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National Security

Volume 468: debated on Wednesday 28 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the Statement of the Prime Minister of 14 November 2007, Official Report, columns 667-72, on national security, when he expects the specialist unit in the Prisons Service tasked with preventing extremists using prison networks to plot future activities announced by the Prime Minister to be set up; what he expects its costs to be; and how he plans to measure the effectiveness of the unit. (168452)

HM Prison Service's Extremism Unit was established in March 2007, and is co-ordinating a programme of work to address the risks posed by extremists in prison. The programme includes awareness raising and training for staff, support for Muslim Chaplains, collection and analysis of information, and strategy and policy development. The Unit's costs for the current financial year are expected to be in the order of £350,000. The programme of work co-ordinated by the unit is linked to the CONTEST strategy and is reviewed by Ministers on a regular basis.