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Northern Ireland Prison Service

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 11 July 2006

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Paul Goggins) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

I have placed copies of the Northern Ireland Prison Service’s annual report and accounts for 2005-06 in the Libraries of both Houses.

The annual report details that the service met 10 of its 11 key targets. It also outlines that, of the comprehensive programme of development objectives set for the service, 17 were achieved, 16 were partially achieved and substantial progress was made towards meeting the remaining five.

Key business area

Key targets



No escape for top and high-risk prisoners.

Not met—On 7 June 2005, a high-risk prisoner escaped from the custody of Maybin Security Services at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court (the prisoner has since been recaptured).

No more than three escapes per 1,000 medium and low-risk prisoners.

Met—No escapes in this category.


The number of staff assaulted by prisoners is less than a ratio of five per 100 prisoners.

Met—Outturn for the year was 0.5 per cent.

The number of prisoners assaulted by prisoners is less than a ratio of six per 100 prisoners.

Met—Outturn for the year was 0.4 per cent.

Regimes and reducing reoffending

An average of at least 18 hours’ constructive activity per week for each sentenced prisoner.

Met—20.3 hours per week achieved.

An average of at least nine hours’ constructive activity per week for each remand prisoner.

Met—13.5 hours per week achieved.

To ensure 82.5 per cent of prisoners serving six months or more are working to a resettlement plan and that 95 per cent of lifers work to a resettlement plan, including preparation of the plan, in the first six months from sentence.

Met—Outturn of 94 per cent for determinate prisoners and 98.9 per cent for life sentence prisoners.

Staff and developing the service

Deliver at least 85 per cent of the planned training days associated with the agreed corporate training priorities.

Met—The actual average training days delivered was 5.9 per member of staff.

Reduce the rate of absenteeism to an annual average of no more than 19 days per head.

Met—A total of 14.2 days per officer was achieved, bettering target of 14.5 days.

Finance, corporate governance and improving business performance

Ensure that the average cost per prisoner place does not exceed £86,290.

Met—The actual cost per prisoner place in 2005-06 was £85,900.

Lay the annual report and audited accounts before Parliament prior to the Summer Recess.

Met—Annual report and audited accounts laid before Parliament on 19 July 2005.