§ Miss Widdecombe
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 6 April 75W 2000, Official Report, columns 599-600W, (i) how many prisoners released on the Home Detention Curfew scheme were released on the scheme before the end of the requisite period referred to in Section 34A(3) of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 as inserted by Section 99 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, (ii) if any of these prisoners have been recalled to prison to serve the remainder of the requisite period, (iii) if any of these prisoners committed a further offence (a) between the date of their release and the end of the requisite period and (b) subsequently while on the scheme, and (iv) if he will place in the Library the procedure laid down by Ministers for the release of sex offenders on the Home Detention Curfew scheme. 
§ Mr. Boateng
[holding answer 12 April 2000]The available information shows that, since the Home Detention Curfew scheme commenced in January 1999, 12 prisoners have been released in error before their Home Detention Curfew eligibility date. This figure includes the sex offender subject to the Sex Offenders Act 1997 referred to in the reply given to the right hon. Member by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on 6 April 2000,Official Report, columns 599-600W.
I deeply regret all of these errors, but the right hon. Member should note that they represent only 0.06 per cent. of the total of 18,736 prisoners who have been released on the scheme as of 31 March 2000.
All but one of these errors occurred before the introduction in October 1999 of the new improvements to the local inmate data system on which Home Detention Curfew eligibility and release dates are recorded by establishments. In five cases, the early releases were due to an error in manual calculation. In seven cases they were due to the prison's failure to amend the original eligibility date to take account of additional days awarded as a result of a prisoner breaching the prison disciplinary code.
Only one of these prisoners was recalled to prison to serve the remainder of the requisite period. The Prison Service has not been notified of any further offence committed by any of these prisoners either between the date of their release and the end of the requisite period or subsequently while on the Home Detention Curfew scheme.
The procedures for dealing with sex offenders subject to the Sex Offenders Act 1997 and other sex offenders are set out in paragraph 2.4 of the current Home Detention Curfew Prison Service Order 6700, issued in January 2000, a copy of which is available in the Library.