asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons under the age of 18 years are now serving prison sentences; and how this compares with the corresponding figures in each of the past five years.
On 30th June 1975 there were 126 people under the age of 18 years serving prison sentences. The corresponding figures for 30th June in 1974, 1973 and 1972 were 144, 125 and 92, respectively. The figures for 1971 and preceding years are not readily available.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners in 1974 were awaiting trial; how many of these did not serve immediate custodial sentences; and how many such persons were under the age of 18 years.
Information in the precise form requested is not readily available. But it is known that in 1974, of 51,400 people—8,000 under the age of 18—received into prison, about 24,000—3,300 under the age of 18—did not receive an immediate custodial sentence.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the cost per capita of keeping a person in prison in 1974; what was the cost of food on a weekly basis: and what was the average cost of feeding guard dogs during the same period.
In the financial year 1974–75 the estimated average annual cost of keeping an inmate in custody in England and Wales was £3,042. The weekly cost of food averaged £2·66: this reflects the competitive prices available under centrally arranged contracts, and the economic production within the prison system of certain items such as vegetables. The average weekly cost of feeding prison dogs during the year 1974–75 was £3·45. I do not, however, believe that significant deductions can be drawn from the average cost of feeding more than 40,000 prisoners and the average cost of feeding less than 300 dogs.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many female prisoners were detained pending report and subsequently did not receive custodial sentences in 1974.
The number of women initially remanded in custody during 1974 pending report who are known to have subsequently received a non-custodial sentence was 1,133.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners in each of the last five years, having been granted parole on condition that they successfully complete a period on the pre-release employment scheme, were then refused a place on the scheme.
So far as can be ascertained, no place has been refused in such circumstances.