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Volume 404: debated on Thursday 1 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hours of purposeful activity prisoners engaged in at (a) HMP Altcourse, (b) HMP Rye Hill and (c) HMP Wolds in 2001–02. [109522]

The average hours per week spent by prisoners in purposeful activity for each of the requested prisons in 2001–02, is shown in the following table.

EstablishmentAverage purposeful hours per prisoner per week
Rye Hill29.4

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 17 March 2003, Official Report, column 585W, on drugs in prisons, how many prisoners underwent detoxification in the last year; what medication is used to aid detoxification; what guidance is made available to local prisons in relation to the detoxification of prisoners; and if he will place a copy of the guidance in the Library. [109578]

Prison Service establishments reported that 41,916 drug and alcohol detoxifications were carried out between 1 April 2001 and 31 March 2002.Prison Service Order 3550, issued on 20 December 2000, introduced a new Prison Service Standard for Clinical Services for Substance Misusers. This concerns the effective clinical management of the substance misuse treatment service provided by staff working in prisons. It is designed to ensure that good quality clinical substance misuse services are available in all local prisons and remand centres to a level that is at least comparable with those in the community.The standard requires, among other things, all prisons which receive prisoners from court to have detoxification guidelines in place for at least one of Methadone, Lofexidine, and Dihydrocodeine. It also stipulates that, as new evidence becomes available on the chemical management of detoxification or abstinence, establishments should develop further treatment guidelines which are in line with those available in the national health service (NHS).My hon. Friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Jacqui Smith) has already agreed to place a copy of the standard in the Library in response to a request from the hon. Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Mr. Marsden).

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) convicted and (b) unconvicted immigration detainees are being held in prisons. [109587]

The latest available data on the number of persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers relate to 28 December 2002. As at that date 215 people were recorded as being detained in Prison Service establishments.The routine use of Prison Service accommodation for immigration detainees ended at the beginning of 2002, but it remains necessary to hold small numbers of detainees in prison for reasons of control and security. The figure of 215 may include individuals who are held pending deportation after completion of custodial sentences.Information on Immigration Act detainees as at 29 March 2003 is due to be published at the end of May on the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate web-site at

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many full-time equivalent teachers are employed in prisons in England and Wales. [109590]

There are 691 full-time teachers employed by education contractors to work in prisons. Learning opportunities for prisoners are also provided by a range of other staff including part-time teachers employed by the contractor, Instructional Officers, Prison Officer Instructors and other prison staff.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in which prisons in England and Wales in the last two years additional accommodation has been built in response to the rising prison population; and what proportion of the additional places were in ready to use units. [109595]

Additional accommodation places opened in Prison Service establishments between 1 April 2001 and 31 March 2003
HouseblocksReady to use units (RTUs)Modular temporary units (MTUs)
EstablishmentNumber of houseblocksNumber of placesNumber of RTUsNumber of placesNumber of MTUsNumber of places
Guys Marsh140
Highpoint (North)280
Morton Hall4160
Highpoint (South)280
Hollesley Bay280
North Sea Camp280
Spring Hill140
Standford Hill280

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those prisons constructed under the private finance initiatives and their public sector comparators. [109597]

The prisons designed, constructed, managed and financed under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) are: Altcourse, Ashfield, Dovegate, Forest Bank, Lowdham Grange, Parc and Rye Hill. In addition, the contracts for two new PFI prisons at Ashford, Middlesex and at Peterborough have been signed and construction work is under way.In all cases, there was no up-to-date publicly procured prison and the public service comparator was therefore estimated, being derived from past experience in terms of public sector capital expenditure in constructing and refurbishing a prison and to cover the cost of operating prison. Estimates took account of the different requirements of each prison. The public sector comparators are shown in the following table.

£ million
PrisonPublic sector comparator
Forest Bank234.5
Lowdham Grange157

The following table shows the number of additional accommodation places opened at Prison Service establishments in England and Wales between 1 April 2001 and 31 March 2003. Of the 1,938 places opened, 29 per cent. or 560 places) were in ready to use units.

PrisonPublic sector comparator
Rye Hill209

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisons do not have visitor centres; how many do; and, of these, how many are staffed by volunteers. [110082]

Of the 138 Prison Service establishments, it is estimated that 90 have visitors' centres, of which around 85 per cent. are staffed by a mix of paid employees and volunteers. A further four centres are in planning.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison visitor centres are financed by (a) the prison from its own funds and (b) the Prison Service. [110083]

Responsibility for the provision of grants to support prison visitors' centres was devolved to prison Governors on 1 April 1994. It is a matter for individual Governors to decide the level of funding to be allocated to their visitors' centre, as they are best placed to assess the facilities required locally. Information on funding to centres by individual prisons is not collated centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to extend the prison visitor centre to all prison establishments; and if he will provide additional funding. [110084]

There are a growing number of visitors' centres. We acknowledge their potential in assisting the delivery of our aims and aim to provide such a centre at each prison. However, the considerable financial and other resources needed to run visitors' centres effectively, and the many competing priorities within the Prison Service, have prevented some establishments from making as much progress a s we would like. All newly-built and contracted-out establishments are required to have a visitors' centre under the terms of their contract.We continue to work closely with the voluntary/community sector in enhancing and developing visitors' centres and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their efforts.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans the Government have to put in place a national strategy for elderly prisoners. [110344]

There are no plans to put in place a separate national strategy for elderly prisoners that specifies regime requirements. The Prison Service aims to assess individual prisoner's needs through sentence planning. This takes account of the requirement for appropriate, accommodation, health care, regimes and resettlement support for all prisoners.