The security category of a prisoner is assessed, decided, and kept under review in the light of all available information. The processes in place for reviews of category A status for prisoners are set out in Prison Service Order 1010 which provides for annual reviews of categorisation for sentenced prisoners. Records are kept in the prisoners file at prisons and also at Prison Service headquarters.
Projections of the prison population in 2010 if all prisoners were to serve to their sentence expiry date have not been produced. Prison population projections to 2011 have been produced for a range of scenarios and are published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin 10/05, a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library.
Prison Service Order 3550 requires that the administration and consumption of prescribed drugs used in maintenance and detoxification programmes is strictly monitored. In possession medication is not indicated for subutex and methadone. Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist which does not have the same potential for abuse as methadone and buprenorphine (subutex).
A comprehensive range of measures is in place to reduce the supply of drugs in prisons, including routes from prescribed medication.
Governors are required to notify the police and probation service of the release dates for offenders. In the specific case of high risk offenders coming under Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements, Governors must ensure that all staff involved in sentence calculation, decisions to restore ‘added days’ and facilitating release arrangements for high risk prisoners are aware of the need to advise the police and probation service immediately of any unexpected changes to release dates or release arrangements. In all cases where a prisoner is released on licence, a copy of the licence is sent to the supervising probation service shortly before release, and is updated in the event of any change in release date.
Prison Service Order 0500 requires prison reception staff to interview all incoming prisoners and note their stated nationality in the prisoner’s core record. Any passport or other document providing evidence of the prisoner’s nationality will be examined but prison staff do not have the means to carry out any specific checks to confirm the nationality of prisoners claiming to be British. Prisons will report the details of all prisoners who state that they are foreign nationals or dual nationals, all those whose nationality is initially unclear and all those who refuse to give their nationality to the Immigration Service who will then establish their immigration status.
As the Home Secretary outlined in his ministerial statement of 23 May, officials are now looking at the possibility of placing a legal obligation on those suspected, charged or convicted to declare their nationality.
The Home Office controller for HMP Peterborough is the key official who meets with the prison's director to discuss operational matters, including the release of prisoners. Formal meetings take place monthly and in addition there are informal weekly meetings. Since January 2006 the controller has discussed with the director cases involving the release of eight individual prisoners, including five meetings between April and June concerning the release of foreign national prisoners.
It is a requirement that release licences for prisoners are signed by the Home Office controller in his or her capacity as a Crown servant. As a consequence of this the contractor's custody management team is in regular contact with the controller's team, who make the necessary checks prior to release taking place.
(2) how many prisoners were transferred to HMP Peterborough in the six months to 31 May; from which institutions; how many new prisoners were admitted to HMP Peterborough in the same period; and if he will make a statement;
(3) how many (a) male and (b) female category A prisoners are held at HMP Peterborough; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 22 June 2006]: There are no category A prisoners held at HMP Peterborough. From information held on the prison IT system, there were 18 prisoners held in HMP Peterborough on 31 March 2005 (the establishment opened in spring 2005) and 759 held on 30 April 2006, the most recent date for which information has been published; and between 1 October 2005 and 31 March 2006 there were 1,208 first receptions into HMP Peterborough. Comprehensive information on transfers between prisons is not collected routinely and could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.
[holding answer 26 June 2006]: In the financial year ended 31 March 2005, there were 37 reported fraud and theft cases with a total value of 5,902. Of these, there were 10 cases with a value of £4,549 due to theft of property. In the financial year ended 31 March 2006, there were 30 cases of fraud and theft with a total value of £5,268. Of these, there were 15 cases with a total value of £3,157 due to theft of property. The Prison Service is aware of four cases with a total value of £8,169 that occurred in 2005-06 and are still under investigation and not yet recorded in the figures above.
The police are informed of most cases of theft of property but no records are kept centrally of the number of prosecutions resulting.
[holding answer 26 June 2006]: No central register of conflicts of interest is available from which readily to obtain the information requested. Each individual establishment or group should maintain its own register. Prison Service directorates are not required to compile a register. Given the time constraints and the disproportionate resource costs involved, it is not possible to provide the figures requested.
According to the prison IT system, (i) the average number of prisoners held in Full Sutton between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2006 was 588 (average of end-month figures) and (ii) the number serving sentences of more than six months at end April 2006 was 567. Information on the number held in Full Sutton for more than six months is not held centrally.
[holding answer 29 June 2006]: The Home Office and Department of Health have established the Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder Programme. This has developed a range of pilot services in prisons, high and medium secure psychiatric services and residential and case management support in the community in four areas of England.
At present only the prison and high secure pilot services provide some national coverage for those who pose the most serious risk to the public. Access to local medium secure and community pilots is only available to local catchment populations in the pilot areas until evaluation is completed (in 2008) and future service roll out is agreed.
HMP Lewes has access to mainstream mental health services through an NHS mental health in-reach which can plan aftercare for prisoners released to the community. The development of new community personality disorder services form part of the local priority service development plans.
Recommendations by HM chief inspector of prisons to close or refurbish prison cells or wing in a prison are considered as part of the National Offender Management Service's building and refurbishment programme. Decisions on which of these are accepted are based on a number of factors, including priorities across the prison estate, funding and any impact in the operation of the prison.
The information requested can be supplied only at a disproportionate cost.
Chaplaincy programmes, which include religious teaching, are developed locally by prison establishments. All prisons have multi faith chaplaincy teams to enable prisoners to participate in religious activities and to encourage their spiritual and personal development whilst in custody and in preparation for release. Chaplaincy teams will run a range of classes and courses depending on the make-up and needs of the prison population. These will include religious education groups or classes, pertinent to all faiths, for those prisoners who wish to attend.