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Prisons: Education

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what additional educational (a) facilities and (b) resources are to be made available in Northern Ireland prisons on the introduction of provisions on dangerousness and dangerous offenders. (170457)

The proposals contained within the draft Criminal Justice Order (Northern Ireland) 2007 introduce new sentencing options for dangerous violent and sexual offenders; these offenders will only be released when the independent Parole Commissioners consider it is safe to do so. A strategic joint steering group has been established to focus specifically on offender behavioural programmes for high risk offenders in relation to public protection and resettlement. In addition to existing expenditure in this area, we plan to invest a further £4.7million over the next three financial years to implement the strategy. This will include investment in education and psychology services to recruit and train new staff to undertake risk assessments, provide programmes and work directly with dangerous offenders to reduce their risk, and to put the necessary structures in place to manage the process.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent on prisoner education at each facility in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. (170466)

The expenditure by the Northern Ireland Prison Service to provide education in each of the last full five financial years is shown in the following table.

£000

Maghaberry

Magilligan

HydebankWood YOC

2002-03

668

257

237

2003-04

655

275

251

2004-05

728

314

313

2005-06

850

310

285

2006-07

943

382

401

In addition to the above expenditure, some courses have been funded by the Department of Education and Learning at HMP Magilligan, and provided by local colleges. The cost of these courses has not been charged to the Prison Service.