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17 Jan 2011 : Column 636Wcontinued
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on what dates he met the chief executive of Royal Mail in the last 12 months; and what matters were discussed at each such meeting. 
Mr Davey: BIS Ministers have held several meetings with the chief executive since the general election and have discussed a wide range of issues relating to the business and the Postal Services Bill. The meetings I have had are as follows:
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has had one meeting as follows:
Departmental officials meet with representatives of Royal Mail on a regular basis.
Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of arrangements for information sharing between the Student Loans Company and HM Revenue and Customs; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: The Student Loans Company (SLC) and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) regularly exchange information which underpins the collection of student loans; this Department is working with them to develop an electronic data sharing link which will make improvements to the way household income is verified, for the purposes of assessing student support entitlement.
Any issues on information sharing would be the subject of regular discussions between this Department and our partners.
Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the performance and effectiveness of the Student Loans Company; and if he will make a statement. 
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills reviews the performance of the Student Loans Company (SLC) on an ongoing basis. Regular meetings are held at official level, including as part of the shared
governance arrangements in place for overseeing student finance delivery. Formal performance reviews are held quarterly and twice yearly are chaired by me, most recently on 20 December 2010.
Following the unacceptable service problems in delivering the academic year 2009/10 applications cycle, the SLC has made significant improvements this year. The company has made improvements to the way it processes applications and deploys staff to better manage applications processing and answering telephones at peak times. Data from the SLC show that 99.3% of applications for students who applied by the relevant deadlines with the right documentation were prepared for payment to be made at the start of term.
There is still more to do to ensure that students and their families receive the level of service that they have every right to expect. The Department is working in partnership with the SLC and are committed to supporting the SLC in its efforts to deliver a more successful student finance service.
Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure that those granted refugee status are eligible for student support for fees for the full length of their intended course of study where they have been accepted as a home student for funding purposes. 
Mr Willetts: In England, home fee status and tuition fee support are available to refugees and their family members as long as they have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands since being recognised as a refugee and they meet all other eligibility requirements. Continuing eligibility will be determined by certain criteria, for example the continuation of refugee status or other qualifying immigration status. There are no plans to change this.
Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what contribution his Department is making to the Prime Minister's initiative to create a Tech City in East London. 
Mr Prisk: Officials in this Department and in UKTI have helped to establish contact with potential investors in the East London Tech City initiative, and continue to assist the Greater London authority as the initiative is developed.
More widely, the recently announced Growth Review, which this Department is leading jointly with the Treasury, and which is aimed at creating the conditions for strong, sustainable and balanced growth, will address a range of issues relevant to technology-based companies including access to finance, regulation and competition.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will put in place arrangements to ensure that the Technology Strategy Board meets regularly in the regions. 
Mr Willetts: The executive Technology Strategy Board engages extensively with businesses across the UK both directly and through the activities of its knowledge transfer networks and is currently working with the Science and Industry Councils in England looking at the role they may play in future. It will also look to build on the relationship already established with organisations at a sub-national level and develop relationships with those local enterprise partnerships that can demonstrably help it extend its reach and engage with innovative businesses.
Furthermore, the Governing Board of the Technology Strategy Board will hold meetings with occasional elements of local engagement where the topic of business under discussion would benefit from such activity.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has to ensure representation of the (a) regions and (b) nations on the Technology Strategy Board. 
Mr Willetts: Members of the Governing Board of the Technology Strategy Board are drawn from businesses and organisations across the UK on the basis of their relevant experience of, and success in, science and technology development and exploitation from a business perspective.
They are not appointed to represent the interests of English regions or the devolved Administrations, or for that matter, specific business sectors.
At a working level however, the Technology Strategy Board has officials responsible for relationship managing activities at a sub-national level and will look to build on the relationship already established with the devolved Administrations and develop an appropriate relationship with the Local Enterprise Partnerships, particularly those that can demonstrably help the Technology Strategy Board extend its reach and engage with innovative businesses.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding his Department expects to allocate to the Technology Strategy Board in each of the next three years; for what purpose such funding is to be allocated; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: Details of the Technology Strategy Board's core budget for the next four years of the spending review period will be detailed in the near future. This funding supports business innovation through mechanisms such as funding for collaborative research projects, knowledge transfer partnerships, the Small Business Research Initiative and for networking. It is focused on those opportunities which offer the greatest scope for boosting UK growth and productivity on the basis of business and academic strength.
An additional £200 million will be provided to the Technology Strategy Board to establish a network of technology and innovation centres. These will complement the approaches highlighted above, where necessary and appropriate, by providing a business led, capital intensive infrastructure that enables business to exploit new and emerging technologies.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many full-time equivalent staff in his Department not including those in UK Trade and Investment work on international trade in (a) general and (b) negotiations; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: The Joint Trade Policy Unit currently has 59 staff. The roles of the team, drawn from both the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for International Development, all have some link to trade negotiations.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to encourage graduates from each social background to take up internships in (a) the voluntary sector and (b) media industries. 
Mr Willetts: The Government remains committed both to increasing social mobility and to encouraging employers to offer more internships to young people, including graduates.
The Graduate Talent Pool website advertises vacancies from a wide range of sectors, including the voluntary and the media sectors. Eligible graduates from all social backgrounds can apply for internships advertised on the GTP.
Stephen McPartland: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress his Department has made in its negotiations on revisions to the European Working Time Directive; and what further negotiations he expects to take place in 2011. 
Mr Davey: The coalition Government are committed to limiting the application of the working time directive in the UK, including maintaining the flexibility provided by the right of individuals to opt out of the maximum 48-hour working week. We have made, and continue to make clear to the Commission and to partners in Europe that we will engage positively and constructively with any further negotiations on the working time directive, and in particular that we would welcome changes to increase flexibility, for instance regarding the treatment of 'on-call' time. But we are stressing at every opportunity that the UK position on the opt-out will remain absolutely firm.
The Commission is currently conducting a consultation on reviewing the directive, limited to European social partners. If the social partners do not decide to come to an agreement on working time, it is likely that the Commission will issue a proposal to amend the directive during 2011.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate his Department has made of the average cost to the public purse of a shorter intensive supervision order. 
Mr Blunt: Intensive supervision is a common component in community orders imposed as part of the intensive alternatives custody (IAC) pilots. The majority of orders made have been for 12 months with some for 24 months.
Meaningful average costs for IAC are not available as each pilot has developed through negotiation with local courts, and the component parts have varied along with the associated local costs which has meant that costs for each pilot area have differed considerably.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effectiveness of shorter intensive supervision orders on rates of rehabilitation. 
Mr Blunt: Seven areas are running pilots to test an intensive community order targeting offenders likely to be sentenced to short-term custody. We do not have evidence of the impact of these schemes on reoffending. NOMS has commissioned research including analysis exploring the feasibility of evaluating the schemes' impact on reoffending.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the effect on recorded crime rates of the change in the prison population between 1997 and 2010. 
Mr Blunt: Rates of recorded crime may be affected by a number of factors beyond changes to the prison population. Possible factors include the effectiveness of policing, the effectiveness of rehabilitation and technological developments in security such as vehicle immobilisers.
The Ministry of Justice published an assessment of the evidence on the complex link between changes in the prison population and recorded crime rates in the Green Paper Evidence Report, 'Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders', December 2010. This concluded that there is no clear consensus from criminologists and commentators about whether imprisonment directly affects crime.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the review of the law of libel in England and Wales will include an assessment of whether the families of deceased persons should be able to bring defamation actions in respect of their deceased relatives. 
We are carrying out an extensive review of the law on defamation, and will publish a draft Defamation Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny and full
consultation in the spring. As part of the review we are giving consideration to the evidence that has been presented to us on this particular issue.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what changes to staffing levels at HM Prison Ford proposed as a consequence of planned reductions in the budget of the National Offender Management Service. 
Mr Blunt: Following the disturbance the Regional Manager Custodial Services will await the outcome of the NOMS investigation before finalising staffing levels for 2011-12.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what requirements there were on the Legal Services Commission and its predecessor to maintain (a) the ISO quality standard and (b) other external quality standards since December 2004; what steps were taken to ensure such compliance; what requirements there were to audit such compliance; and what the cost to the public purse was of such compliance in each year since 2004. 
Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) is a non-departmental public body able to determine which accreditations it considers are suitable. As such, we have not required the LSC to maintain any quality standards. As best practice, the LSC does maintain or has maintained in the past a number of externally recognised quality standards, which are as follows:
ISO 9002: quality standard from 2001 to 2007
Charter Mark: from 2007 to 2010 (the Charter Mark was abolished by the Government in 2010).
The LSC was assessed on a rolling three-year programme by external assessors for both standards. The LSC passed all assessments and reassessments, and worked with the assessing bodies on various improvements over the years.
Investors in People accreditation: from March 2009 to present
The organisation-wide accreditation is in place for three years. If the LSC decides to apply for reaccreditation in March 2012, it will begin self- assessment from 2011. There are no audit requirements throughout the three-year period until March 2012 when the LSC would be reassessed against the standard by an external assessor through a process of interviews with a sample of staff.
ISO 14001:2004: environmental management standard from March 2009 to August 2010
The ISO 14001 standard defines a set of environmental management requirements for environmental management systems. To ensure compliance the LSC was required to provide continual staff training and monitoring of key performance indicators. Compliance was externally assessed every six months. In August 2010 the LSC withdrew from ISO 14001 accreditation.
The LSC has no central record of the amount spent on compliance with quality standards and such information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice on what date and for what reason the Legal Services Commission did not meet the ISO quality standard to which it had been accredited; what steps had been taken to attempt to ensure continued compliance with the standard; and what steps were taken (a) in consequence of the failure to meet the standard and (b) to return to accredited standards. 
Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) maintained the ISO 9002 quality standard until 2007, after which it applied for the Charter Mark, which it held from 2007 to 2010, when it was abolished by the Government. At no time did the LSC lose accreditation for the ISO 9002 or Charter Mark standard, and therefore it did not fail to meet the requirements of these standards. For both standards the LSC was assessed on a rolling three-year programme by external assessors. The LSC passed all assessments and reassessments, and worked with the assessing bodies on various improvements over the years.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much (a) his Department and its predecessor and (b) the Legal Services Commission (LSC) has spent since 2004 on compliance with quality standards. 
Mr Djanogly: Neither the Ministry of Justice nor the Legal Services Commission maintain central records of expenditure on compliance with quality standards and the information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will bring forward proposals to ensure that the offence of obstruction of a driveway is treated in the same way in cases where a vehicle is prevented from (a) leaving and (b) entering private property. 
Norman Baker: I have been asked to reply.
The police have the power to remove a vehicle from the highway if it is causing an obstruction. It is for the police to decide what constitutes obstruction. The Government are considering extending this power to cover obstruction on private land.
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether any of the members of the Family Justice Review panel have (a) been the subject as children of proceedings under the Children Act 1989, (b) been party as a parent to proceedings under the Children Act 1989 and (c) undertaken remunerated employment for (i) social services, (ii) CAFCASS, (iii) the National Youth Advocacy Service, (iv) HM Courts Service, (v) the judiciary and (vi) a family legal practice in the last 20 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: None of the Family Justice Review Panel have been subject as children of proceedings under the Children Act 1989 or been party as a parent to proceedings under the Children Act 1989.
With regard to part (c) of your question:
Mr Justice McFarlane has been a High Court family judge for five years. He practised at the Bar for nearly 30 years before that, latterly specialising in family law and was appointed a QC in 1998. In the course of his practice as a barrister, he regularly acted all categories of parties to family cases and therefore received instructions from social services, CAFCASS, NYAS and parents.
John Coughlan has been the Director of Children's Services for Hampshire county council since 2005 which includes short-term employment in November and December 2008 as Director of Children's Services at Haringey; From 2001 to 2005 he was statutory Director of Social Services for Telford and Wrekin; From 1997 to 2001 he worked for Dudley metropolitan borough council social services department; From 1982 to 1997 he worked for Birmingham city council social services department.
Keith Towler has not been employed by a social services department since 1984 and has never been employed by other organisations listed.
Baroness Richie is a member of the CAFCASS Board and has not been employed by the other organisations listed.
Neither David Norgrove nor Gillian Pugh has been employed by any of the organisations listed.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many female prisoners there were (a) in December 1996, (b) in December 2009 and (c) on the most recent date for which figures are available; and how many were first-time offenders in each case. 
Mr Blunt: The population of the women's prison estate was as follows:
(a) 2,370 in December 1996, (b) 4, 259 in December 2009 and (c) 3,982 on 7 January 2011, the most recent date for which figures are available. There were 4,307 female prisoners on 30 June 2009 (the most recent date for which information on first-time offenders is available) of which 3,427 were serving an immediate custodial sentence. 3,328 of these could be found on the Police National Computer and of these 915 had no previous cautions or convictions when sentenced. Figures for first-time offender female prisoners are not available for December 1996 and December 2009.
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.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what discussions Ministers in his Department have had with the governor of HM Prison Ford in the last six months. 
Mr Blunt: I visited Ford prison on 4 August and on 2 January. On both occasions I met with the governor.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much has been paid in bonuses or enhanced remuneration payments to employees of the
Legal Services Commission in respect of performance against (a) internally set targets and (b) external quality standards in each year since 2007; and what the job title was of the recipient of each such payment. 
Mr Djanogly: A response cannot be prepared in the time available. I will write to the hon. Member with the available information when it has been collated.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners there are serving short sentences in open prisons. 
Mr Blunt: The population of those serving short sentences (sentences of less than 12 months) in open prisons at 30 September 2010, was 211.
The figure provided includes those prisoners held in open prisons/YOIs and the relevant parts of multi-site establishments; it does not include those in semi-open prisons or in small (under 50 place) open units at closed prisons.
This figure has been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the operational capacity of HM Prison Ford is. 
Mr Blunt: As a result of the disturbance on 31 December and 1 January the operational capacity at Ford has been reduced from 557 to a new temporary operational capacity of 445.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many were on duty on the prison estate on (a) 30 December 2009, (b) 31 December 2009 and (c) 1 January 2010. 
Mr Blunt: The information requested is not collected centrally and to obtain accurate information on the number of staff on duty across the estate on those dates would entail significant disproportionate cost.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to HM Prison Service is of the contract with HP Enterprise Services for the provision of (a) desktop computers, (b) printers and (c) telephones in respect of each participating prison. 
Mr Blunt: The information requested is shown in the following table.
The contract with HP Enterprise Services UK Ltd provides a fully managed ICT and telephony service for establishments within the National Offender Management Service. The costs of the services in 2009-10 are shown in the table.
The 'Desktop and Laptops' column also includes the cost of one printer for every seven desktop and laptop devices.
The 'Printers' column is the cost of the printers deployed by each establishment in excess of the 'one in seven' printers included in the previous column.
The 'Desktop Telephones', 'Mobile Telephones' and 'Pagers' columns exclude the cost of calls made from those devices.
|2009 - 10 expenditure by establishment|
|Establishment||Desktop and laptops||Printers||Desktop telephones||Mobile telephones||Pagers|
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the prison population was on 31 December 2010. 
Mr Blunt: The prison population as at 31 December 2010 was 83,055.
The prison population figures are published by the Ministry of Justice and can be found free of charge at the HM Prison Service website via the following:
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.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate his Department has made of the size of the prison population in 2014-15. 
Mr Blunt: The Ministry of Justice produces annual projections of the prison population in England and Wales, most recently in August 2010. These project the prison population under three different scenarios based on different assumptions about future sentencing trends (increasing sentencing, no change and decreasing custody rate and average custodial sentence length).
The following table shows average monthly projected prison population for the financial year 2014-15.
|Average projected prison population( 1)|
|( 1) Financial year figures. Note: All figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.|
These and more details on the projections may be found in the latest published bulletin "Prison Population Projections 2010-2016" Ministry of Justice Statistics Bulletin, 10 August 2010. This is available at the following webpage:
These projections take no account of any impact on the prison population which might result from proposed sentencing reforms noted in the recently published Ministry of Justice business plan 2011-15, which is available at the following webpage:
As such these projections provide a set of "baseline" scenarios against which the impacts of future changes can be assessed.
Other impacts included in the projections, cover the anticipated impacts of policy and process initiatives that have agreed implementation timetables.
For the 2010 prison population projections these include the impact of changes to arrangements for release on licence for current prisoners sentenced under the Criminal Justice Act 1991, which were brought in through the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and the impact of the withdrawal of End of Custody Licence in March 2010. These impacts are applied equally to all scenarios.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many serving prisoners have been diagnosed with drink problems; and how many such prisoners are receiving treatment in alcohol dependency units. 
Mr Blunt: Research carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)(1) states that 63% of sentenced males and 39% of sentenced females reported a hazardous drinking pattern in the year before coming into prison. A more recent survey carried out in 2005-06(2) found that 23% of prisoners (sentenced from one month to four years) reported having drunk alcohol in the four weeks prior to custody and that they would find it quite difficult or impossible to stop drinking.
Figures for those receiving a clinical intervention for alcohol dependency were last collated centrally in 2002-03, when an estimated 6,400 prisoners undertook an alcohol detoxification with an estimated 7,000 more prisoners undertaking detoxification for combined alcohol and drug misuse.
A range of interventions are in place to support those with an alcohol problem. For those prisoners who are alcohol dependent, services are in the main provided within the wider drug treatment framework. Interventions are not necessarily delivered within specialist rehabilitation units.
(1) Substance Misuse among prisoners in England and Wales (1997), Singleton, Farrell and Meltzer.
(2) Ministry of Justice (2010) "Compendium of reoffending statistics and analysis". Ministry of Justice Statistics Bulletin. London: Ministry of Justice.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many serving prisoners have been diagnosed with drug problems; and how many such prisoners are receiving treatment in drug rehabilitation units. 
Mr Blunt: We do not collect central figures on the diagnosed drug problems of prisoners. The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) estimates that on average 55% of those entering prison have a serious drug problem.(1) A survey of 1,435 prisoners sentenced to between one month and four years in 2005 and 2006(2) showed 64% of prisoners reporting having used drugs in the four weeks prior to custody.
In 2009-10 66,459 prisoners engaged with CARAT (Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare) services in prisons and 60,067 received a clinical intervention. Of these 10,206 started an accredited drug treatment programme.
In addition to this 6,586 young people (15 to 17-year-olds) in custody engaged with the Young People's Substance Misuse Service (YPSMS).(3)
The drug treatment framework is available across prisons and is designed to meet the needs of all drug-misusing offenders. Interventions are not necessarily delivered within specialist rehabilitation units.
(1) Principally based on figures from 'Substance misuse among prisoners in England and Wales', Office for National Statistics (1999), Singleton et al.
(2) Ministry of Justice (2010) "Compendium of reoffending statistics and analysis". Ministry of Justice Statistics Bulletin. London: Ministry of Justice.
(3) All data are drawn from administrative IT systems and are subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale assessment and recording system.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he expects to issue guidance to prisons on the location and treatment of transgender prisoners. 
Mr Blunt: The draft Prison Service instruction on the care and management of transsexual prisoners is currently awaiting final approval from the National Offender Management Service Operational Policy Group, and will be published shortly after this approval is obtained. In the meantime the draft instruction is available to prison staff who can also contact the relevant policy leads at National Offender Management Service headquarters for further advice and support.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners serving custodial sentences have been diagnosed with mental health problems; and how many such prisoners are receiving treatment in psychiatric hospitals. 
Mr Blunt: The diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems suffered by sentenced prisoners is for medical professionals under the NHS prison mental health in-reach programme. Figures are not centrally available for prisoners who have been so diagnosed and who are receiving treatment in prison. However, in the most recent survey of prisoner backgrounds, 17% reported having been treated or counselled for a mental health or emotional problem in the year before custody. On 10 January 2011, 824 sentenced prisoners in England and Wales were receiving treatment in psychiatric hospitals, after being transferred for treatment by the Secretary of State under the Mental Health Act 1983.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of serving prisoners of each sex who have a diagnosed personality disorder. 
Mr Blunt: Data are not held centrally on the numbers of serving prisoners with a diagnosed personality disorder. However, it is estimated that approximately two-thirds of prisoners would meet the criteria for at least one type of personality disorder.
The prevalence of personality disorder among the prison population was estimated in a Ministry of Justice report 'The problems and needs of newly sentenced prisoners: results from a national survey', Ministry of Justice Research Series 16/08, October 2008. This indicated that 61% of prisoners in the sample were assessed as having a personality disorder. There was little difference by sentence length, but the rate was higher for men than for women (62% versus 57%), and for adults compared to young offenders (63% versus 53%).
The Ministry of Justice Rehabilitation Green Paper 'Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders' noted that the national health service and National Offender Management Service plan to reconfigure existing services in secure and community settings to manage high risk, sexual or violent offenders whose offending is linked to severe forms of personality disorder. The implementation plan for these changes will be subject to a separate consultation by the Department of Health and the Ministry of Justice to be launched shortly.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment has been made of the (a) prevalence of gangs in and (b) effect of gangs on (i) HM Prison Ford and (ii) the prison estate in the last six months. 
Mr Blunt: In view of the ongoing criminal and NOMS investigations into the incident at HMP Ford, it would be inappropriate to comment prior to the conclusion of those investigations.
The identification of 'gangs' in prison is not always straightforward given the loose and fluid nature of affiliations and the inherent difficulties of defining a 'gang' separately from other groups. Gang-related issues have been and continue to be managed within the overall framework to manage prisons and provide a safe and decent environment. Where gang-related issues are pronounced, governors work with local police forces to share information as necessary.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) whether there are circumstances in which prisoners are permitted to consume alcohol while in custody; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how many investigations concerning the use of alcohol by prisoners have taken place in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Blunt: Consumption of alcohol is not permitted in prison under any circumstances. Prison rule 25 (1) states:
"No prisoner shall be allowed to have any intoxicating liquor."
Under the Offender Management Act (2007) it is a criminal offence for prisoners to bring, or attempt to bring, alcohol in to a prison without prior authorisation.
Where a prisoner is found to have broken prison rules they will be subject to internal disciplinary proceedings rather than investigation.
Numbers of proven offences under internal disciplinary procedures of prisoners consuming alcohol during the last five years is in the following table:
| Note: Numbers for 2010 are not yet available.|
A copy of prison rules is available in the Library of the House.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether CCTV was in operation at HM Prison Ford at the time of the disturbances in December 2010 and January 2011. 
Mr Blunt: HMP Ford does have CCTV equipment. The use of CCTV at the prison during the disturbance is something the NOMS investigation will comment on and it would be inappropriate to pre-empt the findings of this investigation, or the police investigation which is also ongoing.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the terms of reference are for the inquiry into the disturbances at HM Prison Ford in December 2010 and January 2011. 
Mr Blunt: The Commissioning Officer, Michael Spurr (chief executive officer, NOMS) appointed Ian Mulholland, the Investigating Officer, to investigate the events surrounding the disturbance at HMP Ford on 31 December 2010 and 1 January 2011: to determine what occurred; to establish the causes and chronology of events; how the incident was managed; and, to identify learning to enable the service to prevent or better manage such incidents at Ford and elsewhere across the estate in future.
He specifically asked the Investigating Officer to consider:
The events that led to the disturbance, what occurred and whether preventative action could have been taken, including:
Any intelligence or risk assessment made prior to and during the disturbance;
The level of staffing on duty.
The response to and management of the incident itself, including:
The "first at scene", Silver and Gold arrangements;
Deployment of national resources and joint working with the emergency services.
Any underlying issues/factors which may have contributed to the disturbance including any aspects of the general management of the prison which may have had an impact.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice at what time Ministers in his Department were first informed of the disturbance at HM Prison Ford; and what steps Ministers took in response. 
Mr Blunt: In line with the usual protocols when Gold Command is opened in response to an incident, my Private Office were informed first at approximately 3 am on Saturday 1 January. I was informed later in the morning when the incident escalated and received regular updates thereafter. I visited the Gold Command suite in London on the same day and also briefed the press. On the morning of 2 January I visited HMP Ford. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Justice was also informed of the incident.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what methods the Prison Service uses at HM prison Ford to assess whether disturbances are likely. 
Mr Blunt: HMP Ford conducts a daily operational briefing which discusses recent and forthcoming operational issues. The security manager submits a weekly report to the regional office, including a section on the stability of the prison, a monthly security meeting also assesses the stability of the prison.
Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prison officers were on duty at the outbreak of the recent disturbance at HM Prison Ford; and for how many prisoners they were responsible. 
Mr Blunt: Two prison officers and four operational support grades were on duty at the outbreak of the disturbance. The population of Ford at the time of the disturbance was 487.
Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his Department's minimum recommended ratio of prison officers to prisoners is for an open prison. 
Mr Blunt: There are no minimum recommended ratios of prison officer to prisoners in open prisons. Each prison is individually risk assessed and minimum staffing levels are agreed with the Regional Manager Custodial and Director of Offender Management.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many convictions there were for (a) kerb crawling, (b) soliciting for the purposes of prostitution in a public place, (c) keeping a brothel and (d) control of prostitution in respect of offences committed in the London Borough of Newham in (i) 2008, (ii) 2009 and (iii) 2010.  [Official Report, 21 March 2011, Vol. 525, c. 19MC.]
Mr Blunt: The number of defendants found guilty at all courts for selected prostitution related offences in the Metropolitan police force area for the years 2008 to 2009 can be viewed in the table.
Information at borough level is not collated centrally by the Ministry of Justice.
Court proceedings data for 2010 are planned for publication in the spring.
|Number of defendants found guilty at all courts for selected prostitution related offences in the Metropolitan police force area for the years 2008 - 09( 1,2,3)|
Soliciting for the purposes of prostitution in a public place
|(1) 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.|
(2) 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.
(3) Includes the following statutes and corresponding offence descriptions:
Sexual Offences Act 1985, S.1
Sexual Offences Act 1985, S.2
Persistent soliciting of person or persons for the purpose of prostitution
Soliciting for the purposes of prostitution in a public place:
Sexual Offences Act 1985, S.1
Common prostitute loitering or soliciting for the purpose of prostitution
Keeping a brothel:
Sexual Offences Act 1956 S.33A as added by the Sexual Offences Act 1967
Keeping a brothel for prostitution
Sexual Offences Act 1956 S.34
Letting premises for use as a brothel
Sexual Offences Act 1956 S.34
Letting premises for use as a brothel for homosexual practices
Sexual Offences Act 1956 S.35
Tenant permitting premises to be used as a brothel
Sexual Offences Act 1956 S.35 as amended by the Sexual Offences Act 2003 S.53
Tenant permitting premises to be used as a brothel for homosexual practices
Sexual Offences Act 1956 S.33 as amended by the Sexual Offences Act 1967
Keeping a brothel for homosexual practices
Control of prostitution:
Sexual Offences Act 2001 S.53
Controlling prostitution for gain
Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many staff are employed at Ranby prison. 
Mr Blunt: On 30 September 2010, there were 488 staff employed at HMP Ranby, with a full-time equivalent of 464, having accounted for part-time staff.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the reconviction rate after (a) 12 and (b) 24 months for prisoners aged (i) 21 years or less and (ii) 18 years or less on release from prison was on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Mr Blunt: The latest reconviction data are based on offences committed within one year of an offender being discharged from custody. We are currently consulting on a new reoffending measure which includes plans to publish one and two-year reoffending rates.
Reconviction rates are published separately for adults (those aged 18 years or older) and juveniles (those aged between 10 and 17).
Table la shows the reconviction rate for adult offenders discharged from custody broken down by age band. Table lb shows the reconviction rate for juvenile offenders discharged from custody.
|Table la: Adult one-year reconviction rates for offenders discharged from custody in Q1 2008, by age band|
|Age band||Number of offenders||Reconviction rate (percentage)|
|Table lb: Juvenile (aged 10 to 17) one-year reconviction rates for offenders discharged from custody in Q1 2008|
|Age band||Number of offenders||Reconviction rate (percentage)|
More information on the reoffending rates is available from the Ministry of Justice website at:
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the reconviction rate after (a) 12 and (b) 24 months for prisoners released from prison following a sentence of (i) 12 months or less, (ii) between one and four years and (iii) more than four years was on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Mr Blunt: The latest reconviction data are based on offences committed within one year of an offender being discharged from custody. We are currently consulting on a new reoffending measure which includes plans to publish one and two year reoffending rates.
The following table shows the number and one year reconviction rate of adult offenders who were released from custody in the first quarter of 2008.
|One year reconviction rate for offenders released from custody in the first quarter of 2008|
|Sentence length||Number of offenders||Reconviction rate (percentage)|
Further information on adult reconviction is available at:
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the reconviction rate after (a) 12 and (b) 24 months for persons discharged from approved premises was on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Mr Blunt: Reconviction data for persons discharged from approved premises are not available. Further information on adult reoffending is available at:
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the reconviction rate after (a) 12 and (b) 24 months is for persons sentenced to (i) a community order, (ii) a community order with a programme requirement and (iii) a community order with a curfew tag requirement was on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Mr Blunt: The latest re-conviction data provided are based on offences committed within one year of an offender commencing a court order under probation supervision.
Table 1 shows the re-conviction rates for offenders commencing a community order under probation supervision between January and March 2008, including those with accredited programme and curfew requirements.
|Table 1: Adult one-year re-conviction rates for offenders commencing a community order in Q1 2008, by requirement type|
|Number of offenders||Re-conviction rate (percentage)|
|(1) Stand alone or in combination with other requirements.|
Re-conviction rates provided here should not be compared to assess the effectiveness of sentences, as there is no control for known differences in offender characteristics.
Further breakdowns of two-year re-conviction data are not available. However the latest headline two-year re-conviction rates published are for the 2006 cohort. For adult offenders 51.9% were re-convicted in two years.
We are currently consulting on a new re-offending measure which includes plans to publish one and two-year re-offending rates on a consistent basis.
More information on the re-conviction rates is available from the Ministry of Justice website:
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the reconviction rate after (a) 12 and (b) 24 months for persons sentenced to (i) unpaid work and (ii) unpaid work with additional requirements was on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Mr Blunt: The latest reconviction data provided are based on offences committed within one year of an offender commencing a court order under probation supervision. We are currently consulting on a new reoffending measure which includes plans to publish one and two year reoffending rates.
The following table shows the reconviction rates for offenders sentenced to a court order under probation supervision between January and March 2008, with unpaid work and unpaid work with additional requirements.
|Adult one-year reconviction rates for offenders commencing court order with an unpaid work requirement in Q1 2008|
|Number of offenders||Reconviction rate (percentage)|
|(1) Stand alone or in combination with other requirements|
Reconviction rates provided here should not be compared to assess the effectiveness of sentences, as there is no control for known differences in offender characteristics.
More information on the reconviction rates is available from the Ministry of Justice website at:
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