00. The increase reflects the additional costs to the OPG in processing LPAs. These fees are subject to a system of remissions and exemptions for people on low incomes.
There was wide public consultation when the forms and guidance were designed and the aim was to produce documents that both met the legislative requirements but could also be filled in easily. We were mindful of the fact that many users would be lay people who would have little prior knowledge of LPAs or how they operate. The forms were designed with the needs of this audience in mind and were put through external usability tests that were used to refine the forms further.
The OPG will be reviewing the effectiveness of the Act once it has been in operation for a full year and there has been an opportunity to see how well it is working in practice. As part of this review the OPG will be looking at the design of the LPA forms and guidance to identify whether any improvements might be possible.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the Answer of 14th May 2008, Official Report, column 1572W, on prisoners: release, how many prisoners have been released automatically at the halfway point under section 244 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Hanson: The Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA03) applies to those prisoners who committed an offence on or after 4 April 2005. The Act states that all offenders who receive a standard determinate sentence are automatically released at the halfway point of their sentence and remain under licence, subject to recall if they breach licence conditions, for the remainder of their sentence. Offenders who receive an indeterminate or extended sentence for a sexual or violent offence, are not automatically released, although an extended sentence prisoner may be released at the halfway point upon the Parole Boards discretion.
The following table provides the information available, extracted from tables 10.1 and 10.2 from the latest annual publication Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2006. This gives the number of people released from prison with a sentence from 12 months to four years. The majority of these people are likely to have been sentenced under CJA03 and therefore released at the halfway point. It should be noted that as CJA03 refers only to those offences committed on or after 4 April 2005, the majority of people released from sentences of over three years will have been sentenced under earlier Acts.
|Number of prisoners discharged from determinate sentences on completion of sentence or on licenceadults|
|Length of sentence( 1)||Number of persons discharged( 2, 3)|
|Number of prisoners discharged from determinate sentences on completion of sentence or on licenceyoung offenders|
|Length of Sentence( 1)||Number of persons discharged( 2, 3)|
|(1) On discharge: the sentence may change after reception if there are further charges or an appeal.|
(2 )Excluded discharges following recall after release on licence, non-criminals, persons committed to custody for non-payment of a fine and persons reclassified as adult prisoners.
(3 )Rounded to the nearest 100 or the nearest 10 for number less than 100.
Visiting a parent in prison is one of many reasons why pupils are absent from school. Our guidance to schools and local authorities recognises it as one of the reasons why schools might authorise an absence. We also recommend that schools and local authorities strategies to manage and minimise absence should aim to address pupils individual needs in order to prevent unnecessary or avoidable absence and help pupils catch up the work that they miss. Schools and local authorities are working hard to do this and the absence figures that we published for the 2006/07 school year show that this personalised approach is working. We do not see a need for research on this particular issue.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to reduce the percentage of prisoners within the high security estate with an identified accommodation need who do not have appropriate support planned for them upon release. 
Mr. Hanson: During the year ending March 2008, 95.8 per cent. of those released from high security estate establishments were released with settled accommodation arranged for them. It should also be noted that the majority of these releases will be offenders subject to MAPPA arrangements. This means that they will have a structured release plan including supervised accommodation arrangements and appropriate support once back in the community.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions there were under (i) section 141 (a), (ii) section 141 (b), and (iii) section 142 of the Licensing Act 2003 in each year for which figures are available. 
Since the Licensing Act 2003 came into force on 24 November 2005 two defendants were proceeded against at magistrates courts and one found guilty at all courts in 2006, in England and Wales under section 141 (a) and (b). No defendants have been proceeded against or found guilty under section 142 of the Licensing Act.
In addition, under the penalty notice for disorder (PND) scheme established by the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, the police can issue a £80 fixed penalty to those found selling or attempting to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk (section 141 of the Licensing Act 2003 (c.17) The number of PNDs issued were 32 in 2005 and 47 in 2006.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average length was of sentences (a) handed down to and (b) served by those who were convicted of (i) violence against the person, (ii) sexual offences and (iii) robbery in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
The following table shows the available data on average sentence length and time served (including remand), relating to those discharged
between 2000 and 2006 from determinate sentences served in prisons in England and Wales, along with the corresponding numbers of discharges.
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