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Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what risks are taken into account in assessments made under the Offender Group Reconviction Score system; and what assessment he has made of the average level of accuracy of evidence upon which such assessments are made. 
Mr. Hanson: The Offender Group Reconviction Scale (OGRS) calculates the probability that a convicted offender will be convicted at least once within two years of their release from custody or from the start of their community sentence for any type of offence. The latest version (OGRS 3) is based on:
age at the date of the current caution, non-custodial sentence or discharge from custody;
the type of offence for which the offender has currently been cautioned or convicted;
the number of times the offender has previously been cautioned and convicted; and
the length in years of their recorded criminal history.
Guidance for practitioners emphasises the strengths and limitations of OGRS and reminds them that while research shows OGRS to be a strong predictor of proven re-offending it is an aid. not a substitute for judgment.
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation assess whether likelihood of reoffending is comprehensively and accurately assessed as part of their Offender Management inspections and their reports are made public.
|Number of babies born|
|Establishment||MBU Places||2006-07( 1)||2007-08||2008-09( 2)|
|(1 )November 2006 to March 2007|
(2 )April to November 2008
(3 )Changed function to male juvenile establishment in 2007.
Mr. Hanson: Race and Equalities Action Group (REAG) have been developing a twin-track approach the primary focus of which has been tackling racial intolerance. The first stage consists of detection and disruption measures. Guidance provided asks staff to risk assess and subsequently categorise the offender. The second stage moves from detection to intervention. REAG has developed an education set accredited through the Open College Network, available to education departments within establishments.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what projections he has made of trends in the level of demand for services provided by (a) the
Probation Service, (b) HM Courts Service and (c) HM Prison Service as a result of the economic downturn; and what consideration he has given to allocating additional resources to each in this respect. 
Maria Eagle: The Ministry of Justice has not produced any projections of demand for services provided by (a) the Probation Service, (b) HM Courts Service and (c) HM Prison Service as a result of the economic downturn. However, the Department's Ministers and Corporate Management Board are supplied with regular statistical information about both the downturn itself, and areas of that Department's business where demand for services might be affected. This ensures that timely action can be taken where necessary.
Changes in demand for services are taken into account when agreeing allocations to departmental business groups, along with other factors such as policy considerations, inflationary pressures and the potential for efficiency savings.
The Department remains committed to living within its budget as set out in the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007. We are currently looking hard at the services we provide in order to find new ways to improve how we deliver them, while ensuring that we focus on our frontline services. We aim to drive out inefficiencies, overlap and duplication and to reduce our overheads, especially in our headquarters areas. This work should help the Department to ensure that we are able to redeploy staff to the frontline as and where appropriate.
Mr. Hanson: The National Offender Management Service does not produce statistics on the average caseload of probation staff. However, data are collected on the number of offenders supervised by the National Probation Service (NPS) and, separately, on the number of staff in post.
The total number of offenders supervised by the NPS on 31 March 2006 was 227,654, on 31 March 2007 it was 237,796 and on 31 December 2007 it was 242,722. This information is taken from the Probation Statistics Quarterly Brief, which can be found at the following website:
The number of NPS staff in post at 31 March 2006, 31 March 2007 and 31 December 2007 are set out in the following table. Data for the quarter ending 31 March 2008 are not yet available as they are still being validated.
|Probation Service Staff in Post: 2006-08|
|(1) Figures provided are Full Time Equivalent. Figures for Quarter 3 2007-08 have yet to be published and may be subject to minor amendment upon publication. Figures for Quarter 4 2007-08 are unavailable as they currently being validated.|
(2 )Includes Senior Practitioners, Probation Officers, Practice Development Assessors, Trainee Probation Officers and Senior Probation Officers.
(3 )Includes Probation Services Officers and Treatment Managers.
Mr. Straw: The number of proceedings at magistrates courts not leading to a finding of guilt, and the number of defendants found guilty at all courts, for rape offences, from 1997 to 2007 (latest available), are given in the following table.
The figures 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.
|The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for rape offences( 1) , by outcome( 2) and police force area( 3) , 1997 to 2007( 4,5) . England and Wales|
|Police force area||1997||1998||1999||2000|
|Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt||Number found guilty||Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt||Number found guilty||Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt||Number found guilty||Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt||Number found guilty|
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