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Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 20 October 2009, Official Report, column 1373W, on magistrates courts: closures, how many magistrates courts there were in each type of area in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Straw: Up until 1 April 2005, magistrates courts were the responsibility of locally managed magistrates courts committees who were statutorily independent. My Department does not hold information on the number of magistrates courts prior to 2005, as they were not required by statute to inform the Department of closures that were not subject to an appeal under section 56(3) of the Justices of the Peace Act 1997 (now repealed).
Research suggests that there were in the region of 650 magistrates courts in the late 1970s. Between 1979 and 1997 an estimated 171 magistrates courts were closed: from 1997, an estimated 125 magistrates courts have been closed. Estimates of the number of magistrates courts in operation since 1997 are included in the following table:
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he plans to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley of (a) 3 June and 17 July 2009 on second opinions in the Family Division and (b) 30 June and 14 August 2009 on compensation for false imprisonment. 
Claire Ward: I replied to the hon. Member's letters of 30 June and 14 August on 21 October. I apologise for the delay. My hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, East (Bridget Prentice) replied to the hon. Member's letters of 3 June and 17 July during August.
Mr. Straw: Information is collected on the number of electronic tagging orders made rather than the number of offenders tagged. The following table details the number of orders made since the electronic monitoring service began in 1999.
|Financial year||Number of orders|
About 18,800 subjects are being electronically monitored at any one time, of which 25 per cent. are on bail, 58 per cent. on a court-ordered community sentence, and the remaining 17 per cent. on release from prison on licence.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what percentage of penalty notices for disorder were issued (a) in police custody and (b) on the street in (i) 2007 and (ii) 2008. 
Claire Ward: Information showing the number of persons aged 16 and over issued with a penalty notice for disorder (PND) in a police station and on the street, in England and Wales, 2007 (latest available) can be viewed in the table. Data for 2008 are planned for publication at the end of January 2010.
PNDs were introduced under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 to provide the police with a simple financial punishment to deal with minor antisocial and nuisance offending either at a police station or on the street. Operational guidance to forces issued by the Secretary of State for Justice sets out the criteria which should be considered by officers in deciding where to issue a PND.
|Number of persons aged 16 and over issued with a penalty notice for disorder (PND) in a police station and on the street in England and Wales, 2007( 1)|
|(1 )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 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. Source: OCJR E&A (Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Evidence and Analysis Unit), Ministry of Justice.|
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how much has been spent on the Prison Service's Counselling Assessment Referral Advice and Throughcare scheme since its inception; 
Maria Eagle: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has kept figures on the total budget allocation for Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare services (CARATs) since it was established in 1999. These are set out in the following table.
|Total (£ million)|
|(1) This includes NOMS funding for the integrated drug treatment system|
A comprehensive CARATs review was conducted in 2003 which involved participation of over 500 stakeholders. The review was concluded in 2005 resulting in a new service specification, new CARATs casework file and the production of a CARATs Practice Manual.
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 16 September 2009, Official Report, column 2266W, on prisons: manpower, how many prisoners released on licence and subsequently recalled to prison since 1997 remain at large. 
This figure is based on the data in table 1 of an information release published on 30 October 2009 and available on the Ministry of Justice website under "Licence recalls and returns to custody: audit of licence revocation-Ministry of Justice":
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what consideration he has given to the introduction of (a) risk assessments and (b) accommodation checks prior to release for offenders to be released under the End of Custody Licence Scheme. 
Mr. Straw: Assessment of risk on release is embedded in the 14 categories of offence or offender which excludes a prisoner from eligibility for ECL. Those include serious violent offences, registered sex offenders and prisoners without a release address. Full details of the scheme including advice on risk is given in Prison Service Instruction 42/2007 a copy of which is available in the Libraries of the House and on the following website:
Prisons are instructed that they should take appropriate action in response to any information they have received that a prisoner poses a risk of domestic violence or to a specific victim on release. That information should be provided to the police and, where appropriate, submitted to the Multi Agency Pubic Protection Panel, in line with routine risk management arrangements.
Prison governors will not release those prisoners who will be subject to supervision on release to an address prohibited by their offender manager in the supervision licence. In such cases ECL release will only take place if a suitable alternative address is provided. Where prisoners are subject to supervision on release, any conditions included on the normal supervision licence must also be included on the ECL licence.
Maria Eagle: The trend on completion rates for court orders is improving. The performance for the financial year 2008-09 was 71 per cent. successful completion and from April to September 2009 the rate is currently 74 per cent.
The budget settlement for 2010-11 is likely to maintain this upward trend. The settlement was recently announced via a written ministerial statement, indicating a £26 million increase for probation above the original indicative budget.
Nevertheless probation areas/trusts, like other parts of the criminal justice system, are introducing efficiency savings to maximise the value for money that they
provide. These efficiency savings are focused on reducing back office functions and management overheads and should not reduce resources for front-line delivery. As such, the budget settlement will not impact negatively on the completion rate for court orders.
Maria Eagle: Offenders classified as tier 4 present the highest risks of harm and likelihood of re-offending and therefore require a high level of probation expertise and resource. National guidance on tiering (Probation Circular 65/2005 and 8/2008) makes it clear that staff must be trained and competent for the roles they discharge but does not prescribe that tier 4 cases must be managed by a particular grade of staff or that staff should hold a particular qualification. Information about the management of individual cases is held locally by individual probation areas and trusts.
David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many disposals of each type were given to 10 to 12 year-olds convicted of (a) a violent criminal offence and (b) a non-violent criminal offence in England and Wales in each year since 1997. 
Maria Eagle: The following table shows the disposals given to those between the ages of 10 and 12 years-old at the point of sentence, from 1997-2007. The data are presented on the principal offence basis: where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty was imposed; where the same sentence has been imposed for more than one offence the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.
|Number of disposals of each type given to 10 to 12 year-olds, for violent and non-violent indictable offences, from 1997 to 2007|
|(1) Included within Violent offences are: Violence against the person, Sexual offences and Robbery. Included in non violent offences are all other indictable offences. Summary offences are not included as they comprise both violent and non-violent offences that cannot be separated.|
These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice
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