Supplementary information given by the
Director General, HM Prison Service, relating to his evidence
of 4 December
During the appearance before the Committee on
4 December on the Prison Service's resettlement policy, I undertook
to write to you on some points of detail. To make reference to
the original point easier, I have indicated the paragraph number
where the point originally arose.
Paragraph 62. Bridget Prentice asked
about the percentage increase that the 12,000 level 2 literacy
and numeracy represented on the previous year. Key performance
targets for basic skills at level 2 were agreed at establishment
level for the first time in 2000-01. This means that it is not
possible to identify a figure comparable to the 12,462 achieved
for 2000-01. The 12,755 national qualifications achieved at level
2 in 1999-2000 include other qualifications such as National Vocational
Qualifications (NVQs). What is clear is that the 18,000 target
this year, which we should reach, will provide a 50 per cent increase.
Paragraphs 78 and 80. Humfrey Malins
asked how many hours of purposeful activity per week a 19 year
old would have at Feltham young offender institution and remand
centre. As you know, Feltham is effectively two prisons within
one. Young men between the ages of 18 to 20 are held in Feltham
B and juveniles are held in Feltham A. The average amount of purposeful
activity undertaken by young men held in Feltham B for the period
April 2001 to October 2001 was 22 hours per prisoner per week.
The increase from the 14.4 hours per prisoner per week for the
year 2000-01 is due partly to extra funding I referred to (see
Paragraph 85. Mr Malins also asked how
many hours a day a 19 or 20 year old would spend in a cell each
day at Feltham. The average number of hours a day that a prisoner
in Feltham B would spend in his cell for the period April 2001
to October 2001 was 17.2 hours.
Paragraph 93. Mr Malins also asked how
many hours of purposeful activity a prisoner at Blantyre House
would undertake. The average amount of purposeful activity undertaken
by prisoners at Blantyre House for the period April 2001 to October
2001 was 50.3 hours per prisoner per week. The figure for the
financial year 2000-01 was 47.6 hours per prisoner per week.
Paragraph 103. Mr Malins sought information
on why there had been a reduction in family visits and why they
were subsequently reinstated. Prior to May 2000, Blantyre House
held up to nine "family days" each year. On these occasions,
prisoners' families were able to undertake enhanced visits of
extended duration. These visits were unstructured and not confined
to the usual visits area, and visitors were allowed to move freely
around a number of areas of the prison.
The new Governor was concerned about the security
implications of these visits and felt there was insufficient security
planning. He therefore suspended family days pending a review
of their purpose and management. However, families were still
able to participate in normal visits.
The Governor has now reintroduced family days
but the number is likely to be reduced to about four a year, and
they will be focused particularly on prisoners in the earlier
stages of resettlement who do not have opportunities to meet their
families in the community. The restructuring of the regime at
Blantyre House has increased the number of category D prisoners
able to go on community visits, which means there is less demand
for family days and visits within the establishment. This has
also reduced the demand for normal visits, and the number of visits
has been reduced as a result.
Paragraph 106. You asked for confirmation
of the number of absconds, escapes and MDT failures at Blantyre
House prison from (a) 1 November 1998 to 30 April 2000 and (b)
1 May 2000 to 31 October 2001.
The one escape from Blantyre House in the period
November 1998 to October 2001 occurred in August 2000. There have
been no absconds in the same period because prisoners do not,
by definition, abscond from closed conditions. Prisoners may fail
to return from a temporary relase whilst they are outside of the
establishment. Between November 1998 and April 2000, there were
two failures to return from a temporary release out of a total
21,163 such releases. Between May 2000 and October 2001, there
were nine failures out of 25,209 releases.
Between November 1998 and April 2000, there
was one positive random drug test out of 212 such drug tests.
Between May 2000 and October 2001, there were five positive drug
tests out of 200.
Paragraph 120. Mr Malins also raised
the point that proposed reductions in the education department
would restrict access to education by prisoners. The revised education
provision is now better focused on the needs of resettlement prisoners
and has sufficient capacity for all the prisoners of Blantyre
House. This was confirmed by a recent needs survey. The education
provision for Blantyre House in 2000-01 was £197,820 and
in total 3,695 education hours were delivered in the year. Data
for 2000-01 show education expenditure per head at Blantyre of
£1,808 compared to figures of £79 and £259 at Latchmere
House and Kirklevington Grange prisons respectively.
|Average number of|
|Expenditure per head||1,808
The expenditure per head figures are calculated from the
total education spend divided by the average annual population.
Latchmere House is a pre-release prison where all prisoners become
eligible for day release after three months. Some prisoners attend
evening education classes, but no daytime provision is arranged.
Paragraph 123. You asked whether Tom Murtagh had been
interviewed as part of the investigation into alleged bullying
at Blantyre House. Deborah Loudon, who is leading the investigation
interviewed Mr Murgagh on 23 October and 8 November 2001.
Paragraph 128. Bob Russell asked whether we had surveyed
the prisoners at a young offender institution to see whether any
had been members of a recognised youth organisation. No such survey
has been carried out and I promise to consider doing one.
Paragraph 130. Bob Russell asked for current data
on the number of suicides by young offenders. Of the 65 self-inflicted
deaths in 2001 (up to and including 12 December), three were juveniles
(aged 17 and younger) and 10 were young offenders (aged 18 to
Paragraph 131. Bob Russell also asked how many safe
cells there were in young offender institutions. There are currently
350 safer cells exclusively used by young offenders, 234 exclusively
used by juveniles and 32 are used by both age groups.
Beverley Hughes will write to you separately about the use
of suspended sentences. I hope this information is helpful but
please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help further.