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12 Oct 2009 : Column 132W—continued


Prisoners Release: Foreigners

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many of the 954 offenders who had their licence recalled in 2008-09 and were not returned to custody are foreign nationals. [291425]

Mr. Straw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 14 September 2009, Official Report, columns 2152-153W.

In my written ministerial statement of 6 July 2009, Audit of Licence Revocation, Official Report, columns 34-38WS, I announced that, as at 26 June 2009, 954 offenders
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who had their licences revoked between 1984 and 31 March 2009 were not recorded as having been returned to custody. Of the 954, there were 192 foreign nationals. Of the 192, 64 were assessed as meeting the criteria for deportation.

Over the last 10 years, more than 99 per cent. of offenders who have been recalled to prison have been successfully apprehended. We are determined to build on this creditable performance.

All agencies are working together to review and revise the end-to-end recall process, to ensure that we have the strongest grip on these individuals and can return them to custody as quickly as possible. The police have an action plan in place to deal with outstanding cases.

The Probation Service has significantly improved its enforcement of breaches. In 1997 only a third of breaches were being appropriately enforced, compared to over 95 per cent. by 2008. Before 1999 recall was rarely used because such cases had to go through the courts.

Prisoners Release: Reoffenders

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many early release prisoners have been re-arrested following release (a) since 1997 and (b) in the last 12 months; [290106]

(2) how many prisoners released under early release schemes in each year since 1997 were since convicted of offences of (a) murder and (b) rape. [290107]

Mr. Straw: Determinate sentenced prisoners may be released into the community earlier than the halfway point of their sentence only under either the End of Custody Licence (ECL) scheme or the Home Detention Curfew (HDC) scheme. Indeterminate sentenced prisoners are not eligible for early release.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold centrally details of all offenders released on ECL or HDC who have been re-arrested. The Department does hold data on the number of offenders released on HDC or ECL who were recalled to custody following release. An arrest in itself may not result in a recall—for example, where the police investigation does not result in any charges, the decision may be taken not to recall the offender.

Data on ECL releases, recalls and alleged re-offending is published every month on the following website:

The numbers recalled from ECL since the scheme's inception for all reasons are shown in Table 1.

Table 1

Number

29 June to 31 December 2007

564

1 January to 31 December 2008

1,030

1 January to 31 July 2009

583


The numbers of HDC recalls since its inception in January 1999 are published in the annual Offender Management Caseload Statistics and are shown in Table 2.


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Table 2: HDC recalls since 1999
Year of recall Numbers recalled

1999

700

2000

769

2001

673

2002

1,479

2003

2,716

2004

3,003

2005

2,627

2006

2,184

2007

1,654

2008

1,442


As regards those prisoners who were released early and were subsequently convicted of murder or rape, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) holds information on the number of offenders, whose cases were notified in line with Serious Further Offence (SFO) procedures, who had been released on licence and subsequently convicted of (a) murder and (b) rape, for the years 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09. To provide the full set of information from 1997 would require manual checking of files, which could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost.

Of those released on HDC or ECL from 2006-07 onwards, NOMS has been notified that there have been four convictions for murder and two convictions for rape, as shown in Table 3.

Table 3

HDC Year of conviction ECL Year of conviction

Murder

2

1 in 2008

2

1 in 2007

1 in 2009

1 in 2009

Rape

1

1 in 2008

1

1 in 2008


Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners granted early release have been convicted of (1) dangerous offences in the last 12 months; [290108]

(2) violent offences in the last 12 months. [290109]

Mr. Straw: The Ministry of Justice records the number of alleged offences while on early custody licence (ECL) and has recently released figures of offenders who reoffended while on home detention custody (HDC).

Data on ECL releases, recalls and alleged re-offending is published every month on the following website.

During the period 29 June 2007 (the start of the scheme) to 31 August 2009 (the latest data available), 67,380 prisoners were released on ECL of which 1,026 offenders have been notified to the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) as alleged to have committed a further offence while on the scheme. The total number of alleged further offences committed by these prisoners during their period of ECL is 1,363. Within this, 284 were alleged violent offences, seven alleged sexual offences and 36 were alleged to have committed robbery.

The latest figures on reoffending while on home detention curfew were released by this Department in my written ministerial statement on 14 September 2009, Official Report, columns 142-44WS. This shows that 11,316 offenders were released on HDC during 2007-08. Of these PNC data identified that 60 offences of violence against the person, one sexual offence and seven robberies were committed while on HDC.


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Prisoners Release: Terrorism

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many people convicted of terrorist offences and sentenced to more than 12 months’ imprisonment have been released early from prison since 2001; [290110]

(2) how many people convicted of terrorism offences in the UK since 2001 have been released early from prison; [290111]

(3) how many members of the prison population have been convicted of terrorism offences in each year since 2001; [290112]

(4) how many people convicted of terrorism offences in the UK have been released to bail hostels accommodation since 2001. [290113]

Mr. Straw: Eligible prisoners may be released earlier than the halfway point of their sentence under the Home Detention Curfew (HDC) or End of Custody Licence (ECL) schemes. Foreign national prisoners who are to be deported may also be liable for early removal under the Early Removal Scheme (ERS).

Prisoners serving sentences for any offence under terrorism legislation have been presumed unsuitable for release on HDC since 4 April 2008 and excluded from release on ECL since 28 March 2008. It has also been decided that, with effect from 16 October 2008, early removal under ERS should not be granted to prisoners convicted under terrorism legislation offences.

Prior to those decisions being taken, three prisoners convicted of terrorism offences were released on the HDC scheme: two in 2003 and one in 2007. All were serving sentences of 12 months or more.

Two prisoners were released on ECL during 2008 whilst serving sentences for terrorism offences: one in January 2008 and one in February 2008. One of those prisoners was serving a sentence of 12 months or more.

No prisoners serving sentences for terrorism offences have been removed early under the ERS scheme.

Information regarding the number of individuals convicted of terrorism or terrorism related offences can be found in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin on Terrorism Arrests and Outcomes which was published for the first time on 13 May 2009 and is available on the Home Office website. This bulletin is intended to be the first in a regular series of publications which will help improve the quality of data publicly available on terrorism arrests and their outcomes.

Data about offenders released into approved premises (formerly known as bail/probation hostels) has been collected centrally only since April 2004, from information supplied by individual approved premises. The data collected does not include offence details and no other centrally held information includes details of the numbers of terrorist offenders released to approved premises dating back to 2001. Tracking this information down would have to be done on a case by case basis and as such would prove disproportionately expensive. However, since September 2008 information on the release details of individuals convicted of terrorism or terrorism related offences has been held centrally and 11 terrorist offenders have been released to approved premises since then.


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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.

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offenders convicted of terrorism offences are housed in approved premises in England and Wales. [290334]

Mr. Straw: The National Offender Management Service does not hold centrally details on offenders by offence type currently being housed in approved premises.

Where merited by the circumstances of the case, offenders can be required upon release to reside in approved premises, to allow for a period of enhanced supervision, contributing to protecting the public and assisting in their managed reintegration into society. As of 31 July 2009, 14 offenders convicted of terrorism or terrorist-related offences have been released initially to approved premises, although of these, some will subsequently have been moved on to other risk-assessed accommodation.

Prisoners: Compensation

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much compensation was paid to prisoners at each prison in each of the last five years; and what the reason was in each case. [288630]

Claire Ward: The information requested for the last available four financial years is detailed in several spreadsheets which will be placed in the Library of the House. The figures relate to compensation paid in respect of civil litigation claims only.

Prisoners: Epilepsy

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what information is given to people with epilepsy on the care they will receive on their entry to (a) a prison and (b) a young offender institution; [289951]

(2) how many people diagnosed with epilepsy died in (a) prisons and (b) young offender institutions in each of the last five years; [289990]

(3) on how many occasions emergency medical care has been requested to treat people with epilepsy suffering a seizure in (a) prisons and (b) young offender institutions in each of the last five years; [289991]

(4) how many people diagnosed with epilepsy were allocated to a single cell in (a) prisons and (b) young offender institutions in each of the last five years; [289992]

(5) how many people diagnosed with epilepsy entered status epilepticus while held in (a) prisons and (b) young offender institutions in each of the last five years. [289993]

Maria Eagle: Offenders are now all screened on arrival in prison by a trained nurse or trained officer to find out what their health needs are and get them the right treatment.

The Department of Health and the Prison Reform Trust have recently published two new information books for prisoners with a disability. The first book is a short, easy-read version for prisoners with learning disabilities, the second book contains more in depth detail for prisoners on their health, daily life, and how to get help in prison and on release this includes information on epilepsy.


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Epilepsy action has produced information giving clear, straightforward information about epilepsy, relevant for staff supervising prisoners with epilepsy and for prisoners. This is available online at:

The online printable information includes:

The Department of Health will shortly be writing to all prison and young offender institution heads of health care about the NICE guidelines on epilepsy and the Epilepsy Action information booklets.

There is no information held centrally on the number of offenders diagnosed with epilepsy who died in prisons and young offender institutions, on how many occasions emergency medical care has been requested to treat people with epilepsy having a seizure in prisons and young offender institutions, how many people diagnosed with epilepsy were allocated to a single cell in prisons and young offender institutions and how many people diagnosed with epilepsy entered status epilepticus while held in prisons and young offender institutions in each of the last five years.

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what guidance his Department provides to staff in (a) prisons and (b) young offender institutions on the effect of restraint techniques on people affected by seizures. [289952]


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Maria Eagle: Control and restraint (C&R) is a system of techniques used within both prisons and young offender institutions in order to bring a violent or non-compliant prisoner under control. C&R is only applied in circumstances where it is necessary to do so and any force used is applied for as short a time as possible and only in proportion to the violence shown by the prisoner. Staff are instructed to avoid use of force wherever possible and instead to use persuasion or negotiation to end such incidents, however, this is not always possible.

All staff in prisons and young offender institutions who employ C&R techniques are trained in their use and undergo annual refresher training. This training includes recognition of the signs and symptoms that may indicate that a prisoner is in medical distress. Guidance on medical warning signs is also included in prison service order (PSO) 1600—Use of Force(1).

A member of health care must, wherever reasonably practicable, attend every incident where staff are deployed to restrain violent or disturbed prisoners. Health care staff are authorised to terminate any use of force in the event of a medical emergency.


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