§ Miss Widdecombe
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, for the period between the commencement of the Home Detention Curfew scheme on 28 January 1999 and 30 September 2000, inclusive, (a) the total number of prisoners released on the scheme, (b) the number of prisoners convicted of each specific offence who were released on the scheme, with as detailed a breakdown as possible of the offences committed, including the specific offences committed by prisoners normally classified under the categories (i) other homicide and attempted homicide, (ii) other violence against the person, (iii) drug offences, (iv) assaults, and (v) other offences, including a breakdown of the prisoners normally classified in the sub-category of other offences called other offences, (c) the average sentence (1) received and (2) served, and the average period spent on the scheme, in respect of each specific offence, (d) the number of prisoners released on the scheme, with as detailed a breakdown as possible of the offences committed, who (A) breached the conditions of the curfew, (B) disappeared and were recaptured, (C) disappeared and remain unlawfully at large, and (D) had their licences revoked, and for what reasons, (e) as detailed a breakdown as possible of the specific offences committed by prisoners released on the scheme while on the scheme including all offences committed by prisoners who committed more than one offence and (f) as detailed a breakdown as possible of the specific offences committed by prisoners released on the scheme who committed a further offence while on the scheme that was similar in character to that for which they were originally convicted, including all offences committed by prisoners who committed more than one offence; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Boateng
[holding answer 26 October 2000]: The information provided in my reply is for the period up to 30 September 2000. As of that date, a total of 26,609 prisoners had been placed on Home Detention Curfew since the scheme commenced on 28 January 1999.
The original offences committed by prisoners released under the scheme during the period, the number of prisoners convicted of each specific offence, the average sentence received and served for those offences, and the average period spent on the scheme in respect of prisoners convicted of each specific offence, are shown in Table 1. The data are taken from the Prison Service's inmate information system, based on the data recorded by each prison. The table provides as detailed a breakdown as is possible from central records.
As at 30 September, a total of 854 prisoners placed on the scheme had breached the conditions of their curfew. A breakdown of this number showing the original offences committed by those curfewees is shown in Table 2.536W
Information on curfewees whose licences are revoked and who disappear before being recaptured is not held centrally. However, information is held on the number of curfewees unlawfully at large at any one time. On 30 September there were 44 curfewees who remained unlawfully at large. This represents fewer than 4 per cent. of the total number of revocations.
Details of the offences committed by those 44 curfewees who remained unlawfully at large on 30 September 2000 can be found in Table 3.
As at 30 September 2000, 1,294 curfewees had their licences revoked, using the powers available to the Secretary of State under sections 38A(1) and 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991. The reasons for revocation were as follows:breach of the curfew (section 38A(1)(a) of the Criminal Justice Act 1991)the curfewee's whereabouts could no longer be electronically monitored (section 38A(1)(b) of the Criminal Justice Act 1991)it was necessary to protect the public from serious harm (section 38A(1)(c) of the Criminal Justice Act 1991)the curfewee had committed an offence or breached any other requirement of probation supervision (section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991). Curfewees who are charged with a new offence may also be recalled on any of the preceding grounds depending upon the circumstances of the case.
Prisoners whose current sentence is in respect of an offence committed before 1 January 1999 are not liable to be recalled under section 39 of the Act. In such cases, where the curfewee has breached the requirements of probation supervision or where they have committed a further offence and it has not been possible to revoke their licence under section 38A of the Act, the breach may be referred to the courts under section 38(1) of the Act. The total number of such cases referred to the courts is not held centrally.
A breakdown of the original offences committed by the 1,294 recalled curfewees, together with a breakdown of the reasons for their recall, is at Table 4.
Table 5 gives a breakdown of the cases where a prisoner placed on Home Detention Curfew is known to have been convicted, cautioned in respect of an offence committed while on Home Detention Curfew, or where a prisoner is known to be pending prosecution for such an offence. Where a curfewee has been charged with more than one offence, these have been shown separately.
Table 6 gives a breakdown of cases involving prisoners placed on the scheme who are known to have been convicted, cautioned or have a prosecution pending in respect of an offence committed while on Home Detention Curfew which is similar in character to the index offence or offences for which they were originally convicted.
The scheme is designed to ensure a better transition for short term offenders between custody and the community. Prisoners are placed on Home Detention Curfew only after a careful risk assessment, and the safety of the public is paramount at all times.537W
Tables 1-6 have been placed in the Library.
§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals convicted of offences of domestic violence have been released under the Home Detention Curfew Scheme. 
§ Mr. Boateng
Domestic violence is not a separate category of index offence. It would not be possible to provide this number, except at disproportionate cost.
§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if individuals who have received custodial sentences for offences of domestic violence are eligible for release under the home detention curfew scheme. 
§ Mr. Boateng
Domestic violence is not one of the statutory exclusions from eligibility from the Home Detention Curfew scheme. Providing a prisoner meets the general criteria for eligibility—that they have reached the age of 18 and are serving a sentence over three months but less than four years—they are eligible for consideration for the scheme.
All prisoners considered for the scheme are assessed specifically in relation to the potential risk, to the victim or to other members of the public, posed by their release. Prisoners who present a clear and immediate threat to either the victim or the public will not be released on the scheme.