Previous Section Index Home Page

2 Nov 2009 : Column 744W—continued


2 Nov 2009 : Column 745W

Prisons: Drugs

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much alcohol was detected in prisons in the last five years. [296156]

Mr. Straw: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has in place a strategy to reduce supply and demand for alcohol with a comprehensive range of security measures and searching techniques to detect items of contraband including alcohol, and to prevent smuggling into establishments. However, NOMS does not centrally record centrally how much alcohol is detected in prisons. In the light of the hon. and Learned Member’s question I have asked NOMS senior officials to let me have advice on putting a system for the central collection of such data.

Prisons: Employment

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prison workshops have (a) opened, (b) closed and (c) changed function in each of the last seven years. [296033]

Maria Eagle: The following table shows the number of prison industrial workshops(1) that opened, closed or changed function or industry type since 2002.

Prison industry workshops
Number

Opened Closed Changed function/industry type

2002

11

0

3

2003

2

0

3

2004

7

1

7

2005

4

0

12

2006

4

2

16

2007

9

2

15

2008

2

1

10

2009(1)

12

4

22

(1) Number to October 2009. In 2009, the policy was extended to include workshops operated on behalf of registered charities (e.g. Braille).

Central records are not complete before 2004 as there was no requirement for public prison establishments to refer cases, for workshop closures or changes to industry type, to National Offender Management Service (NOMS) headquarters for approval. Those shown for 2002 and 2003 above are predominantly for Prison Information and Communication Technology Academies only.

Instructions were introduced in 2004 that require NOMS headquarters approval to be obtained for public
2 Nov 2009 : Column 746W
prison establishments to ensure that national strategic plans for employment and service delivery are consistently maintained.

Prisons: Manpower

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average length of service in a single post of a serving prison governor is. [295464]

Maria Eagle: The average length of time in post for current in charge governors of prisons is 2.4 years.

Prisons: Overcrowding

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what definition of overcrowded accommodation his Department uses in respect of prisons; and what percentage of prisoners in England and Wales have been held in overcrowded accommodation in each of the last five years. [296844]

Maria Eagle: The definition of overcrowding in prisons is the total number of prisoners who, at unlock on the last day of the month, are held in a cell, cubicle or room where the number of occupants exceeds the uncrowded capacity of the cell, cubicle or room. This includes the number of prisoners held two to a single cell, three prisoners in a cell designed for two and any prisoners held overcrowded in larger cells or dormitories. If an establishment’s population exceeds its total in-use CNA at the end of the month then this constitutes overcrowding.

The percentage of prisoners in England and Wales held in overcrowded accommodation in each of the last five years are:

Percentage

2004-05

24.3

2005-06

24.0

2006-07

24.6

2007-08

25.3

2008-09

24.7


Prisons: Security

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many of each type of instances of disorder were recorded in prisons in England and Wales in each of the last three years. [296845]

Maria Eagle: The data in the following table shows the number of disturbance-related incidents recorded on the Prison Service Incident Reporting System in prisons in England and Wales for the last three financial years 2006-07 to 2008-09.

Breakdown of disturbance-related incidents in prisons in England and Wales 2006-07 to 2008-09

Barricade Concerted indiscipline active Concerted indiscipline passive Hostage Incidents at height( 1)

2006-07

460

68

67

25

199

2007-08

521

67

51

38

242

2008-09

524

69

58

25

344

(1) An incident at height is defined as any incident taking place over three feet from ground level and includes where prisoners have gained access to safety netting.
Note:
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.

2 Nov 2009 : Column 747W

Although barricades and incidents at height have increased, overall trends in other incidents relating to disorder such as concerted indiscipline and hostage taking, have remained stable. The majority of disorder-related incidents are of a minor nature and are resolved quickly and professionally by trained staff thereby preventing escalation of the incident.

Remand in Custody: Prison Sentences

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many adults usually resident in the North Wales Police force area are (a) remanded in custody and (b) serving a custodial sentence. [296781]

Maria Eagle: As of 8 May 2009 there were 580 adults serving a custodial sentence and 78 adults who were either held on remand or were convicted awaiting sentence that have a home address in the North Wales police force area.

These figures include male and female prisoners but do not include young offenders and juveniles. 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 are shown to have given a recognised address. If no address is given, various proxies are used to determine home location, including next-of-kin address and committal court address.

Supreme Court: Operating Costs

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the estimated running costs of the new Supreme Court are for the 2010-11. [296916]

Mr. Straw: The annual running costs of the Supreme Court are expected to be £13.5 million. In a WMS to Parliament on 15 July 2009, it was announced that the anticipated running costs for the UK Supreme Court would be £12.3 million. At present Her Majesty’s Court Service pays £1.2 million pension and national insurance contributions with respect to the Law Lords. For transparency this was transferred to the UK Supreme Court from 1 October. This does not represent any additional cost to the public purse. For the first year we have provided an additional £300,000 to cover transitional set-up costs, this is being met from within existing resources. The costs of some aspects of the court’s operation, including security, remain to be finalised and so the anticipated running costs will continue to be refined and reviewed.

Supreme Court: Pay

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many employees of the new Supreme Court earn more than (a) £50,000, (b) £75,000 and (c) £100,000 a year. [296915]

Mr. Straw: The Supreme Court has 39 employees. Of those 39 employees, four earn between £50,000 and £75,000, one earns between £75,000 and £100,000, and one earns more than £100,000.


2 Nov 2009 : Column 748W

Swine Flu

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many of his Department's staff are recorded as having been diagnosed with swine influenza. [296176]

Mr. Straw: The Ministry of Justice sick absence reporting process does not have a category dedicated to recording swine influenza as a reason for absence. The Ministry reports absence against the Cabinet Office sick absence reasons. Any absence due to swine flu is recorded in the category of ‘Respiratory System (including colds)’.

In the 12 months from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009, which are the latest published sick absence statistics, ‘respiratory illness’ was a reason for absence in respect of 79,309 days of sick absence. 68 per cent. of those days were classed as long-term sickness. In the same period of time 87,042 individual members of staff were employed by the Ministry (which includes those who left employment in this period).

Transgendered Prisoners

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what recent estimate he has made of the number of transgendered prisoners in England and Wales; [296023]

(2) how many (a) draft and (b) final prison service instructions or orders concerning transgendered prisoners have been published since 1997; [296029]

(3) what recent consideration he has given to the adequacy of prison accommodation provided for transgendered prisoners. [296030]

Phil Hope: I have been asked to reply.

Neither the Department of Health nor the Ministry of Justice collect information on the number of transgender prisoners.

The Gender Recognition Act (GRA) gives a person in possession of or applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate the right to privacy. However, not all transsexual or transgender prisoners will be covered by a GRA and it does not necessarily afford that person absolute anonymity. There may be certain situations where it may be required to prove a link between their current legal gender and their former gender, for example, to prevent further offences. This information is also not available centrally.

No Prison Service Instruction or Order (PSI/PSO) concerning transgender prisoners have been published since 1997.

A draft PSO on guidelines for the management, treatment and care of prisoners who have or have had gender dysphoria is undergoing revision following the ruling of a recent Judicial Review in which the claimant, a pre-operative transgender prisoner, applied for Judicial Review of a decision of the defendant Secretary of State for Justice refusing to transfer her from a male prison to a female prison. The application was accepted and the outcome ruled in favour of the claimant.

There is no specific policy guidance regarding accommodation for transgender prisoners.


2 Nov 2009 : Column 749W

Officials at the Department and the National Offender Management Service are currently considering accommodation issues as part of the draft Prison Service Order on guidelines for the management, treatment and care of prisoners who have or have had gender dysphoria.

Children, Schools and Families

Academies Enterprise Trust

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on what dates in (a) 2007, (b) 2008 and (c) 2009 officials from his Department met representatives of the Academies Enterprise Trust; and if he will make a statement. [297009]

Mr. Coaker: Departmental officials meet with academy sponsors on a regular basis. We do not hold central records of the date of these meetings.

Children: Social Services

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether his Department’s Freedom of Information liaison officer is routinely involved in the process of preparing answers to parliamentary questions; and whether that officer was consulted in preparing the answer of 22 October 2009, Official Report, columns 1664-67W, on children: social services. [296740]

Ms Diana R. Johnson: The Department involves officials from particular disciplines in providing professional advice to Ministers as appropriate. It does not routinely disclose who provides that professional advice.

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 22 October 2009, Official Report, columns 1664-67W, on children: social services, whether the information on date of death by month has been released in response to a request made to (a) his Department and (b) local authorities under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. [296741]

Dawn Primarolo: Information on date of death by month has not been released in response to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to the Department. Any requests made to local authorities under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 will be answered locally and the Department would not expect to be made aware of such requests or responses.


Next Section Index Home Page