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Prisons: Employment

Volume 471: debated on Friday 1 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the (a) trend in the number of hours of purposeful prisoner activity since April 2007 and (b) likely trend from April 2008; what his policy is on purposeful activity; what measures are in place to monitor the (i) provision of opportunities for and (ii) the quantity of purposeful activity in prisons; and whether such activity is a key performance indicator. (178761)

During the financial year to December, prisons have reported an average of 25.1 hours of purposeful activity per prisoner per week.

From April 2008 a new core day will be introduced and the expectation is that resources will be realigned to maximise availability of work and education.

Provision of purposeful activity opportunities are set at local level and are based on a combination of prisoner need and prisoner status on the Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme (IEP) and prison establishment facilities.

Each establishment is set a Key Performance Target (KPT) for purposeful activity. A monitoring system is in place to obtain data on regime activity in each establishment.

Purposeful activity is no longer a Key Performance Indicator but remains an establishment Key Performance Target.