HL Deb 08 June 1998 vol 590 cc72-3WA
Baroness Amos

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will publish the Prison Service's Business Plan for 1998–99. [HL2172]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn)

We published on 5 June the Prison Service Business Plan for 1998–99, including the key performance targets we have set. The majority will require some improvement on the Prison Service's very creditable performance in 1997–98.

They are:


  • to ensure no Category A prisoners escape;
  • to ensure that the number of escapes from prisons and from escorts, expressed as a proportion of the prison population, is lower than in 1997–98.


  • to ensure that the number of assaults on staff, prisoners and others, expressed as a proportion of the average population, is lower than 9 per cent.


  • to ensure that the rate of positive testing for drugs (the number of random drug tests that prove positive expressed as a percentage of the total number of random tests carried out) is lower than 20 per cent.


  • to ensure that the percentage of the prison population above the uncrowded capacity of the estate is no more than 12 per cent.

Purposeful Activity

  • to ensure that prisoners spend on average at least 24 hours per week engaged in purposeful activity.

Time Unlocked

  • to ensure that at least 60 per cent. of prisoners are held in establishments which normally unlock all prisoners on the standard or enhanced regime for at least ten hours per weekday.

Offending behaviour programmes

  • to ensure that there are at least 3,000 completions by prisoners of programmes accredited as being effective in reducing re-offending, of which 680 should be completions of the Sex Offender Treatment Programmes.

Cost Per Place

  • to ensure that the average cost of a prison place does not exceed £24,615.

Staff Training

  • to ensure that, on average, staff spend at least 6.5 days in training.

We will publish a longer term strategy for the Prison Service, including new objectives and targets, once the Comprehensive Spending Review is completed.