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Offenders Under Supervision

Lord Windlesham asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The number of offenders under supervision in the community sentenced to non-custodial penalties by the courts in the years 1993 to 1997 is as follows:

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    1993 : 96,563

    1994 : 107,257

    1995 : 107,333

    1996 : 110,274

    1997 : 117,610

The number of offenders released from a custodial sentence under statutory supervision and subject to recall is as follows for the years 1994 to 1998:

    1994 : 20,900

    1995 : 22,900

    1996 : 23,900

    1997 : 25,100

    1998 : 28,400

Prison, Hostel and Boarding School Staff: Training

The Earl of Listowel asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there are any nationally recognised preparatory training schemes for those who work in:

    (a) the prison service;

    (b) hostels for the homeless; and

    (c) residential schools, and, if not, why not.(HL4380]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The prison service

All newly recruited prison officers attend an 11-week initial training course which provides the underpinning knowledge to enable them to attain a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ), level 2, in custodial care within two years. Existing civil servants, experienced managers or graduates may be appointed to the Prison Service via a number of fast track schemes. Appointment to a governor grade in each of the schemes is only possible after an intense period of initial training followed by the achievement of formal accreditation.

Induction and development training for administrative staff is delivered locally within each prison establishment, or headquarters group, which allows the specific needs of the individual to be assessed and met in the most appropriate way. Hostels for the homeless

There are several national recognised qualifications, including NVQs, designed for people working in supported housing, including hostels for the homeless. There are also many other NVQs and other nationally recognised qualifications which are relevant but not specific to those working hostels, such as caring for people with mental or physical health or substance abuse problems. Training towards these qualifications is the responsibility of individual employers. Residential schools

The Department for Education and Employment encourages participation in training for those

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employed in maintained and independent residential (boarding) schools and provides financial support for training offered by the Boarding Schools Association. This training, for pastoral and welfare staff, culminates in two certificated qualifications both validated by the Roehampton Institute.

Probation and Immediate Custody Sentences 1998

Lord Windlesham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish a table for the most recent five years for which statistics are available showing:

    (a) the total number of offenders sentenced to probation or other community penalties each year, the number of staff responsible for their supervision, and the annual cost; and

    (b) the number of offenders sentenced to immediate custody each year, the staff of HM Prison Service, and the comparative annual costs over the same period.[HL4432]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The number of persons starting supervision by the probation service in the years 1994 to 1998 is as follows:

    1994 : 111,955

    1995 : 112,340

    1996 : 115,402

    1997 : 119,775

    1998 : 125,347(p)

    (p) Provisional

The following table, based on table 8.1 in the publication Probation Statistics England and Wales 1997 shows expenditure on the probation service1 for the years 1993-94 to 1997-98:

£ millions at outturn prices

Current expenditure3367.8390.7388.3420.1409.4

1 The probation service is financed mainly through local authorities, to whom the Home Office pays specific grants covering 80 per cent of current and capital expenditure.

2 Estimated figures.

3 Expenditure eligible for 80 per cent Home Office grant. The current expenditure figures for 1995-96 to 1997-98 include the local authority contribution to expenditure on probation and bail hostels.

Provisional outturn figures for 1998-99 are not yet available.

The number of probation service staff in post(1) for the years 1994 to 1998 (p) is shown below:

1994 : 16,405

1995 : 15,702

1996 : 15,233

1997 : 14,809

1998 : 14,658(p)

(1) Whole-time equivalent

(p) Provisional

The total number of offenders given immediate custody(1) at all courts in the years 1994 to 1998 (p) in England and Wales was as follows:

1994 : 69,600

1995 : 79,500

1996 : 85,200

1997 : 93,800

1998 : 100,600(p)

(1) Immediate custody includes detention under Section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, Secure training order (as from January 1998), detention in a young offender institution and unsuspended sentence of imprisonment

(p) Provisional.

The following table shows the expenditure on the Prison Service, the cost per prisoner place and the number of staff in post for the years 1994-95 to 1998-99.

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1994-951995-961996-971997-981998-99 estimated outturn2
(£ million)314329217276209
(£ million)1,2941,3301,3901,4621,612
(£ million)1,6081,6591,6061,7381,821
Cost per
place (£)23,39124,17824,27123,94025,096
Staff in post38,88939,28938,62339,59441,271

This table is based on Table 2 in the Government's Expenditure Plans 1999-2000 to 2001-2002 for the Home Office and the Charity Commission, Volume 2.

Justice and Home Affairs Council, 29 October

Lord Orme asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the outcome of the Justice and Home Affairs Council held in Luxembourg on 29 October.[HL4590]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My right honourable friend the Home Secretary (Mr Straw) and my honourable friend the Minister of State for the Home Department (Ms Roche) represented the United Kingdom at the Council. The main matters dealt with were as follows: "A" points

The Council agreed as an "A" point, among other things, the annual report for 1997-98 on football hooliganism in European Union member states. Open debate on the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice

The Council discussed the outcome of the Tampere European Council. The Commission undertook to present to the December Justice and Home Affairs

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Council a first draft of the "scoreboard" (i.e. progress report) on implementing specific Tampere measures. Follow-up to the Tampere European Council

The Presidency presented a paper it had prepared jointly with the Commission and Council Secretariat on implementation of the results of the Tampere European Council. There was no signficiant discussion. Draft Eurodac Regulation

The Council noted the Presidency's progress report and encouraged the intensification of efforts to resolve outstanding issues in order to reach agreement at the December Council. Draft Mandate for a parallel Dublin Agreement with Iceland and Norway

At the previous Council meeting on 4 October, the Commission had presented its proposal for a Community agreement to bring Norway and Iceland into the Dublin Convention arrangements. On 29 October the Council noted that the agreement needed to be concluded quickly and remitted the draft mandate to Coreper to resolve outstanding difficulties. Council decision on opening negotiations between Europol and third countries and international organisations

After discussions, further consideration of the draft instrument was remitted to Coreper. Mutual Legal Assistance Convention: Interception Provisions

The Presidency noted that, while good progress had been made and agreement appeared to be closer, the provisions relating to interception of telecommunications in the draft Convention on Mutual Assistance in criminal matters were still subject to some debate. It circulated for consideration a further compromise text. After discussion, the Presidency concluded that the issue should be remitted to Coreper, with a view to ultimate agreement at the December Council. Justice and Home Affairs information for National Parliaments

This item was remitted to the December Council.


Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether immigration officers have regard to the Roma ethnic origins of individuals seeking to enter the United Kingdom as visitors or students.[HL4573]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Immigration Rules require immigration officers to carry out their duties without regard to the race, colour or religion of those with whom they have dealings.

Anyone seeking entry as a visitor must satisfy the immigration officer that he or she is genuinely seeking leave to enter for a limited period, not exceeding six

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months, and intends to leave the United Kingdom at the end of this period. (Paragraph 40 of HC395 refers.)

Similarly, a prospective student must be able to produce evidence that he or she has been accepted for a course of study which satisfies the requirements of the Immigration Rules (paragraph 57 of HC395) and that he or she intends to leave the United Kingdom at the end of the studies.

If the requirements of either paragraph 40 or 57 are not met, leave to enter is to be refused.

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