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Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of (a) the number of computer devices left on overnight in his Department when not in use and (b) the cost per year of leaving computer devices on overnight when not in use in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice is committed to reducing its carbon emissions under the campaign initiated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Most of the Department's IT equipment is switched off over night, as a matter of routine. There are some PCs that have to be left on in order to safeguard overnight data processing on some systems. We are working with our IT suppliers to put in place a technical solution to address this. Meanwhile, staff using these PCs are advised to switch off printers and monitors only.
The cost of electricity consumption associated with specific electronic devices being left on cannot be determined as invoices do not distinguish this expenditure. We will be exploring whether this information could be obtained in the future.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many files containing information about members of the public have been lost by his Department and its predecessor in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Wills: The number of lost files containing information about members of the public is not recorded centrally. However, my Department will be reporting on data security incidents in its resource accounts which were laid before the House on 21 July 2008.
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice was created on 9 May 2007 bringing together the former Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) and parts of the Home Office, namely the National Offender Management Service, including the prison and probation services and the Office for Criminal Justice Reform.
The figures in the following table show the number of staff taking early retirement for the former Department for Constitutional Affairs for the period mentioned, and for the first complete year of the new Ministry of Justice.
Staff taking early retirement has been taken to mean those staff retiring before their minimum retirement age. The minimum retirement age, of any member of the Ministry of Justice and associated agencies, is the earliest age at which anyone to whom the Pension Choices Scheme applies can retire with superannuation benefits. This is currently age 60 for most grades, or 55 for staff who have an entitlement to reserved rights under the 1987 Fresh Start arrangements.
Information on the age of staff retiring has been derived from the Ministrys HR Chrimson, HM Prison Service personnel corporate database and Oracle HR management systems. All of these systems are liable to the normal inaccuracies associated with any large reporting system.
|Number of staff retiring before their minimum retirement age|
|April to May|
|2006- 07||2007 - 08||Total|
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the percentage of (a) white, (b) African, (c) Bangladeshi, (d) Pakistani and (e) African-Caribbean people are registered to vote in the UK. 
However, the Electoral Commission found in their report, Understanding Electoral Registration, published in September 2005 that the groups least likely to be registered to vote included young people, those residing in private rented accommodation and those belonging to certain minority ethnic groups. Registration rates among White, Asian (those from Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities) and Black Caribbean groups were similar.
Section 9 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 placed a new duty on Electoral Registration Officers (ERO) to take all necessary steps to register eligible electors. These steps include sending the annual canvass form more than once, making house-to-house inquiries and inspecting records that the ERO is permitted to
inspect. The Government believe that these steps should help to tackle under-registration.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the White Paper on the reform of the House of Lords, what his working assumption is on the number of working peers appointed by the political parties between 2008 and 2013 for the purpose of calculating the number of peers under each alternative model outlined in section 8 of the White Paper. 
Mr. Straw: The modelling assumed that between now and 2013, 28 new life peers are appointed. Broadly, this reflects the current rate of appointments by the House of Lords Appointments Commission. No assumptions were made regarding party political nominations specifically, as there is no obvious basis on which to make assumptions about the number and timing of such appointments, because the pattern has varied considerably in the past.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to ensure that the rights of victims and their families are safeguarded when a convicted person is subject to a hospital order rather than given a prison sentence; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: We have enhanced the rights of victims to information, where the offender is sentenced by way of a restricted hospital order, in the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004. Those rights will be extended to cases where the offender receives an unrestricted hospital order by amendments in the Mental Health Act 2007, due to be implemented in November.
Where the offender has a restricted hospital order, the National Offender Management Service works with victims who wish to be kept informed, advising them about the offender's management as far as medical confidentiality allows, and passing to decision makers any representations victims wish to make about conditions for their protection in the event of the offender's discharge from hospital.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice in how many cases of the unexpected death of an offender while serving a custodial sentence in a prison or a young offender institution the family or next of kin of the deceased paid either some or all of the legal costs arising from inquest proceedings in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and what sum on average was paid by the family or next of kin in such cases. 
Inquests into deaths in prison custody are inquisitorial fact-finding processes, heard by a coroner with a jury. The information is not available in the requested format but figures for the number of cases where funding has been provided for families through legal aid exceptional funding is given in the following table. Figures are not available on whether those who
were granted legal aid also had to pay a contribution to their own legal costs, but contributions are not normally requested.
|Number of cases granted exceptional funding||Number of cases exceptional funding refused/abandoned|
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) under 19 and (b) over 18-year-olds have been convicted for illegally carrying (i) knives and (ii) other weapons in (A) 2007 and (B) 2008, broken down by police authority; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people aged (a) under 16, (b) 16 to 18 and (c) over 18 years were (i) charged, (ii) convicted and (iii) sentenced to immediate custody for possession of a knife in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Straw: The number of persons aged 10 to 15, 16 to 18, and 19 and over, who were proceeded against at magistrates courts, found guilty and sentenced to immediate custody at all courts for possession of a knife, in England and Wales for the years 2002 to 2006 can be viewed in the following table.
The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons 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.
|N umber of persons aged 10 to 15, 16 to 18, and 19 and over, who were proceeded against at magistrates courts, found guilty, and sentenced to immediate custody at all courts for possession of a knife, in England and Wales, 2002 to 2006|
|10-15||16-18||19 and over|
|Proceeded against||Found guilty||Immediate custody||Proceeded against||Found guilty||Immediate custody||Proceeded against||Found guilty||Immediate custody|
1. These data are on the principal offence basis.
2. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts, and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
3. Includes the following statutes and corresponding offence description:
Criminal Justice Act 1988 S.139 as amended by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 S.3. Having an article with blade or point in public place.
Criminal Justice Act 1988 S.139A (l)(5)(a) as added by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 S.4(l). Having an article with blade or point on school premises.
CJEAUOffice for Criminal Justice ReformMinistry of Justice
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