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Offenders: Drugs

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether a group to compile national guidance on the streamlining and commissioning of drug treatment for offenders has been established. [234561]

Mr. Hanson: A group chaired by Professor Lord Patel has been established to consider options for the streamlining of funding and commissioning arrangements for prison drug treatment. I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statements laid jointly with the Minister of State my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, South (Dawn Primarolo), Department of Health on 17 March 2008, Official Report, column 49WS and 13 June Official Report, column 34WS. I intend shortly to make a further written ministerial statement giving an update of progress made.

Offenders: Rehabilitation

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost was of accredited programmes delivered in (a) prisons and (b) probation services in the latest period for which information is available. [234148]

Mr. Hanson: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) offers a range of programmes to meet different needs and risks of offending. The cost of delivery varies across programmes and by prison establishment and probation area, depending on factors such as the nature, length and intensity of the programmes, volume of delivery and the existing infrastructure.

The average cost per individual completing programmes run by prison and probation services varies from £1,500 to £10,000. The small number of completions for the more intensive programmes for serious violent offenders cost more to deliver.

NOMS is currently undertaking a specifications, benchmarking and costings exercise which will provide more accurate costings of the interventions delivered.

Political Parties: Finance

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether under the proposed new election trigger rules, the local candidate spending limit will be reset if a candidate withdraws their candidature after they have triggered. [233376]

Mr. Straw: The candidate expenditure limit applies to all expenses used on regulated matters by an individual who does so in order to promote his election as a candidate. The spending limit applies to the individual in the event that they contest that election as a candidate.
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Should an individual withdraw their candidature, their actions would not affect anyone else who may then stand in their place. Each individual candidate can spend up to the spending limit—that is to say the spending limit is personal to the individual and is not transferable between candidates. This is not affected by the amendments to the 1983 Act proposed by clause 10 of the Political Parties and Elections Bill (Bill 141).


Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which factors his Department (a) deems relevant and (b) incorporates when making projections for the future prison population in England and Wales. [234883]

Mr. Hanson: There are many factors and data which are incorporated into the prison population projections to greater or lesser degrees. The most significant factors which the Department deems relevant to and incorporates into the projections are:

Factors which are deemed relevant but cannot be incorporated are those for which there is no agreed timetable, or those for which the effects cannot be projected with reasonable confidence, such as the effects of increased numbers of European arrest warrants resulting from the UK's involvement in the Schengen Information System 2.

More details on the prison projections may be found in the latest published bulletin, “Prison Population Projections 2008-15” Ministry of Justice Statistics Bulletin, 18 September 2008.

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what forecasting model his Department uses to prepare the annual prison population projections for England and Wales. [234888]

Mr. Hanson: The models used to calculate the current prison population projections are described in Appendix C of the Ministry of Justice publication, “Prison Population Projections 2008-2015”, published on the Ministry of Justice website in September 2008. There are four elements to the modelling. In the short term (and the first two years) most segments of the population are modelled by a combination of stock-and-flow modelling and the use of the X12-ARIMA method developed by the USA Census Bureau. The X12-ARIMA method is available at:

In the longer term (between two and seven years) most segments of the population use the Grove-Macleod model. This has been published in OR Insight Vol. 11 Issue 1, January-March 1998, pp. 3-9, “Forecasting the prison population”. More detail is also available in Occasional Paper 80, “Modelling crime and offending:
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recent developments in England and Wales” published on the Home Office website in 2003. The population on indeterminate sentences are not projected by these methods, and these segments instead use a system dynamics model developed by the Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder Programme. In addition to these models, the impacts of some changes in legislation and operational procedures are estimated using the Criminal Justice System Model and, if necessary, one-off bespoke calculations.

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what account his Department takes of (a) sentencing behaviour and (b) crime rates when making projections for the future prison population in England and Wales. [234889]

Mr. Hanson: The Ministry of Justice publication “Prison Population Projections 2008-15” provides data for three different scenarios (high, medium and low), each of which is generated by a different trend in sentencing behaviour. These are described in section 3 of the publication, and in more detail in Appendix C.

Trends in crime rates are incorporated through the Criminal Justice System Model, which in turn uses data generated from the Home Office’s Crime Trajectory Model. This is described in appendix C of the publication.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice on what occasions courts have departed from the sentencing guidelines in each of the last three years, broken down by (a) court and (b) reason for departure. [233960]

Maria Eagle: The Sentencing Guidelines Council is responsible for framing and revising sentencing and allocation guidelines. The number of departures from guidelines and the reasons for those departures are not recorded.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what (a) representations he has received and (b) discussions he has had with the police on sentencing policy since May 2008; and if he will make a statement. [233961]

Maria Eagle: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (Mr. Straw) and departmental Ministers regularly meet with the police to discuss a wide range of criminal justice issues.

In October the Secretary of State replied to a letter from the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police about knife crime and the courts.

Voting Methods

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans his Department has to commission further pilots of advance voting. [233955]

Mr. Wills: The Government have no plans at present to commission further advance voting pilots.

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Written Questions: Government Responses

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he plans to reply to Question 219327, tabled on 14 July 2008, on guidance to courts. [233958]

Mr. Straw: I replied to the hon. and learned Member on 5 November 2008, Official Report, columns 623-24W. I apologise for the delay.

Young Offender Institutions: Prisoners Release

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners were released from young offender institutions between April and September 2008. [234217]

Mr. Hanson: The number of prisoners released from young offender institutions following the completion of a determinate sentence between April and September 2008 was approximately 6,400. These data are provisional until final data are published in the Ministry of Justice statistical bulletin Offender Management Caseload Statistics (OMCS).

OMCS 2007 was published on 30 October. Tables 9.1 and 9.2 shows data on discharges from prison. Copies of the bulletin have been placed in the House Libraries and found at the following web link:

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Young Offenders: Employment

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what measures exist to help place young offenders into employment following release from custody. [232182]

Mr. Hanson: All probation areas support offenders in improving access to employment opportunities and make significant financial investment to employment interventions. Specialist employment staff are also directly employed by probation areas or engaged through partnership arrangements with the voluntary and community sector.

In 2007-08, a total of 16,823 offenders supervised by the National Probation Service gained employment and sustained it for at least four weeks during the year, exceeding the performance target of 13,200 by 27 per cent. It is not possible to separate figures for young offenders only.


Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many (a) national and (b) regional meetings were conducted during the course of his Department’s policy consultation on alcohol strategy; and who (i) was invited to and (ii) attended each; [228145]

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(2) what the criteria were for selecting those invited to attend the four regional consultation meetings on his Department’s policy consultation on alcohol strategy. [228146]

Dawn Primarolo: A series of national meetings were held during the consultation period with 88 representatives from stakeholder organisations covering crime and disorder, health, young people and the alcohol industry. The stakeholder organisations invited to these meetings and those that attended are listed as follows. In addition, officials met industry chief executives at the alcohol industry public affairs directors meeting on 20 August 2008.

Stakeholder organisations invited:

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