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Mr. Straw: Prison-NOMIS will be deployed to public prisons from spring 2009 to summer 2010. Following on from that roll-out, the needs of the contracted-out prisons (COPs) will be addressed. The approach to individual COPs may vary depending on their own internal IT systems and either Prison-NOMIS could be deployed to a COP or an interface with the COP's existing case management system and Prison-NOMIS could be established.
Mr. Hanson: There is currently no dedicated identification system for ex-servicemen and women under Probation supervision. This will change with the introduction of P-NOMIS which contains specific data entry field for ex-service offenders. In the interim, we will send out a notice under a Probation circular to highlight services provided by ex veterans charities, and support available as part of the veterans prison in-reach initiative.
David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many recategorisation reviews for Category A prisoners (a) have been undertaken and (b) involved an oral hearing in each year since 2000. 
Mr. Hanson: Category A prisoners have their categorisation reviewed once yearly by staff at the prison in which they are held. Every five years their categorisation will be subject to a formal review by the Director of High Security. The exact number of reviews is not centrally recorded. There has only been one oral hearing which was held in 2002.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 26 February 2009, Official Report, column 994W, on prisons: manpower, how many prison officers at each grade there were in each prison in England and Wales on 31 March in each year from 1997 to 2004. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether people applying to become (a) prison officers and (b) other prison service staff are required to have a Criminal Records Bureau check. 
Mr. Hanson: Criminal record checks are undertaken for all staff (prison officers and other staff) working in prison establishments. Criminal Records Bureau disclosure checks are undertaken on all staff working with young persons under the age of 18.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of (a) the number and (b) the proportion of prisoners diagnosed with alcohol problems in each prison in England and Wales, in each of the last 10 years. 
Research(1) carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 1997 stated that 63 per cent. of sentenced males and 39 per cent. of sentenced females reported a hazardous drinking pattern in the year before coming into prison. This figure rises to 70 per cent. in the case of young adult offenders. The numbers who are physically dependent on alcohol, which can be defined as those who need alcohol detoxification (Tiers 3 and 4 of Models of Care for Alcohol Misusers (MoCAM)), are much lower at around 8 per cent. of females and 7 per cent. of males.
The Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction (SCPR) study(2), a large national longitudinal survey of newly sentenced adult prisoners, reported in 2008 that 36 per cent. of the sample could be classified as heavy drinkers. However, heavy drinkingdefined as drinking more than twice the recommended sensible daily limitsis not directly comparable to the hazardous drinking category used in the ONS report.
(1) Substance misuse among prisoners in England and Wales, Further analysis of data from the ONS survey of psychiatric morbidity among prisoners, Singleton N, Farrell M and Meltzer H (1999) Office for National Statistics
(2) The problem and needs of newly sentenced prisoners; results from a national survey, Stewart. D (2008). MOJ Research Series 16/08.
clinical servicesalcohol detoxification is available in all local and remand prisons;
where alcohol is part of a wider substance misuse problem, the full range of drug interventions are available;
a number of prisons run alcohol awareness courses;
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) run groups in over 65 per cent. of prisons;
some offending behaviour programmes address the underlying factors which occur in alcohol related crime;
an accredited 12-step alcohol programme is being run at HMP Bullingdon;
a further Cognitive Behavioural Alcohol Programme has been piloted at HMP Hull, Forest Bank, Glen Parva and Chelmsford;
for those prisons involved in the roll-out of the Integrated Drug Treatment System (IDTS) a 90 minute alcohol awareness session has been developed; and
the young persons substance misuse service for 16 to 18-year-old prisoners has a particular focus on alcohol.
The Ministry of Justice has established a working group to develop proposals to increase the provision of alcohol treatment available in prisons. The number of prisoners accessing services specifically aimed at their alcohol misuse is not collated centrally.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he plans to take consequent on the assessment in the latest annual report of HM Chief Inspector of Prisons that activity levels are still not high enough in nearly half of training prisons. 
Mr. Hanson: HM Chief Inspector of Prisons annual report 2007-08 called for increases in activity. It also acknowledged that there has already been an overall improvement. During the period 2005-08, the number of hours per prisoner per week increased from 26.1 to 28 hours in Category B prisons and 25.9 to 26.1 hours in Category C prisons.
The National Offender Management Service, in partnership with the Learning and Skills Council, is working to improve education and training provision by prioritising activities according to individual learner need and on focusing on activities which develop skills for employment. Efficiencies to maximise the take up of education and training places will increase purposeful activity hours.
We are increasing training workshop places in prisons in partnership with the private sector. This includes increasing the number of prison information and communications training academies, in partnership with CISCO Systems; a partnership with Timpsons, whose core business is shoe and watch repair and engraving; and a tool repair workshop with Travis Perkins.
The education assessment undertaken for the report by Ofsted and Estyn (Wales) reported that in 2007-08 76 per cent. of prisons education passed inspection.
This compares with just 22 per cent. in 2002-03. The number of prisoners taking part in education has increased by one-third since 2006.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assistance is available to witnesses who give evidence in cases of alleged antisocial behaviour by neighbours, to protect them against possible retaliatory action by those neighbours. 
The use of hearsay evidence in civil proceedings involving antisocial behaviour allows witnesses to remain anonymous. We have also put in place measures to allow for the identities of those too fearful to give evidence to be protected in antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) cases.
The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 introduced special measures for witnesses in proceedings for ASBOs. These measures were introduced to address concerns about the protection of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses. The measures include screening witnesses from the defendants, giving evidence through video link or in private, and the use of video recorded evidence. Special dedicated antisocial behaviour response courts have been established in magistrates' courts sitting in their civil capacity to ensure that witness issues are addressed. Local agencies have developed efficient case management systems which include working in partnership with key agencies to provide support to victims after court proceedings. In addition the Home Office has issued a good practice guide to practitioners on how best to support victims and witnesses of antisocial behaviour through the whole length of the witness pathway. A range of detailed guidance is set out on the Home Office's website on antisocial behaviour website.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people in custody under the age of 18 years were required to share living accommodation with other convicted persons over the age of 18 years for at least part of their time in custody in the last 12 months. 
Young people are not routinely required to share accommodation with young adults. They will only do so in a small number of cases where there are exceptional circumstances, such as the need to manage disruptive and violent behaviour, and where this is considered to be the preferred course of action.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people under the age of 18 years were held in (a) custody, (b) junior detention centres, (c) prisons, (d) mental health units and (e) other secure units on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hanson: At the end of January 2009, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 2,634 juveniles aged under 18 in custody in England and Wales. Of these, 2,222 were in YOIs, 228 in STCs and 184 in SCHs.
The annual Statistical Bulletin on Mentally Disordered Offenders shows that as of 31 December 2007 (the latest data for which published figures are available), there were 111 restricted patients (101 male and 10 female) aged 20 years and under detained within mental health units in England and Wales.
Mr. Hutton: The Ministry of Defence uses helicopters provided by SkyLink Aviation through the NATO ISAF Contracted Air Transport (ICAT) contract to move freight. During periods of peak activity the UK supplements the NATO ICAT with a national contract providing medium and heavy helicopter lift.
Mr. Kevan Jones: The MOD is keen to support organisations in Essex, as with those in all other parts of the country, planning to run armed forces day events. Support is made available in the form of a financial grant and with the participation of local service units where this can be arranged. Within Essex, we are aware that Southend-on-Sea borough council are planning to hold a major armed forces day event on 27 June and they have been awarded a financial grant from the MOD to assist with the costs. We have also invited all local authorities in the county to participate in a fly the flag initiative, which involves holding a flag raising ceremony (ideally involving cadets and veterans) on 22 June at 10.30 to coincide with other similar events across the country. Braintree borough council, along with a number of other authorities in the county, have confirmed that they intend to participate in this activity.
Mr. Kevan Jones: The cost of basing Gurkha soldiers in Brunei depends largely on how many soldiers based there are deployed on operations. In 2005 and 2007, the resident battalion deployed to Afghanistan as a unit.
|Financial year||MOD expenditure on basing Gurkhas in Brunei (£ million)|
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