§ Mr. McNamara
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners eligible for Home Detention Curfew are in prison; and if he will list the reasons for this. 
§ Beverley Hughes
[holding answer 17 April 2002]: During March 2002 the number of prisoners eligible for consideration under the Home Detention Curfew scheme (HDC) was 5,033, of whom 1,433 were released under the scheme. Therefore, 3,600 remained in custody. There are a number of reasons why those prisoners were not released on curfew:1. about one fifth of prisoners 'opt out' of the scheme and choose not to be considered for HDC for personal reasons;2. on examination of prisoners' files it may have been found that they were statutorily excluded from HDC because they were prisoners who have been previously returned to prison under section 40/116 of the Criminal Justice Act/Powers of Criminal Courts (sentencing) Act 2000;3. they may not have had suitable accommodation arranged on their release. This includes accommodation where it is not possible to install the monitoring equipment due to insurmountable technical difficulties;331W4. a small number of prisoners serving very short sentences may not have been released due to the lack of time to process their case; and5. the prisoner may not have passed the risk assessment for release on HDC carried out by prison and probation staff.