To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the star system for measuring the performance of prisons was introduced; what criteria it employs; and if he will make a statement. 
The Director General of the Prison Service announced the introduction of a performance rating system for establishments in England and Wales on 8 April 2003.All establishments will be assessed on a performance scale of 1 to 4, with level 4 for a prison delivering exceptionally high performance and level 1 indicating a poor performer. The ratings will be published on the Prison Service website for the first time at the end of June 2003.
|4||Exceptionally high performing, consistently meeting or exceedings targets, no significant operating problems, achieving significantly more than similar establishments with similar resources.|
|3||Meeting the: majority of targets, experiencing no significant problems in doing so, delivering a reasonable and decent regime.|
|2||Basically stable, secure and providing a limited but decent regime; experiencing significant problems in meeting targets and/or experiencing major operational problems.|
|1||Failing to provide secure, ordered, or decent regimes and/ or has significant shortfalls against the majority of key targets.|
The rating system supports a new Benchmarking programme, which introduces new ways to recognise and reward the best prisons and arrangements to improve performance in all others.