The pay and allowances of operational grades within HM Prison Service (officers and operational managers) is subject to annual review by the Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB). The pay and allowance of other grades are set through collective bargaining.
Vacancy data were not collated centrally or subject to full data assurance until recently although the information was created in local business units. Reliable data available nationally show that the number of vacancies across prisons and NOMS headquarters, reported on 31 March 2009, was 2,564. Data from earlier years could be collected only by requesting information from a large number of business units, which would entail disproportionate cost.
Recruitment policies within the Prison Service and NOMS have undergone significant change to use information technology better and administer processes through a shared service centre. As a result most of the pre and post assessment recruitment activity takes place on line and has been centralised. Prison officers are the largest group of staff recruited, reflecting increases in prison capacity, and recruitment activity for this group of staff has been streamlined so that application and initial testing occurs on-line followed by a single day assessment event that includes work based simulations and a fitness test.
All new prison officers appointed on or after 1 October 2009 are subject to new terms and conditions based on a 37 hour week with associated new rates of pay. There are two paybands for new Prison Officers, depending on the role undertaken. All new Prison Officers start employment in the Prison Officer 2 core officer role in the lower payband.
The total appointment salary for new appointments in Prison Officer 2 roles is £17,1871. This is composed of £14,690 base pay plus £2,497 for unsocial hours working. This rate may be reviewed by the PSPRB as part of their annual review of Prison Service salaries. These new staff may elect to work up to four additional hours on top of the standard 37 net hours per week. These additional hours will be paid at an enhanced rate to reflect they are non-pensionable. In parts of the country, officers will receive a location allowance also.
David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the maximum capacity is of each (a) secure children's home, (b) secure training centre and (c) young offender institution; what the occupancy rate of each is; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: The following table shows the number of contracted places at each (a) secure children's home (SCH), (b) secure training centre (STC), and (c) young offender institution (YOI) in the under-18 secure estate. The occupancy rate of each, as at 9 October 2009, is shown as a percentage. Data have been provided by the Youth Justice Board and have been drawn from administrative computer systems.
|Occupancy rate (percentage)
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many cases have been processed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in each year since its creation; and how many such cases resulted in (a) no further action decision and (b) sanctions against a solicitor. 
Bridget Prentice: The information I have received from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) states that over 18,000 investigations have been concluded since its creation in January 2007. This breaks down as follows:
|Number of cases
|(1) A monthly average of 573.6
(2) A monthly average of 611.8
(3) A monthly average of 639.7
Where regulatory action is deemed appropriate, outcomes for these investigations can be categorised in one of three ways. First a sanction may be applied with no
action required or secondly the case may be referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal or thirdly a case is closed due to ongoing action elsewhere. The SRA has provided me with a break down of sanctions against solicitors for this period. These are as follows:
|Number regulatory action required
|Percentage of cases
|Percentage of cases
|Disciplinary referral/ongoing action
|Percentage of cases
|(1) January to June
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average length of time taken by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to determine a case was in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Bridget Prentice: The information I have received from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) states that, based on a total number of 3,838 cases closed between January and June 2009, standard cases were closed within 3.1 months on average. This includes time taken for referral for adjudication where necessary.
The SRA has further explained that, where allegations are assessed as being high-risk, and it is deemed necessary to do so, field-based investigations may be undertaken. Based on 211 such investigations concluded between January and June 2009, these cases took an average of 9.8 months from authorisation to completion, including the issue of a report where necessary. In addition, 11 extremely complex cases were concluded within this period, taking an average of 16.0 months to complete.
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average length of time is between the determination of a case by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and its conclusion by adjudication in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Bridget Prentice: The information I have received from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) states that cases adjudicated upon internally are dealt with either by an individual adjudicator or a panel of adjudicators. Over 1,000 adjudications took place in between January and June 2009. Decisions by an individual adjudicator had a turnaround time of 23 days on average (0.8 months). An adjudication panel decision took an average of 34 days (1.1 months).
Matters referred for disciplinary proceedings may be combined with others into single cases brought before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT). It takes an average of 184 days (6.0 months) to put these cases together, and the SDT then aims to schedule a hearing within six months of issue of proceedings.
Bridget Prentice: At the end of the 2008-09 financial year there was a total of £545 million outstanding in unpaid financial penalties across England and Wales. Her Majesty's Courts Service systems do not identify the number of individuals to which the outstanding balance relates. The outstanding balance has risen through the application of a strict policy that only allows fines to be written off in certain circumstances. The outstanding balance includes fines imposed a number of years ago during the period when fines could not be cancelled (2004-06) and fines which are being paid by instalments.
HMCS is currently implementing the 'Criminal Compliance and Enforcement Services-A Blueprint for 2008 to 2012' which was launched in July 2008 and is currently being implemented by all of the HMCS regions. The blueprint sets out HMCS's strategic objective which is for a cheaper, faster and more proportionate system that primarily focuses on 'first time' compliance while continuing to apply the principles of rigorous enforcement to the hard core of defaulters.
David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library a copy of the documentation relating to Adapted C & R piloted in Feltham and Cookham Wood Young Offender Institutions in May 2006 and as referred to in paragraph 8.30 of the 2008 Independent Review of Restraint in Juvenile Secure Settings. 
A pilot of juvenile restraint techniques (JRT) for use on young people (15-17 year olds) commenced in May 2006. An interim evaluation report was produced in April 2007 and I have arranged for a copy of this to be placed in the House of Commons Library. Shortly after the completion of this report, the "Independent Review of the Use of Restraint in Juvenile Secure Settings" was announced and a decision was taken to suspend further work on JRT pending the outcome of the review.
The Government's response to the independent review was published in December 2008 and part of this announced the development of a more comprehensive system of restraint for young people as part of a wider behaviour management system. Piloting of this new system of restraint is expected to begin early next year.
David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library a copy of the Prison Service review into the case for extending the use of the baton to young people's estates, as referred to in paragraph 8.39 of the 2008 Independent Review of Restraint in Juvenile Secure Settings.