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Prisons: Employment

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 23 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to ensure the reliability of figures on prisoners' hours of purposeful activity provided by prisons. (199684)

In 2007-08 the Prison Service issued new guidance for its establishments for recording purposeful activity. This guidance included a refined set of activities and definitions. Additionally, a more effective method of capturing purposeful activity data has been introduced through the use of electronic forms. The data reported also continue to be validated by management controls and by both a self-audit process and independent audit.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average number of hours of purposeful activity per week for each (a) male and (b) female prisoner over the age of retirement was in each of the last five years. (199674)

The Prison Service does not centrally collate purposeful activity data at prisoner level and cannot therefore express the answer in the precise format requested.

The following table shows the average number of hours of purposeful activity per week in prisons which predominately hold male prisoners and prisons which predominately hold female prisoners in each of the last five full financial years.

Average number of hours of purposeful activity per week

Financial year

Male prisons

Female prisons

2002-03

22.5

25.0

2003-04

23.3

25.3

2004-05

24.2

26.7

2005-06

25.1

27.3

2006-07

25.1

27.6