To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the estimated annual cost of providing all prisoners serving indeterminate sentences for public protection with additional rehabilitation resources. [HL5423]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the estimated increase in prison resources needed to ensure that all prisoners serving indeterminate sentences for public protection receive the resources required to prepare for and take part in parole hearings, including the compilation of parole dossiers, escorts to attend meetings or telephone conferences with offender managers and parole boards, and the administration of rehabilitation courses. [HL5424]
As of 8 September 2009, there were 1957 prisoners serving indeterminate sentences of imprisonment for public protection recorded as being beyond the expiry of their tariff.
The most recent calculation of the average cost per year of prison places was in respect of the year 2007-08 and was £39,000 per prisoner per annum. However, the actual cost of each prisoner will vary considerably. To give an accurate estimate of the cost of detaining this specific group of prisoners post-tariff would require a manual examination of each case and, as such, would incur disproportionate cost.
Data on the number of prisoners held in prison beyond the expiry of their tariff are held on the Public Protection Unit Database (PPUD) within the National Offender Management Service. As with any large-scale recording system, it is subject to possible errors arising from either data entry or processing.
The tariff is the minimum period specified by the court to be served by the prisoner for the purposes of punishment and deterrence. Whether a prisoner serving an IPP sentence is suitable for release once his tariff has expired will depend on whether the independent Parole Board judges that the risk of harm which he presents may be safely managed in the community.
In 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10, the National Offender Management Service allocated an additional £3 million to improve the completion of assessments and access to interventions for IPP prisoners.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the estimated increase in prison resources needed to ensure that all prisoners serving indeterminate sentences for public protection have access to the courses promoting their rehabilitation recommended in their sentence plan. [HL5426]
Funding for rehabilitative work is part of establishment baselines and cannot be readily disaggregated. Estimates of additional costs and resources could therefore currently only be obtained at disproportionate cost by analysing the files of all prisoners serving indeterminate sentences, assessing and then costing what rehabilitative work was already in place and what further provision if any may be required. Similarly the costs in preparing for parole hearings and any administration cost for courses are included within prison baseline budgets.
An additional £3 million allocation was made in 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 to establishments to support work with this group of prisoners, with a view to ensuring that assessments are made on time and to improving access to interventions.
A new streamlined process for assessing and managing indeterminate sentence for public protection prisoners (IPPs) through the implementation of offender management for IPPs has been introduced, along with revised categorisation and allocation procedures for adult male IPPs. This has facilitated quicker progression to the training estate as well as access to the range of interventions available in training establishments. Action has also been taken to prioritise indeterminate sentence prisoners particularly those with short tariffs. Moving these offenders away from the previous lifer processes has also led to improvements in sentence planning.
Improved arrangements for the management of offenders generally have also been introduced from 1 April 2009. The responsibility for the commissioning of services including offending behaviour programmes now rests with directors of offender management in each region. It is for them to commission services that meet the needs of offenders and the requirements of sentencers in their area.
An extensive programme of further work is underway within the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) to support the commissioning of services to better meet the needs of offenders and maximise resources including:
an assessment of the needs of indeterminate sentence prisoners;
a specifications, benchmarking and costings exercise which will provide information on the cost of interventions delivered and help to utilise resources more effectively;
a review of programmes delivered across prisons.
NOMS has put systems and procedures in place to facilitate indeterminate sentence for public protection prisoners’ appropriate progression through the prison system, and will continue to monitor outcomes to ensure further improvements in this area.
The benefits of moving prisoners through the system are fully recognised.