|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
15 Oct 2002 : Column 738Wcontinued
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many applications by persons reaching the age of majority for a review of awards granted on application to the CICA/CICB by their parents in respect of sexual abuse suffered by them whilst children have been made in each of the last five years in (a) the UK and (b) Scotland; 
(3) how many applications to the CICA for review of awards made in respect of sexual abuse suffered by children made by them once they have reached the age of majority have been reviewed in each of the last five years. 
Hilary Benn: There is no provision in the current tariff-based scheme, nor the common law damages scheme which preceded it, for the review of an award made and accepted on behalf of a child who had suffered
15 Oct 2002 : Column 739W
sexual abuse once the child reaches the age of majority. Consequently, since such cases lie outside the scope of the Scheme, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority does not collect data on this category of request.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria are used by the CICA in deciding whether an application for a review of an award made to a child who suffered sexual abuse can be reopened in each of the last five years. 
Hilary Benn: Where an application has been finalised, the only circumstances in which it may be reopened are where there has been such a change in the victim's medical condition that an injustice would occur if the original decision were allowed to stand, or where the applicant has died as a result of the injury. In such circumstances, a case may be reopened more than two years after the date of the final decision, on the basis of evidence presented in support of the application to reopen, provided that it can be considered without a need for further extensive enquiries.
However, where a decision made previously has neither been accepted nor been the subject of a Review application, then an application for Review may be considered beyond the 90 day period specified in the Scheme, in exceptional circumstances where it is considered in the interests of justice to do so.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if it is his intention to institute a right of appeal for persons reaching the age of majority who make an application to the CICA/CICB for review of an award granted to them as a child when the application for such a review is refused by the authority; 
Hilary Benn: Following a major public consultation exercise launched in 1999, the Compensation Scheme was thoroughly reviewed in 2000, and a number of improvements were made which came into force from 1 April 2001. These included significant changes to the tariff descriptions and levels of award relating to the physical and sexual abuse of children. In view of that recent review and consequent changes, there are no plans for further amendment to the Scheme at this time.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people employed by his Department under the New Deal for Young People in each of the last four years have subsequently (a) found unsubsidised employment for more than 13 weeks and (b) returned to jobseeker's allowance or other benefits. 
Beverley Hughes: Information is not held centrally on the number of New Dealers who have found unsubsidised employment for more than 13 weeks or who have returned to jobseekers' allowance or other benefits.
15 Oct 2002 : Column 740W
According to available records, one of the New Dealers employed by the core Home Office has left the department to work for a private employment agency, and one successfully applied for a permanent post via a Home Office external recruitment scheme.
Hilary Benn [holding answer 4 July 2002]: The Prison Service has employment links with a wide range of businesses and other organisations. These include commercial contracts to supply goods and services, and providing employment for prisoners whilst in custody, including in engineering, woodwork, clothing, laundries and light assembly, which can lead to continued employment for prisoners on release. In addition, with our support and involvement the Prison Service is developing its wider links with employers, the Confederation of British Industry, other employer and industry organisations, and Sector Skills Councils to help increase the number of prisoners getting jobs after release. In particular, its Custody to Work initiative is focusing on sectors in which existing or developing prison work and training activity overlap with feasible job opportunities for released prisoners. These include construction, catering, industrial cleaning, warehousing and distribution, and call centres.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what education and training facilities are available in prisons; and what assistance is given to prisoners in getting a job on release. 
Hilary Benn [holding answer 4 July 2002]: Our aim is to provide learning opportunities for prisoners which will enhance their chances of getting a job on release and help them resettle back in the community. All prisons have to provide a core curriculum of basic skills, social and life skills, information technology and preparation for work and are expected to meet basic skills targets. We have recently widened these targets to enable prisons to be more responsive to the range of prisoners' needs.
Prisoners also have access to a range of vocational training courses, including construction, catering, industrial cleaning, motor mechanics, engineering and hairdressing. We are investing #20 million over the next two years to develop and modernise education and training so that it better fits the needs of the individual prisoner and the external employment market.
Many establishments provide services to help prisoners find employment on release, often in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, the National Probation Service or voluntary sector organisations. These include jobsearch training and support, and the piloting in eight prisons from Summer 2002 of new technology giving access to Jobcentre Plus information on employment vacancies across the country. The Prison Service Custody to Work initiative, with #30 million earmarked for 200104, is geared towards increasing employment and training outcomes for released prisoners through the development of such resettlement activity.
15 Oct 2002 : Column 741W
In a survey in November and December 2001, 24 per cent. of sentenced prisoners nearing release said they had a job to go to on release and six per cent. a training place. A copy of Home Office Research Findings 173''Jobs and homes: a survey of prisoners nearing release'' is in the Library. These findings suggest we have discharged the commitment we made in Autumn 2000 to double the proportion of prisoners getting jobs on release against the 10 per cent. baseline suggested by previous research. We have now set the Prison Service a target of increasing by 1,700 by April 2003from an estimated 26,500 to 28,200 a yearthe number of prisoners getting jobs or education or training places after release.
|19912001||Number of prisoners received university degrees in prisons|
|Prison name||Average weekday time out of cell 200102||Average weekend time out of cell 200102|
|East Sutton Park||17.2||17.2|
|North Sea Camp||19.5||19.5|
15 Oct 2002 : Column 743W
Hilary Benn: The Government is making progress on its commitment to improve the quality and quantity of prison education by investing in the Prison Service's capacity to deliver, and by bringing prison education into line with mainstream initiatives.
We have set targets in basic and work-related skills and are on course to achieve them this year. We are investing #20 million in capital projects which will support improvements in education and training. We are also improving quality by implementing national standards through inspection and through support for establishments in planning. We are also introducing new approaches to learning: in basic skills and citizenship and through Learndirect.
15 Oct 2002 : Column 744W
Younger offenders we have introduced a new national specification for learning and skills which will significantly enhance provision for them both in custody and the community, and teaching and learning is now supported in the classroom by learning support assistants.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|