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Prisoners: Crimes of Violence

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 11 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what programmes were operating in prisons in relation to prisoners who were serving sentences for hate crimes at the latest date for which information is available; (241319)

(2) what (a) funding and (b) other assistance his Department is providing to the Anne Frank Trust for its projects involving offenders in prison and young offenders institutions in 2008-09;

(3) what programmes his Department has put in place to work with those convicted of hate crime to reduce their levels of re-offending;

(4) what programmes his Department has put in place to work with those people for whom hatred or racism played a part in their crime to reduce their re-offending;

(5) which (a) prisons and (b) probation services have established programmes to reduce rates of re-offending amongst individuals imprisoned for hate crimes.

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) offers a range of accredited programmes for offenders based on their specific behavioural needs as well as other activities such as education, work, resettlement and training. The programmes are accredited to be responsive to the diverse needs of offenders. There are no accredited offending behaviour programmes targeted specifically at offenders who have been convicted or are serving sentences for crimes where hate or racism was an aggravating factor. Many of the existing accredited programmes address risk factors found in such offenders.

Some establishments and probation areas also deliver non-accredited programmes which are agreed locally to meet a particular need. Information on all these courses is not currently collated centrally. NOMS is aware that Merseyside, West Yorkshire and London probation areas have developed local packages to address issues around hatred and racially motivated offending.

NOMS is currently undertaking a census of non-accredited programmes delivered in custody and the community, which will show the number and type of programmes available for hate crime offenders. Following the census, there will be a programme of work to assess the benefits of certain interventions in addressing particular types of offending. Locally developed programmes that tackle hate crime are likely to fall into scope for such a review.

Work with the Anne Frank Trust has been agreed locally by some prisons and young offender institutions to meet particular needs. Details of the funding arrangements and nature of the assistance provided are not centrally recorded.