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Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offenders imprisoned under indeterminate sentence for public protection are in secure hospitals; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: Prisoners may be detained in hospital under powers of the Mental Health Act 1983, either if directed to hospital by the court on sentencing or if directed by the Secretary of State during their sentence. They may also be remitted to prison during sentence. On 17 December 2009, Ministry of Justice records showed 113 prisoners in hospital under powers of the 1983 Act, who were also serving indeterminate sentences of imprisonment for public protection.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many cells in the prison estate are not counted for the purposes of operational capacity; and for what reason each such cell is not counted. 
Maria Eagle: Directors of offender management must ensure that each cell used for the confinement of prisoners has sufficient heating, lighting and ventilation and is of adequate size for the number or prisoners it is approved for. Each such cell is recorded on a prison's cell certificate.
Not all accommodation recorded on a prison's cell certificate is part of its certified normal accommodation and in the vast majority of cases will also not form part of its operational capacity. This is due to a range of operational reasons, which include those cells that are part of segregation units (where prisoners should only be held under a governor's express authority), cells in in-patient health care centres (which are only suitable for prisoners with relevant health needs) and holding cells in prison receptions (which are not suitable for holding prisoners overnight).
As of 14 December 2009, based on information from central records, about 2,712 places were not included in the certified normal accommodation (or uncrowded capacity) of the prison estate. This equates to an average of 19 cells per prison.
Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will assess the merits of increasing the period of time a person with a terminal illness can be released early from prison on compassionate grounds. 
Claire Ward: Early release on compassionate grounds should only be permitted in the most exceptional circumstances and where the risk of reoffending is past. It is right, therefore, to apply stringent criteria. Prisoners with a terminal illness can receive the appropriate care and treatment while in custody and we believe that early release from their sentence should only be considered in the final stages or where they become too ill to remain in prison. The criteria applied in medical circumstances state:
"the prisoner is suffering from a terminal illness and death is likely to occur soon; or the prisoner is bedridden or similarly incapacitated".
The three-month period is suggested as a guide for the sort of life expectancy that should be taken into consideration when applying the criteria but is just one of a number of factors that are taken into account.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) offenders and (b) offenders on temporary licence were released from HM Prison Service into the Probation Service, in each year since 2004. 
The following table shows the number of discharges from determinate sentences from prisons in England and Wales. The figures are the sum of adult prisoners released from sentences of 12 months or more (including indeterminate sentences) and all young offender releases.
Prisoners released on temporary licence remain the responsibility of the prison during the period of temporary release. However, where prisoners are liable to supervision on their normal release date but are released early under the End of Custody Licence scheme, they are required to meet their probation officer during the ECL licence period and to have regular contact after that in line with their supervision programme.
The number of ECL releases for those prisoners serving sentences of 12 months or more and less than four years for the year 2007 and 2008 was 2,941 and 5,643. Data for 2007 are based on the period from 29 June, when the scheme started, to 31 December.
Maria Eagle: In February 2009 the National Offender Management Service introduced new full search arrangements aimed at reducing the frequency of full searches by a more intelligence-led approach for all females detained within prisons in England. The new arrangements do not require the removal of underwear unless there is intelligence or suspicion at any stage that an item is concealed. The arrangements are kept under constant review, and a full assessment completed in August achieved a positive outcome. A further detailed assessment will be conducted early in spring 2010.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice at what average distance from home (a) young adult prisoners, (b) adult prisoners and (c) children prisoners were held in each year since 1997, broken down by sex. 
Maria Eagle: Table A shows the average travelling distance from home in miles of remand and sentenced prisoners held in HMPs accommodation by gender. Data prior to 2006 are not available in the format requested.
All prisoners are asked for details of their home address on first reception to prison and on discharge
from prison. Approximately 60 per cent. of prisoners (both male and female) are shown to have given a recognised address.
|Adult (21+)||Young offender (18 to 20)||Juvenile (15 to 17)|
Table B shows the average distance from home in miles for remand and sentenced young people in .secure children's homes and secure training centres from 2001 to 2009 by gender. Data prior to 2001 are not available in the format requested.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many mother and baby units exist for female prisoners in England and Wales; and what the capacity for female prisoners and their children is of each. 
Maria Eagle: There are seven mother and baby units (MBUs) in England providing an overall capacity of 75 places. Each unit can normally accommodate one set of twins. However, the number of places available at any one time can fluctuate for operational reasons, and currently stands at 69. The following table lists each prison with an MBU and the current capacity.
Mr. Wills: The second stage consultation on the voting rights of convicted prisoners closed on 29 September. A detailed analysis of the replies to the second stage consultation-including a breakdown of respondents-will be available upon publication of the Government's response. There have been over 100 responses to the consultation from a number of different groups including charities, local authorities, members of the public and prisoners, which we are currently considering carefully.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners in each prison in England and Wales were held in overcrowded accommodation in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
|Establishment name||Average number of prisoners held in overcrowded conditions: April to October 2009|
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