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7 Sep 2010 : Column 494Wcontinued
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what contracts his Department and its agencies have with each private sector company; on what date each such contract commenced; what the duration is of each such contract; what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of each such contract; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Blunt: The Ministry of Justice does not maintain central records of contracts held by the Department and its agencies with private sector companies. To obtain the information requested would require the manual collection of all records and associated data from each individual agency at a disproportionate cost.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many transport-related fines his Department has settled on behalf of its staff in each year since 2005; and what the cost to the public purse was in each year. 
Mr Djanogly: It is not the Ministry of Justice's policy to settle any transport-related fines on the behalf of its staff.
There is no evidence held centrally to indicate since 2005 that the Ministry of Justice and its predecessor, the Department for Constitutional Affairs, has settled any transport-related fines on behalf of its staff. To provide absolute confirmation of this would incur disproportionate cost.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many external training courses were attended by staff of his Department in the last 12 months; and what the cost to the public purse was of each such course. 
Mr Djanogly: Responsibility for employee learning and development training is devolved to business groups within the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).
Most training occurs within the normal working environment in the form of on the job learning and development where employees receive detailed procedural and operational training, coaching, and day-to-day advice. Prison and probation officers, however, have to undergo extensive formal training to undertake their duties in accordance with professional standards.
The figures provided include both internal and external training courses. The MoJ's accounting systems do not separately quantify expenditure on internal and external training courses. Costs are subsumed within numerous categories of expenditure, for example training, training courses, training courses/event. It would incur disproportionate costs to scrutinise all the individual transactions which might potentially include external training costs across the Ministry and its executive agencies. Additionally, it would also incur disproportionate costs to identify the number of staff that attended these external training courses.
The following table shows expenditure on both internal and external training courses for the financial year ending 31 March 2010.
|(1) The expenditure on employee training for NOMS covers all staff training courses (including first aid) and further education courses. This also includes the purchase of associated materials and equipment.|
Figures for MOJ HQ, HMCS and Tribunals exclude Magistrates and Judicial training.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were (a) prosecuted for and (b) convicted of involvement in dog fighting in (i) 2006, (ii) 2007, (iii) 2008, (iv) 2009 and (v) 2010. 
Mr Blunt: Section 8 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (which came into force 6 April 2007) created specific offences for involvement in animal fighting but not specifically dog fighting. The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for this offence, England and Wales 2007 to 2008 (latest available) are shown in the following table.
Dog fighting offences prior to 6 April 2007 were prosecuted under the Protection of Animals Act 1911. As this Act does not separately identify animal fighting or dog fighting within the statute, the Ministry of Justice are unable to provide any figures for this period.
Court proceedings data for 2009 are planned for publication on 21 October 2010. Data for 2010 are planned for publication in the autumn, 2011.
|Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for animal fighting offences( 1) , England and Wales, 2007 and 2008( 2, 3, 4)|
|Proceeded against||Found guilty|
|(1 )Animal Welfare Act 2006, section 8. Came into force on 6 April 2007. (Note: animals other than dogs may be included).|
(2 )The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(3 )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 the courts and 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.
(4 )Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July, and August 2008.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what estimate he has made of the average payment per hour made to independent social workers as expert
witnesses in family proceedings in (a) magistrates courts, (b) county courts and (c) the High Court in each year since 2002; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the average amount of payments to (a) child psychologists, (b) child psychiatrists, (c) adult psychologists, (d) adult psychiatrists, (e) play therapists, (f) radiologists and (g) paediatricians as expert witnesses to family courts in each year from 2002; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) if he will reverse the decision to exclude independent social workers from the remit of the Expert Witnesses Review Group; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) does not routinely collect or separately record the amounts paid to expert witnesses in legally aided cases because they do not contract with them directly. However, my Department recently asked the LSC to conduct a limited file review exercise of payments made to expert witnesses in legal aid cases to inform our Analysis of expert witness fees paid in legal aid work research project.
Independent social work (ISW) groups have been invited to see and to comment on any emerging findings from the expert witness fees project as part of a wider reference group.
As has always been made clear, however, the file review exercise did not collect information on payments to ISWs as these were consulted on as part of the joint Ministry of Justice LSC consultation 'Family Legal Aid Funding from 2010' which ran from 18 December 2008 to 3 April 2009. As a result of the consultation, new payment rates for ISWs will be implemented with the new civil contracts in October 2010.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will consult independent social workers who have provided expert witness reports to courts since 2002 to assess the financial effect on them of the proposed reduction of fees from 14 October 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: Changes to the rates paid for independent social work in civil legal aid cases will come into effect with the new civil legal aid contracts from 14 October 2010. From this date, the fees paid by the Legal Services Commission (LSC) for independent social work will be set at the same level as those currently paid by the Children and Family Court Advisory Service (CAFCASS) and CAFCASS Cymru. The new rates will apply to both public and private law children cases.
The changes were consulted on and agreed as part of the joint MOJ and Legal Services Commission (LSC) consultation, Family Legal Aid Funding from 2010 which took place between December 2008 and April 2009. It was not possible to assess the financial impact on individual independent social workers (ISW) as the LSC does not contract with them directly. However, full consideration was given to all written responses received from ISWs and the LSC met with several ISW groups during consultation. The consultation response document and impact assessment was published on 21 October 2009 and is available on the LSC website at:
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of defendants with no previous (a) convictions and (b) cautions was given a custodial sentence for a first offence in (a) magistrates
and (b) Crown courts in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Blunt: Figures for the number and proportion of offenders sentenced to immediate custody for indictable offences in 2008, the most recent data available, by court type and previous conviction or caution history, are presented in the following table.
|The proportion of offenders who were sentenced to immediate custody for indictable offences in 2008 without previous convictions or without previous cautions by court type: England and Wales|
|Offenders who were sentenced for indictable offences in 2008|
|Without previous convictions||Without previous cautions||Without previous convictions/c autions|
|Immediate custody||All||%||Immediate custody||Alt||%||Immediate Custody||All||%|
|(1) The All courts figures include cases where the court is not recorded|
The figures shown are a further breakdown of the criminal history statistics presented in chapter 6 of 'Sentencing Statistics, England and Wales 2008' which was published on 28th January 2010 and can be found at
'Sentencing Statistics, England and Wales 2009' with 2009 data will be published on 21 October 2010.
The figures have been drawn from the police's administrative IT system, the police national computer, which, as with any large scale recording system, is subject to possible errors with data entry and processing. The figures are provisional and subject to change as more information is recorded by the police.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he plans to take to extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Mr Djanogly: The Government are considering a range of options to increase transparency, including extending the scope of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to additional public authorities. The Government will announce their intentions in due course.
Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the Government plans to extend the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to Network Rail. 
Mr Djanogly: The Government are considering a range of options for increasing transparency, including extending the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to additional public authorities.
The Government will announce their intentions in due course, including any in relation to Network Rail.
Mr Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average time was between submission of an attendance allowance appeal to the Independent Appeals Tribunal in (a) Glasgow, (b) Scotland and (c) the UK and determination of the appeal in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: The average time from submission to determination of attendance allowance appeals between July 2009 and June 2010 (the most recent period for which figures are available) was:
The Tribunals Service target is to deal with 75% of SSCS appeals within 16 weeks.
James Wharton: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what information his Department holds on the average proportion of a juror's attendance time that is spent in court in Crown court cases. 
Mr Djanogly: The information provided details the percentage of time jurors actually sat on trials in Crown court cases in the financial year 2008-09 and 2009-10 for each HMCS region in England and Wales.
|HMCS juror utilisation figures in the Crown courts|
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many clerks to the justices who were qualified solicitors or barristers there were in Surrey between (a)
1979 and 1989, (b) 1990 and 1999 and (c) 2000 and 2009. 
Mr Djanogly: The clerks to the justices for Surrey between 1979 and 2009 were:
In the period 1979 to 1989 there were six justices' clerks, three of whom were solicitors and three were barristers.
In the period 1990 to 1999 there were four justices' clerks, one of whom was a solicitor and three were barristers.
In the period 2000 to 2009 there was one justices' clerk who was, and still is, a barrister.
The justices' clerk is the principal legal adviser to the magistrates and the provider of consistent legal advice throughout their clerkship. Decisions on the numbers of justices clerk before 2005 were taken by magistrates courts committees in consultation with magistrates. The position of justices clerks was reviewed in 2007 when the number of clerkships was reduced from 70 to 49.
Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the level of funding for legal aid for cases relating to mental health legislation compared to that for other legal sectors. 
Mr Djanogly: The vast majority of spend in the mental health category of law is applied to clients seeking to challenge the terms of their detention under the Mental Health Act 2007 by applying to a mental health tribunal. Given the importance of this work it is provided without reference to a client's financial circumstances.
The Legal Services Commission (LSC) continues to ensure that demand for mental health legal services is met. Following the recent tender for new contracts from October 2010, they will be allocating approximately 1,500 more new matter starts in mental health in the 2010-11 contract year than were allocated in 2009-10. The mental health contract tenders were carried out on a non-competitive basis, and the number of applicants who have been provisionally offered a contract closely matches the number of existing providers. The LSC is confident that the overall provision of mental health services will remain good.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what (a) training his Department has provided and (b) guidance his Department has issued to the Legal Services Commission in respect of procurement law and the Public Contracts Regulations 2006. 
Mr Djanogly: The Ministry of Justice were engaged in the development and agreement of the policy that was implemented through the tender process. However, as the Legal Services Commission has managed the tender process, trained and qualified procurement and legal staff from the Commission have participated in the entire tender process and no further input from the Ministry was sought or offered in respect of procurement law and the Public Contracts Regulations 2006.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many and what proportion of those sentenced in magistrates courts in the latest year for which figures are available were given a period of (a) immediate and (b) suspended custody; 
(2) how many people have been given community sentences in each of the last three years. 
Mr Blunt: The number of offenders and proportion of total offenders sentenced to immediate custody or suspended sentence at magistrates courts in England and Wales for 2008 are shown in table 1.
The number of offenders sentenced to a community sentence at magistrates courts in England and Wales 2006 to 2008 are shown in table 2.
This information is taken from chapter 1 (table 1.5) and chapter 3 (table 3.3) of Sentencing Statistics 2008, available at the following link:
Court proceedings data for 2009 are due to be published on 21 October 2010.
|Table 1: Number and percentage of immediate and suspended custodial sentences given in magistrates courts, 2008|
|Number||Proportion of the total sentenced (percentage)|
|Table 2: Number of community sentences handed down at all courts, by year, 2006-08|
1. The category 'other' includes: one day in police cells, disqualification order, restraining order, confiscation order, travel restriction order, disqualification from driving, and recommendation for deportation and other miscellaneous disposals.
2. 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.
3. These data have been taken from the Ministry of Justice Court Proceedings database. These data are presented on the principal offence basis. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence the principal offence is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed. Where the same sentence has been imposed for two or more offences the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.
4. Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates' court for April, July, and August 2008.
Justice Statistics-Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice
Jonathan Lord: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what expenditure his Department has incurred on Woking magistrates court in each of the last five years; 
(2) what expenditure his Department has incurred on upgrading facilities at Woking magistrates court in each of the last 20 years. 
Mr Djanogly: The total resource costs for Woking magistrates court for the last five financial years are shown in the table A. These resource costs exclude income but include non-cash costs, staffing costs and judicial costs and align with the data held on the MOJ accounting system.
The capital costs relating to improvement works for Woking magistrates court for the last five financial years are shown in table B.
Up until 1 April 2005 magistrates courts were the responsibility of locally managed magistrates courts committees who were statutorily independent. Whilst information from the last five financial years is readily available, it is not possible to collate information for the years prior to this without incurring disproportionate costs.
|Table A: Woking magistrates court resource costs|
Other property costs (inc. security, cleaning, waste and refuse)
|(1) From 2009-10 Woking magistrates court legal staff were accounted for at an area level, thus decreasing the staff costs attributed to Woking magistrates court.|
(2) In 2007-08 Woking magistrates courthouse was transferred on to the HMCS asset register as part of the property transfer, thus increasing depreciation and amortisation, and diminution costs of Woking magistrates court in the ensuing years.
|Table B: Woking magistrates court capital costs|
Jonathan Lord: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average annual number of magistrates in Surrey was in the period (a) 1980 to 1989, (b) 1990 to 1999 and (c) 2000 to 2009. 
Mr Djanogly: Data for the periods 1980 to 1995 are no longer retained. On average, there were 422 magistrates per year in Surrey during the period 1996 to 1999.
Despite an extensive search, it was not possible to locate data for the year 2000 in the archives. On average, there were 367 magistrates per year in Surrey during the period 2001 to 2009.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have been prosecuted for carrying an offensive weapon or bladed article in Leeds North West constituency in each of the last five years. 
Mr Blunt: The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts in the West Yorkshire police force area for possession of offensive weapons or having an article with a blade or point in a public place, 2004 to 2008 (latest available) is shown in the following table.
Court proceedings data are not available at parliamentary constituency level.
Data for 2009 are planned for publication on 21 October 2010.
|Persons proceeded against at magistrates courts in the West Yorkshire police force area for offences of possession of offensive weapons and having an article with a blade or point( 1) , 2004-08( 2,3)|
|(1) Includes offences under the following statutes:|
Prevention of Crime Act 1953-section 1
Criminal Justice Act 1988-section 139(2) as added by Offensive Weapons Act 1996-section 4(1).
Criminal Justice Act 1988-section 139.
Criminal Justice Act 1988-section 139A(1) as added by Offensive Weapons Act 1996-section 4(1)
(2) The figures given relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(3) 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 the courts and 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.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice on how many occasions his Department and its predecessor has not provided answers to parliamentary questions on the grounds of commercial confidentiality in each of the last five years. 
Mr Djanogly: The information requested could be provided only by manually checking each parliamentary questions folder on the PQ database at a disproportionate cost. However, the database has been adapted so that this information will be centrally recorded in the future.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will bring forward proposals to give police the power to collect fines imposed by courts. 
Mr Djanogly: Financial penalties are currently collected and enforced by HMCS. Assistance from the police may occasionally be required to execute warrants for fine default.
There are no plans to provide the police with powers to collect fines.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which private finance initiative prison contracts have been re-financed since 1997; and what savings his Department achieved from each contract. 
Mr Blunt: Of the nine private finance initiative prison (PFI) contracts currently in place, our records show none have been re-financed and therefore no savings in relation to refinancing has occurred.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners serving sentences on the latest date for which figures are available were born (a) in the UK and (b) outside the UK. 
Mr Blunt: The Ministry of Justice does not record a prisoner's place of birth, only their nationality, which is self declared. As at June 2010, the most recent available data, there were 71,016 British nationals and 11,135 foreign nationals in prison (plus a further 2,851 had no nationality recorded).
The number of foreign national prisoners held in all prison establishments in England and Wales by nationality is published quarterly in the population in custody bulletin, found under the following link:
These figures 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.
Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking (a) directly and (b) through partnership working to ensure that former offenders have access to secure housing on release. 
Mr Blunt: A range of housing advice is provided in prisons and in the community to help offenders to find suitable and sustainable housing. Initial needs assessments are provided both in custody and for those offenders serving community sentences. In prison, housing advice is either provided by an 'in house' team or by a voluntary sector body under contract. In the community, offenders with housing needs are signposted to appropriate housing support services.
Most of the local resources for housing provision lie outside the criminal justice system and so the Ministry of Justice and NOMS play an important role in promoting strong local partnerships to tackle housing needs among offenders. The recent establishment of the cross-Government ministerial group on homelessness is expected to consider what further action is needed to support housing provision for offenders.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of prisoners who were drug addicts in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Blunt: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) estimates that on average 55% of those entering prison are drug dependent.
Drug treatment need in prisons is determined on a local basis. Central estimates of treatment need are reliant on epidemiological surveys. The figures above are derived primarily from an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report(1) which followed a large psychiatric survey of morbidity among prisoners(2) in 1997.
A more recent source of information regarding prevalence of substance misuse among sentenced prisoners is 'The problems and needs of newly sentenced prisoners: results from a national survey', published by the Ministry of Justice in October 2008. This reviewed 1,457 newly sentenced prisoners from 49 prisons. It showed 62% of prisoners reporting some drug use and 41% of the sample reporting heroin, cocaine powder or crack cocaine (HCC) use during the four week period prior to custody.
In 2009-10, a total of 60,067 clinical interventions for drug dependency and 66,459 substance misuse triage assessments (undertaken by CARAT(3) services) were conducted in prisons(4).
(1) Singleton N., Farrell M. and Meltzer. H. (1998) 'Substance misuse among prisoners in England and Wales'. Office for National Statistics.
(2) Office for National Statistics (1997) 'Psychiatric morbidity among prisoners'.
(3) Counselling. Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare.
(4) These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the data, the level of detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent estimate he has made of the annual cost to the public purse of (a) obtaining health and safety certificates and (b) first aid training for prisoners to enable them to work in prison. 
Mr Blunt: Neither the National Offender Management Services (NOMS) nor the Skills Funding Agency routinely collect the information requested.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many assaults by prisoners on (a) a prisoner and (b) a prison officer were recorded in each prison establishment in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Blunt: The following table details the number of assault incidents, by establishment, of prisoner on prisoner and prisoner on prison officer from 2002 until 2009, the last full year for which we have figures. The National Offender Management Service does not record the number of assaults, rather it records assault incidents in which one or more persons have been assaulted.
Prisons have a responsibility to keep prisoners, staff and visitors safe. The management of violence and its reduction, including support for staff, is central to successful prison management. It is fundamental to NOMS' objectives and vital to achieving the broad aims of safer custody.
|Table 1: Recorded prisoner-on-prisoner assaults by prison: 2002-09|
|Number of incidents|
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