|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the monetary value was of each of the 10 largest (a) court-ordered payments and (b) out of court settlements made to prisoners by (i) the National Offender Management Service and (ii) Her Majesty's Prison Service in the last five years; and what the nature of the claim was in each such case. 
The 10 largest court awards and out of court settlements made as a result of civil litigation brought by prisoners or former prisoners against the Prison Service/custodial side of the National Offender Management Service for the period 1 April 2004 to 25 January 2010 are detailed in the following table. Such claims are only settled on the basis of strong legal advice from Prison Service's appointed solicitors and/or barristers. Taking indefensible cases through to court only results in more expense to the public purse. Therefore, NOMS loses very few prisoner cases at court and this
accounts for the difference in the figures between court awards and out of court settlements. Details of claims against individual probation boards/trusts are not recorded centrally and to provide the information would require looking through the records of each individual board or trust which would entail disproportionate costs.
|Type of claim||Out of court settlement (£)|
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) male and (b) female prisoners have died subsequent to a recommendation for parole and before their release in the last five years. 
Maria Eagle: This information is not held centrally. To quantify the number of prisoners who may have died following a recommendation for parole but before their release would require a manual check of individual prisoner records. This would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) visitors, (b) staff and (c) prisoners were caught attempting to smuggle illegal drugs into each prison in England in each of the last five years; and what steps have been taken in respect of those so caught. 
It is the National Offender Management Services' policy to report to the police all incidents where drugs are found in the possession of visitors. National data for the number of visitors arrested is given in the following table.
|Number of visitors arrested( 1)|
|(1) These figures include all incidents, the majority will be drug related.|
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. The data are not subject to audit. To disaggregate into individual prison data would require an investigation into each regional return for the past five years and would be at disproportionate cost.
Data on the number of prison officers caught attempting to smuggle illegal drugs into an establishment are held locally and could, only be obtained by consulting all prisons across England and Wales. This would incur disproportionate cost.
Prisoners caught attempting to smuggle illegal drugs into prison are referred, to the police. Data on the number of prisoners caught attempting to smuggle illegal drugs into an establishment are held locally and could be obtained only by consulting all prisons across England and Wales. This would incur disproportionate cost.
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many children have been admitted to a mother and baby unit in (a) a prison and (b) Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre in each of the last 10 years. 
Maria Eagle: Historic information on the number of young women under 18 admitted to mother and baby units in prisons and young offender institutions (YOIs) is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
The data have been supplied by the Youth Justice Board and have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing and may be subject to change over time.
The Youth Justice Board reports that since the opening of the Rainsbrook Mother and Baby Unit, there has been only one occasion on which a young mother or pregnant young woman has been placed in an over-18 young offender institution. In 2007, a young mother was placed in Askham Grange YOI just prior to her 18th birthday, to enable her to have both her children with her.
All prisoners are asked for details of their home address on first reception to prison and on discharge from prison. About 60 per cent. of prisoners (both male and female) are shown to have given a recognised address. If no address is given, various proxies are used to determine distance from home, including next-of-kin address and committal court address.
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department has taken to identify potential ligature points in cellular accommodation in (a) HM Prison New Hall and (b) other prisons. 
Maria Eagle: The National Offender Management Service has a broad based prisoner suicide prevention and self-harm management strategy that seeks to reduce the distress of all those in prison. This requires identifying prisoners at risk of suicide and self-harm. Reducing access to potential means of suicide or self-harm at all prisons, including New Hall, forms part of the care of people considered to be at risk. This includes, where necessary, the removal of any personal possessions and furniture in cells which may be used in an act of self-harm.
In addition, most prisons contain safer cells, which are designed to make the act of suicide or self-harm by use of ligature difficult. This is achieved primarily by reducing ligature points as far as possible. Anti-ligature furniture and fittings are installed as an integral part of the cell fabric.
However, there are a wide range of objects in cell which may be used as ligature points (such as clothing, essential furniture, washing facilities, etc.) which it is not possible to remove for decency reasons.
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to replace rigid bars in shower doors and frames in cells in (a) HM Prison The Mount and (b) other prisons. 
Maria Eagle: The National Offender Management Service has a broad based prisoner suicide prevention and self-harm management strategy that seeks to reduce the distress of all those in prison. This requires identifying prisoners at risk of suicide and self-harm. Reducing access to potential means of suicide or self-harm at all prisons, including HMP The Mount, forms part of the care of people considered to be at risk.
Potential ligature points in the shower units in cells at HMP The Mount have been negated by the installation of UPVC panels. In more recent accommodation of a similar type in other prisons, velcro curtains have been fitted to a collapsible rail in shower units.
Decisions whether or not to redesign shower cubicles, are taken locally by individual governors. A central record is not held of prisons which have had this type of modification and these details can be obtained only by contacting each individual establishment at disproportionate cost.
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library a copy of the high level evaluation of the introduction of the standardised core day in prisons in England and Wales. 
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of time probation staff spend in face to face contact with offenders; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: Ministers are committed to increasing the amount of time probation staff spend in contact with offenders through reducing the bureaucratic demands on front line staff and tailoring the level of intervention to the risk which the offender presents.
The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) does not routinely report on the proportion of working time spent in face to face contact with offenders. In December 2008, NOMS undertook a survey, over a one week period, of a small sample of Offenders Managers. It indicated that staff undertaking this role spent 24 per cent. of their time in direct contact with offenders.
The survey did not cover probation staff responsible for delivery of Community Payback, Accredited Programmes or working within Approved Premises. The proportion of time spent in face to face contact with offenders in these areas of work is considerably higher.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to the Slough constituency, the effects on Slough of the policies and actions of his Department and its predecessors since 2000. 
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice's work spans criminal, civil and family justice, democracy, rights and the constitution. Every year around 9 million people use our services in 900 locations across the United Kingdom, including 650 courts and tribunals and 139 prisons in England and Wales.
The range of the Department's policies and actions is wide and the statistical information relating to it is not normally collected on a constituency basis. Consequently, some of the information requested in the question cannot be provided in the form requested except at a disproportionate cost.
Although data on sentencing for the period are not available for the constituency of Slough, they are available for the Thames Valley. They show that the total number of offenders sentenced annually, was 44,691 in 2000 and 42,353 in 2007, the latest period for which such information is available.
Likewise, the number of offences brought to justice for the Thames Valley area increased from 31,000 in 2001-02 (the earliest period since which such data have been compiled) to 51,400 in 2007-08.
With regard to prosecutions, data are not available for the constituency of Slough. However, the total number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts in the Thames Valley decreased from 62,880 in 2000 to 54,090 in 2007.
The latest data, which cover reoffending in the period 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009, showed that the three-month reoffending rate for offenders on the probation caseload in Slough was 8.16 per cent. After controlling for changes in the characteristics of offenders on the probation caseload, there was a reduction in reoffending of 1.99 per cent. compared to the 2007-08 baseline. Data are not available prior to 2007 on this basis.
The number of persons commencing supervision by the Probation Service in Thames Valley, was 3,853 in 2000 and 4,783 in 2008.
44,212 civil non-family proceedings were started in the county courts of Thames Valley HM Courts Service (HMCS) area in 2008, compared to 49,696 in 2000. In respect of family law, there were also 3,573 private law applications and 218 public law applications made in the county or High Courts of this HMCS area in 2008-09, compared to 3,422 and 282 respectively in 2003-04, the first annual period for which these figures are available.
Local communities are being better engaged in criminal justice-by giving them a say in the types of Community Payback projects offenders carry out and allowing them to see justice being done, for example through the use of high visibility jackets. Offenders have now worked more than 14 million hours, with an estimated value to the taxpayer of over £80 million.
Major constitutional reforms have been delivered, including devolution, the Human Rights Act, Freedom of Information, Lords Reform, and a new Supreme Court for the UK.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|