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Mr. Hanson: The Government's counter-terrorism strategy identifies prisons as one of a number of arenas where extremists may seek to radicalise others. Prisons manage this risk as part of the National Offender Management Service's work to protect the public and reduce re-offending. The National Offender Management Service works closely with the Home Office and other experts to develop our counter-radicalisation efforts.
Mr. Hanson: We keep the capacity of the prison estate, including young offender institutions, under review. We are increasing prison capacity to meet current population pressures and a projected rise in the prison population by building around 1,500 additional places for the young offender estate.
Mr. Malik: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) met British Telecom on 17 October to begin negotiations on the cost of prisoner calls following the recommendation made by Ofcom in their investigation into the National Consumer Council super-complaint. NOMS is seeking a reduction in the cost of domestic landline and mobile calls for prisoners, although the provider is not contractually obliged to do so. NOMS will keep Ofcom informed of developments. Planning for the re-tendering project is also under way and we hope that call costs can be reduced under a new contract from April 2011.
Bridget Prentice: We are currently reviewing our plans for the publication of a consultation document on commonhold in the light of other priorities. Therefore, no date has been set for publication. I will make a statement about the publication date when a decision has been made.
Maria Eagle: The Ministry of Justice uses external consultants to provide expert professional advice on specific time limited tasks, usually in connection with projects, and only where the knowledge and advice they bring cannot be provided in-house.
Bridget Prentice: Since 1997 the Government have been working to ensure that all sections of domestic violence law support and protect all victims of domestic abuse. In 2004 the Government passed the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act which was the biggest overhaul of domestic violence law for 30 years.
Aside from legislation, on a national level in criminal courts this has included practical system changes promoting a co-ordinated community response to domestic violence through a set of initiatives in and around the criminal justice agencies which include:
establishing 104 Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVC) with a commitment to increase this to 128 courts by 2011. These innovative courts represent both a partnership and a problem solving approach to domestic violence where the
police, prosecutors, magistrates, court staff, the probation service and specialist support services work together to identify, track and risk' assess cases, support victims of domestic violence and share information better so that more offenders are brought to justice;
setting up Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences by the agencies which focus on issues of safety, children, housing and health; and
funding independent domestic violence advisers, via the Third Sector, who support victims through the court process.
In both criminal and family courts which are not part of the SDVC network, special measures are available such as screening vulnerable witnesses or victims from the view of the accused, giving evidence by video link, separate exits and entrances to the court, separate waiting rooms, separate toilets and advance viewing of the court.
There are other ways that victims are supported, for example, the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 provides central funding to appoint a lawyer to protect victims and witnesses of specific offences against cross-examination by a defendant in person.
Maria Eagle: Available information on speed limit offences within the Hampshire police force area from 2002 to 2006 (latest available) is provided in the following table. 2007 data should be available end of November 2008.
|Number of magistrates courts imposed fines( 1, 2 ) and fixed penalty notices issued( 3) for speed limit offences( 4) , within Hampshire police force area, 2002 to 2006|
|Number of offences|
|Court imposed fines( 1, 2)||Fixed penalty notices issued( 3)|
|(1) May include cases where fixed penalty was issued and not paid and consequently referred to court.|
(2) Magistrates courts data only. Fines given at the Crown court total nationally (England and Wales) less than 10 each year.
(3) Covers tickets paid where there is no further action.
(4) Offences under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 ss. 16, 81, 84, 86, 88 and 89; Motor Vehicles (Speed Limit on Motorways) Regs. 1973; Parks Regulation (Amendment) Act 1926: byelaws made thereunder.
1. Force does not issue written warnings for summary motoring offences.
2. It is known that for some police force areas, the reporting of court proceedings in particular those relating to summary motoring offences, may be less than complete. Written warning may also be under reported.
3. 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.
Mr. Wills: It is an offence for a person to vote twice in a general election. Any offence, if successfully prosecuted, could result in a fine of up to £5,000. At a general election the presiding officer at a polling station may, if necessary, ask any elector if they have already voted at the election, and may withhold a ballot paper from an elector if they do not answer the question satisfactorily.
If an elector votes in person in a polling station the electoral register is marked to record the issue of the ballot paper to them, and similarly a list is maintained of returned postal votes. In the event of an election petition or police investigation following a general election, these records may bring to light any voting irregularities at the election.
Mr. Hanson: Responsibility to secure appropriate mental health treatment and care within the prison estate transferred fully to primary care trusts with commissioning responsibility in the NHS in 2006. Investment increased from £118 million in 2002-03 to nearly £200 million in 2006-07 and 2007-08.
Mental health treatment and care is delivered by the NHS within prisons. By 2005-06 nearly £20 million was being invested recurrently in mental health in-reach. There are now 102 mental health in-reach teams and all prisons have access to them: a total of 360 extra staff altogether. These teams apply NHS standards to the care and management of patients. This includes where relevant management under the care programme approach, individual support and treatment plans and access to day services and psychological therapies. For those individuals who are assessed to be too ill to treat in prison arid meet the criteria for detention under section of the Mental Health Act are transferred to hospital for treatment.
Last year, 28 per cent. more prisoners, with mental illness too severe for prison, were transferred to hospital than in 2002up to 926 from 723. There has also been a significant decrease in the number of people waiting for a transfer. At the end of December 2007 there were 40 people waiting for a bed for more than 12 weeks. At the end of March 2008 there were only 24.
In relation to the small number of people with a severe personality disorder who are dangerous, the Department of Health and Ministry of Justice is investing in special secure services. The programme has a capacity of over 300 places in two high security prisons (Frankland and Whitemoor); a female prison (Low Newton in Durham) and two high security hospitals (Broadmoor and Rampton). They provide essential clinical services for dangerous offenders whose offending is linked to severe personality disorder.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the facilities available to convicted prisoners with severe psychiatric disorders; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: We continue to investigate the issues and have commissioned Lord Bradley to review a wide range of services for offenders with mental health issues. The Government welcomed the report prepared last year by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons on the mental health of prisoners and the recommendations made therein for improving the quality of mental health treatment and care. There continues to be investment in prison health services to meet the needs of prisoners with mental health problems. All prisoners receive a health assessment when received into prison, prisons now have access to mental health in reach teams, this enables prisoners with mental health problems to be treated and managed in a variety of locations within prisons, reflecting the care and treatment that would be available in community settings. Day services are available in some establishments to support individuals with mental health problems.
Additional funding for drug services is being made available to meet the needs of prisoners with dual diagnosis. For those individuals who are too ill to be managed in a custodial setting and whose mental health needs have been assessed as meeting the criteria for detention under the Mental Health Act, are transferred to hospital for treatment and only return to prison when well enough. The Department of Health in partnership with the MoJ will publish its strategy Improving Health Supporting Justice next year incorporating our views on the quality and future direction of health care in prisons fallowing a public consultation. The strategy will also take account of the recommendations that Lord Bradley will make on the potential to divert people with mental health problems and/or learning difficulties away from prison. This builds on the work we already do to divert over 500 mentally disordered offenders to hospital every year, avoiding prison altogether, and to transfer over 800 people a year from prison if they need specialist treatment in hospital.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent discussions he has had with the Chief Inspector of Prisons on the provision of treatment in prisons for prisoners with severe psychiatric disorders; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: I meet with the Chief Inspector on a regular basis and discuss a variety of issues. The Government welcomed the HM Inspector of Prisons thematic review on the mental health of prisoners published in 2007 and the recommendations made therein for improving the quality of mental health treatment and care. We also welcome the Chief Inspector's most recent report on the indeterminate sentence for public protection. The Department of Health in partnership with the Ministry of Justice will publish its strategy Improving Health Supporting Justice' next year incorporating our views on the quality and future direction of health care in prisons following a public consultation. This will also take account of the recommendations that Lord Bradley will make on the potential to divert people with mental health problems and/or learning disabilities away from prison.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what information his Department has gathered on the effect of its policies and practices on the recruitment, development and retention of employees with mental illnesses within (a) his Department and (b) the public sector bodies for which he has responsibility; and what use has been made of that information. 
Mr. Malik: Under the Disability Equality Duty introduced by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, the Department and its public sector bodies listed in the associated Regulations are required to publish and implement disability equality schemes. These are plans setting out how they will carry out the Disability Equality Duty, monitor, and report on progress. In particular this includes their arrangements for gathering information on the effect of their policies and practices on the recruitment, development and retention of their disabled employees, including those with mental health conditions, and making use of that information.
In order to ensure that the disability equality issues are enshrined in all departmental legislation, policy and service delivery, all new policies and functions have to be equality impact assessed for their impact on disabled people.
The Department gathers and uses information on the effect of its policies and practices on disabled people in a number of ways, including involving disabled people in focus groups, through staff surveys and by identifying relevant research or data collected by other Government Departments and organisations.
The Department aims to go beyond compliance and there is a commitment to ensuring that disabled staff have confidence and trust in the organisation and that they are able to participate fully in staff development opportunities. The Department is an authorised user of the two ticks scheme, allowing disabled candidates who meet the minimum requirements of a role, to be guaranteed an interview, for both internally and externally advertised positions.
The Department has a disability network that provides confidential advice and support to staff, and a Workplace
Support Services helpline and advisers to signpost staff to sources of help, including disability advice, information or assistance within the Department or to outside service providers and voluntary organisations.
There is also guidance on making reasonable adjustments to meet the particular requirements identified by an individual who has declared a disability (though disability declaration is voluntary), and a range of guidance on specific disabilities.
In line with the Disability Equality Duty, a report is published every three years to show: progress towards disability equality in my policy sector; and proposals for co-ordination of future work by relevant public authorities within my policy sector. These reports will show what impact, if any, policies have had on the recruitment and retention of disabled people including those with mental health condition, and set out proposals to address any gaps identified when establishing the progress made across the policy sector. The first report must be published by December 2008.
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