|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about his plans to provide additional secure training places; and when he estimates the places will become available for use. 
25 Jun 2001 : Column: 43W
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much of the Criminal Justice System Reserve has been (a) allocated and (b) spent to date; and if he will make a statement about his plans to allocate the reserve in (i) 2002-03 and (ii) 2003-04. 
Mr. Keith Bradley: Of the £100 million Criminal Justice System Reserve in 2001-02, £85 million has been allocated to date. Further allocations will be made during the year. Information on spend to date on approved initiatives is not currently available as it is in the process of being collected from the three Criminal Justice System Departments. Future allocations from the Criminal Justice System Reserve require the joint agreement of the Home Secretary, Lord Chancellor and Attorney-General. The approval of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury is also required prior to the release of money from the Reserve. It is expected that bidding guidance for the Criminal Justice System Reserve for 2002-03 and 2003-04 will be issued to the three Criminal Justice System Departments in August 2001.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to exclude from the home detention curfew scheme offenders convicted of violence against public servants; how many such offenders have been released on the scheme to date; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: No. Home Detention Curfew was not intended by Parliament to work in this way. It is a risk-based scheme. The statute lists several groups of prisoner who are ineligible for Home Detention Curfew. All of these are concerned with risk to the public or risk of breaching the curfew. In respect of all other offences, offenders can be released on Home Detention Curfew only if they have passed a rigorous individual risk assessment.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to ensure that victims are informed when a prisoner is released on the home detention curfew scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: Provisions in the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 introduced a statutory duty on local probation boards to consult and inform victims of offenders sentenced to 12 months or more for a sexual or violent offence about the conditions of release. These came into force on 1 April 2001. Prior to a prisoner's release, the victim may opt to make representations about whether the offender should be subject to any licence conditions and to receive information about any conditions which are imposed and are relevant to them.
25 Jun 2001 : Column: 44W
I have no plans to legislate for other victims to be told when prisoners are released on Home Detention Curfew (HDC). All those who are eligible for release on HDC are subject to a thorough risk assessment before HDC is granted, and this includes the nature of their crime, the risk to victims, and the likelihood of re-offending.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to require sentencers to state when passing sentence (a) the existence of and (b) the potential effect on the date of earliest release of the home detention curfew scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Keith Bradley: The Government are committed to ensuring that the implications of sentencing are explained in open court. The then Lord Chief Justice issued a practice direction in January 1998 requiring a court imposing a custodial sentence to explain the practical effect of that sentence for the benefit of the defendant, any victim and members of the public. Although the practice direction was issued before home detention curfew became available, it makes clear that any future changes to early release arrangements should be reflected in the court's explanation. We will consider whether any legislative requirement is necessary in the context of proposals emerging from the review of the Sentencing Framework.
Beverley Hughes: The number of prisoners released on Home Detention Curfew over the next five years will depend upon how many prisoners are eligible and of these how many pass the very rigorous risk assessment.
Beverley Hughes: Home Office Research Study 222, "Electronic Monitoring of Released Prisoners: an evaluation of the Home Detention Curfew (HDC Scheme)", published March 2001, examined in detail the operation of the HDC scheme in its first 16 months of operation. It noted that the scheme was one of the largest electronic monitoring schemes in the world. Among its findings were that:
25 Jun 2001 : Column: 45W
Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, for the period between the commencement of the home detention curfew scheme and 31 May inclusive (a) the number of prisoners released on the scheme, (b) the number of prisoners convicted of each offence who were released on the scheme, with a breakdown of the offences committed, including offences committed by prisoners normally classified under the categories (i) other homicide and attempted homicide, (ii) other violence against the person, (iii) drug offences, (iv) assaults and (v) other offences, including a breakdown of the prisoners normally classified in the sub-category of other offences called other offences, (c) the average sentence (A) received and (B) served, and the average period spent on the scheme, in respect of each offence, (d) the number of prisoners released on the scheme, with a breakdown of the offences committed, who (1) breached the conditions of the curfew, (2) disappeared and were recaptured, (3) disappeared and remain unlawfully at large and (4) had their licences revoked with reasons, (e) the specific offences committed by prisoners released on the scheme while on the scheme, including offences committed, by prisoners who committed more than one offence and (f) the specific offences committed by prisoners released on the scheme who committed a further offence while on the scheme that was similar in character to that for which they were originally convicted, including offences committed by prisoners who committed more than one offence; and if he will make a statement. 
These figures take account of staff changes arising from the recent changes in the machinery of government. Some minor adjustments to the staffing numbers may arise as a result of the final arrangements agreed between my Department and the other Departments involved. Figures for the non-Agency Home Office and the Forensic Science Service have been taken from the central personnel database. Figures for the United Kingdom Passport Agency and Prison Service have been provided by their personnel units.
|Non-Agency Home Office|
|Constitutional and Community Policy Directorate||185|
|Corporate Development and Services Group||795|
|Criminal Policy Group||372|
|Immigration and Nationality Directorate||9,651|
|Legal Adviser's Branch||59|
|Organised and International Crime Directorate||175|
|Planning Finance and Performance Group||197|
|Policing and Crime Reduction||1,125|
|Research Development and Statistics||314|
|Staff on loans or secondments||126|
|Home Office Agencies||--|
|Forensic Science Service||2,351|
|United Kingdom Passport Agency(8)||2,778|
(7) Permanent non-industrial staff, being paid as at 22 June 2001
(8) Includes 100 staff at the Criminal Records Bureau
(9) Staff in post at 1 June 2001.
25 Jun 2001 : Column: 46W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|