[holding answer 4 May 2006]: The information requested is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost.
All offenders released on licence are subject to six standard licence conditions: three of which require them to ‘keep in touch with your supervising officer’, ‘permanently to reside at an address approved by your supervising officer’ and ‘notify him or her in advance of any proposed change of address or proposed stay (even for one night) away from that approved address’. In the event that any such licence conditions are breached, the offender is liable to be recalled to prison upon the recommendation of the probation officer in order to protect the public. Once the licence is revoked and the offender recalled, the police are notified, in order to ensure a swift return to custody.
300 additional places in closed adult male establishments are planned for delivery in 2006-07 under the National Offender Management Service building programme.
In addition, the Youth Justice Board has commissioned and funded a 14-place juvenile unit at Her Majesty’s prison Foston Hall which will shortly be available for use.
Towards the end of May 2006 there were around 300 prisoners in open prisons in England and Wales with a foreign nationality. The figures have been drawn from the prisons’ administrative IT systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system.
Foreign nationals are subject to the same risk assessment process as any other prisoner before allocation to open conditions. The overriding purpose of the security classification must be to ensure that prisoners are retained in custody with a level of security that is consistent with the need to protect the public. Following a review of the criteria for the categorisation of foreign national prisoners and their allocation to open conditions in May 2006, the Prison Service concluded that no changes were required of the policy. However, Governors have been instructed to take into account the impact of recent public statements regarding the likelihood of deportation on the risk of absconding when considering foreign national prisoners for Category D status and allocation to open conditions.
All life-sentenced foreign nationals and those sentenced for serious offences were returned from open conditions to closed during May and have been subject to an individual risk assessment in consultation with the Immigration and Nationality Directorate before a final decision as to whether or not they are suitable to return to open conditions.
[holding answer 15 June 2006]: The detailed information requested may be obtained only at a disproportionate cost. However, I can advise that, as at 18 July, only two of the non-foreign national prisoners who absconded from Ford open prison in 2006 remain unlawfully at large.
There is no set budget for prisoner meals. Governors have the freedom to decide what proportion of the budget allocated to them should be spent on food for prisoners. For 2004-05, the latest period for which data is available, the average public sector Prison Service daily food cost was £1.87.