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Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) which (a) active and (b) inactive military sites (i) he and (ii) representatives of his Department have (A) visited and (B) inspected in order to assess their suitability for use as prisons since 2005; and if he will publish a report of the findings of each visit or inspection; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the conversion of RAF Coltishall into a category C prison, excluding the cost of the original acquisition of the land and site; what area the site covers; and how many places the prison is planned to provide. 
Mr. Straw: In 2006, the Ministry of Defence provided a list of sites that were under disposal or planned for disposal shortly. Officials in the National Offender Management Service then undertook desktop exercises to refine the lists, and a number of sites were visited and assessed in further detail. A proposal to convert Connaught Barracks in Dover to a prison was considered, but it was decided not to proceed.
Following December 2007 Lord Carters report, Securing the future: Proposals for the efficient and sustainable use of custody in England and Wales, Ministers agreed to the acquisition of the former RAF Coltishall site in Norfolk and conversion to a prison.
David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average length of time in custody served by offenders sentenced to two months' imprisonment was in the latest year for which figures are available. 
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what information his Department holds on the political affiliation of (a) senior members of staff and (b) governors in HM Prison Service. 
Mr. Straw: MOJ does not collect information about the political affiliation of members of staff. Civil servants are required to act in accordance with the Civil Service Code which requires them to act with integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality, including political impartiality. The rules on civil servants' involvement in political activities are set out in the Civil Service Management Code.
Jon Cruddas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the administrative costs to his Department of assessing contractors' applications to operate a prison at Beam Park West. 
Mr. Straw: The administrative costs to manage the whole procurement process for Beam Park West are included in the overall budget estimate for the new prisons but have not been broken out specifically into the evaluation element as this is dependent on the procurement route used. More detail will be available on this once the procurement strategy has been published in the summer.
Mr. Straw: No assessment has yet been made. However, as required by the local planning authority, an environmental impact assessment will be undertaken and submitted as part of the planning application.
Jon Cruddas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) pursuant to the statement of 27 April 2009, Official Report, columns 569-71, on prisons and probation (1) how many visits members of his Department have made to the Beam Park West site in connection with the construction of a prison; and when the first such visit took place; 
(2) when a list of possible locations for a new prison was first drawn up by his Department; how many options considered were in Essex; and on what date the Beam Park West site was added to the list. 
Following the publication of Lord Carter's report Securing the future: Proposals for the efficient and sustainable use of custody in England and Wales in December 2007, a list of potential sites for 2,500 place Titan prisons was drawn up. This included 12 sites in Essex, but not Beam Park West.
As announced on 27 April, instead of building three 2,500 place prisons, we will now build five 1,500 place prisons. The Beam Park West site is one of two sites announced on 27 April for these new prisons.
Following the identification of the Beam Park West site as potentially suitable for prison development, National Offender Management Service officials have visited the site on two occasions, 20 January and 5 February this year.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) for what reasons the greenfield site at Scarisbrick was under consideration as a potential location for a titan prison; for what reasons he decided
not to build a prison on that site; if he will make it his policy to inform local residents when sites are being considered as potential locations for prison developments; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what his Department's procedures are for informing local residents when sites in their locality are being considered as potential locations for new prisons; what steps his Department takes to consult local communities on its plans for the location of new prisons; and if he will make a statement. 
The site at Scarisbrick was one of a number of sites brought to the attention of the National Offender Management Service as part of the site search exercise for Titan prisons to hold 2,500 prisoners. It was assessed, but not considered suitable for development as a Titan. There are, therefore, no plans for a prison at Scarisbrick.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) suspected and (b) viable explosive devices or components have been found in each prison in England and Wales in each of the last 12 years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Straw: The following tables show a breakdown of (a) suspected and (b) viable explosive devices or components found in each prison in England and Wales in each of the last 12 years up to the end of March 2009.
Of these incidents 76 per cent. were suspected devices. This category covers false alarms including such incidents as unattended bags or suspicious packages sent via the postal system, or bomb hoax calls.
Viable explosive devices mainly relate to prisoners making small incendiary devices by packing readily available flammable material such as match heads into an improvised container (17 per cent. of incidents in table); 6 per cent. of incidents relate to unexploded wartime ordnance discovered during excavation work; and, 1 per cent. relates to fireworks being found in the grounds of establishments.
There were no serious injuries as a result of any of these incidents and minor injuries were recorded in just three cases. Apart from unexploded wartime ordnance finds, none of the viable devices discovered were likely to have had the capability to cause life threatening injuries and none involved the use of sophisticated improvised explosives or commercial or military explosives.
|Bomb related incidents from 1997-98 to 2008-09|
|Establishment||Suspected||Viable explosive devices or components|
|Establishment||Suspected||Viable explosive devices or components|
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