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6 Oct 2008 : Column 186W—continued

Probation Trusts

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he plans to increase the number of First Wave Probation Trusts. [222303]

Mr. Hanson: The Government will be continuing to work closely with and support the first six probation trusts in the learning year of 2008-09 as they develop and evolve. There are no plans to establish any further First Wave Trusts but better development of the next wave is under consideration.

Reoffenders

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many former prisoners re-offended within 12 months of release in (a) Lancashire and (b) nationally in each of the last five years. [222951]


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Mr. Straw: The following table shows the number of offenders released from custody who committed a reoffence within 12 months, where the offender was subsequently convicted of this offence at court in England and Wales. I regret that figures on where reoffences are committed by police force area are not currently available. These figures have been taken from the most recently available adult reoffending cohorts, which include all offenders released from prison or starting community sentences in the first quarters of 2002 to 2006, where the offender could be matched to the Police National Computer (PNC).

Number of offenders reoffending within 12 months of release from prison Total number of releases from prison( 1) Percentage of offenders reoffending within 12 months of release

Q1 2002

8,574

15,578

55.0

Q1 2003

7,738

14,358

53.9

Q1 2004

8,185

15,761

51.9

Q1 2005

7,165

14,595

49.1

Q1 2006

6,686

14,380

46.5

(1) Where the offender could be matched to the PNC

The latest reoffending statistics, ‘Reoffending of adults: results from the 2006 cohort’, including additional information on frequency and severity of reoffending, were published on 4 September 2008. It showed that between the 2000 and 2006 cohorts, frequency of reoffending fell by 22.9 per cent., severity of reoffending fell by 11.1 per cent., and the proportion of offenders reoffending fell by 10.7 per cent.

The full report is available on the Ministry of Justice website at

Schools

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library a copy of any materials his Department has distributed to schools since its inception. [222548]

Maria Eagle: The Ministry of Justice, created on 9 May 2007, has placed copies the following materials in the Library. All of the items can be accessed by schools via the internet.

Ministry of Justice HQ

This is a human rights information resource for teachers within the Key Stage 3 Citizenship curriculum. Teachers are reached through the DCSF TeacherNet channel. The resource can be accessed at

Office for Criminal Justice Reform

Schools were invited, via direct mail, to opt in for a free teaching pack. This is promoted through the DCSF using their communication channels and can be accessed at

National Offender Management Service


6 Oct 2008 : Column 188W

These are real-life cases where actors play the parts of the offenders and invite the viewer to decide on a suitable sentence. It is being promoted by the Association for Citizenship Teaching. DCSF has collaborated by testing and approving supporting materials for citizenship. The resource can be accessed at:

Secure Training Centres: Restraint Techniques

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many times restraint has been used in secure training centres for the purpose of (a) ensuring good order, (b) preventing a child from escaping from custody, (c) preventing a child injuring himself or others and (d) preventing a child from damaging property. [222794]

Mr. Hanson: The information requested has been collected centrally by the Youth Justice Board since April 2008 and is set out in the following table.

April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 Tota1

Good order and discipline

4

0

3

9

0

16

Escape from custody

0

0

1

1

0

2

Injuring self or others

137

95

119

170

150

671

Damage to property

7

14

13

7

15

56

Source:
Data supplied by the Youth Justice Board from administrative systems

Solicitors Regulation Authority

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he has received the report of Lord Ouseley into allegations of racism in the Solicitors Regulation Authority. [220232]

Bridget Prentice: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor (Mr. Straw), and I have received copies of Lord Ouseley’s report into disproportionate regulatory outcomes for black and minority ethnic solicitors, which was published on 14 August 2008.

We welcome Lord Ouseley’s review and his recommendations and also the SRA’s commitment to implementing the recommendations. We look forward to receiving a copy of the SRA’s action plan setting out how they propose to do this and the time scales to which they are working.

Stress

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what arrangements his Department has in place to assist officials to overcome the effects of stress experienced in the workplace. [222176]

Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice (MOJ), excluding HM Prison Service, has a formal Stress at Work policy, which is supported by a dedicated toolkit and a learning guide on the MOJ intranet. The toolkit provides detailed
6 Oct 2008 : Column 189W
guidance for managers and employees as to how the causes of harmful stress experienced as a result of either a work or a non-work related condition can be identified and prevented. Individuals who are experiencing stress are encouraged to complete a formal assessment with their line managers designed to identify possible remedies and constructive actions that can be taken to address the causes identified.

Individuals and line managers can access support through their HR advisors if necessary and further specialist advice and support can be obtained via our Employee Assistance Programme and internal support services. The MOJ operates a 24-hour support help line that any member of staff can access and support is also available through corporate staff networks and via the TUS.

The public sector Prison Service offers comprehensive support to staff at risk of post traumatic stress following an incident at work. In the immediate aftermath of a potentially traumatic incident, line managers conduct initial debriefing and care teams are in place in every establishment to offer peer support. If necessary, a full critical incident debrief is later conducted by specialist employee support officers, who can recommend referrals for specialist treatment, including counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy. The prison service also operates a 24-hour support helpline that any member of staff can access.

The prison service has been working closely with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in Kent area on a project aimed at implementing the HSE stress management standards and using this information and lessons learned to develop stress management policies and guidance for the Service. In accordance with the best practice approach advocated by HSE, stress management initiatives will be integrated into wider HR initiatives.

We are also currently developing in-house training for general ‘stress awareness’ and ‘stress management for line managers’ for the benefit of staff.

Taxis

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on taxis in the last financial year for which figures are available. [223028]

Maria Eagle: For the 2007-08 financial year figures are as follows.

£

National Offender Management Service—Centre

Taxi Fares Admin Travel

54,950

UK Taxi Fares Programme Travel

33,340

Overseas Taxi Fares Admin Travel

255

Total

88,545

Office for Criminal Justice Reform

Taxi Fares Admin Travel

15,352

Overseas Taxi Fares Admin Travel

24

Total

15,376


6 Oct 2008 : Column 190W

Ministry of Justice HQ and Associated Offices, HM Courts Service, HM Prison Service, Tribunals Service, Office of the Public Guardian

It is not possible to determine how much was spent on taxis in the last 12 months, as the expenditure is not separately identifiable within the Department's financial systems. This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

All official travel by Ministers and civil servants is undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the ‘Ministerial Code’ and the ‘Civil Service Management Code’ respectively. Copies of these are available in the House Library.

Voting Behaviour

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice for what reasons the consultation on weekend voting offers distinct options of Saturday, Sunday and both Saturday and Sunday and only a single weekday option. [222256]

Mr. Wills: The “Election Day: Weekend Voting” consultation paper explains that a General Election may currently be held on any weekday, although local government elections are required to be held on a Thursday. The “Governance of Britain” Green Paper made a commitment to consult on the question of moving elections to the weekend on the basis that there may be advantages in moving in terms of convenience for voters. The benefits that moving elections to a weekday other than Thursday might have in terms of convenience for the voter are less obvious.

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the turnout rate at (a) national and (b) local elections among (i) men and (ii) women in the latest period for which figures are available. [222285]

Bridget Prentice: The Government believe that elections must be equally accessible and responsive to the needs of all eligible male and female electors.

A number of surveys have been conducted on behalf of, or used by, the Electoral Commission which provide estimated figures for the percentage of men and women who voted at the national and local elections between 2001 and 2008:

General elections

Local elections


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Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) men and (b) women voted in the 2005 general election. [222286]

Bridget Prentice: Information is not held centrally on the number of men and women who voted in the 2005 general election. However, an independent MORI poll conducted at the time of the 2005 general election estimated that 62 per cent. of men voted compared with 61 per cent. of women.

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what role he expects external opinion research firms to play in the Citizens’ Summit on weekend voting. [223959]

Mr. Wills: We are currently exploring the potential use of external opinion research firms to assist in the design and delivery of the deliberative element of the summit.


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