HC Deb 24 April 2002 vol 384 cc323-7W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what recent assessment has been made of the treatment of elderly long-term prisoners suffering long-term illness; what assessment has been made of the risk of suicide among these prisoners; and if he will make a statement; [48673]

(2) how many prisoners serving sentences of over 15 years and who are over 60 years of age suffer senile dementia; what proportion are men; and if he will make a statement. [48674]

Beverley Hughes

Information is not available in the form requested. A study of 203 male prisoners aged 60 and over in 15 prisons in England and Wales (about one-fifth of that total population) conducted in 1999–2000, reported that one per cent. had a clinical diagnosis of dementia. All prisons and their local national health service (NHS) partners were asked jointly to complete prison health needs assessments by March 2001, with the implementation of improvements to health care provision, based on individual prison health plans, following from April 2002.

Copies of the Department of Health's "National Service Framework for Older People" were issued to all Prison Service establishments in England in April 2001. The NSF proposes a move towards a single assessment process for older people's often wide range of health and social care needs. The accompanying Prison Service instruction advised governors that assessment of older prisoners should be comprehensive to ensure that they receive properly integrated, needs-based services both in prison and on release into the wider community. It required governors to develop their working relationships with local health services, social services and housing agencies in order to ensure that prisoners with continuing health and social needs get full access to all the services they need.

Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners in adult prisons in each of the last five years were previously(a) children in care, (b) children in foster care and (c) adopted children. [51080]

Beverley Hughes

[holding answer 23 April 2002]: No data are held centrally on the upbringing of persons in prisons in England and Wales. However, according to the Criminality Survey 2000, 31 per cent. of the sentenced male prison population (excluding sex offenders) had been taken into local authority care as a child.

In 1997, a survey was carried out by the Office for National Statistics, called "Psychiatric Morbidity Among Prisoners in England and Wales". A sample of around 1,200 male remand, 1,200 male sentenced, and 800 female prisoners were interviewed. 33 per cent. of the males on remand and 26 per cent. of the males under sentence had been taken into local authority care as a child. 29 per cent. of the females on remand and 25 per cent. of the females under sentence had also been taken into local authority care as a child.

According to the National Prison Survey 1991, when interviews were conducted with around 4,000 sentenced and remand prisoners (juveniles and immigration detainees were excluded): more than a quarter of prisoners (26 per cent) said they had at some point before the age of 16 been taken into Local Authority care. As many as 38 per cent. of prisoners under 21 reported that they had had such an experience".

Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reviews of prison inmates' privileges and facilities have taken place in the last 12 months. [51145]

Beverley Hughes

All prisons operate a local scheme of incentives and earned privileges based upon a national framework. National policy requires that all establishments review and evaluate their own schemes annually. A central review of the national framework for the incentives and earned privileges is due to begin later this year.

Mrs. Brooke

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision is made to house young people leaving prison who are not able to return to the family home; and if he will make a statement. [49982]

Beverley Hughes

The Government are committed to ensuring the effective resettlement of prisoners so as to reduce re-offending and protect the public. We know that prisoners are less likely to re-offend if they have stable accommodation to go to on release.

Juveniles sentenced to a detention and training order are supervised on release by multi-agency youth offending teams, which can include housing specialists as well as social workers, probation officers and others. The teams work with local authority social services departments, which have accommodation responsibilities for juveniles under the Children Act 1989, and voluntary organisations to help secure accommodation for those unable to return to the family home.

18 to 20-year-olds sentenced to custody are supervised on release by the National Probation Service. The service liaises with local authorities, housing associations, landlords and voluntary organisations to try to ensure the housing needs of released prisoners are met. Approved hostels can provide accommodation for those at higher risk of re-offending.

The Homelessness Act 2002 contains provision to prevent the blanket exclusion by local authorities of released prisoners from social housing. A draft order has been published under the Housing Act 1996 which would extend homelessness priority needs groups to include those vulnerable as a result of a period within an institution, including prison. Further impetus to improve housing arrangements for young people leaving custody is likely to be given by the Social Exclusion Unit's current study on reducing re-offending by released prisoners, which will report later this year.

Mrs. Brooke

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what offending behaviour programmes are available in each of the prisons holding juveniles; and what the programmes involve. [49975]

Beverley Hughes

Individually tailored programmes are run in all juvenile establishments according to the requirements of the young people held there. This means that a range of programmes are used by establishments to ensure that all individuals have the opportunity to address their offending behaviour. Programmes will be drawn from those accredited by the Joint Accreditation Panel, those being developed with a view to accreditation, those being developed in conjunction with the Youth Justice Board and those which are developed locally by the establishment to address specific needs.

The Motivate Offenders to Rethink Everything (MORE) programme is an accredited programme that has been piloted with juveniles at Castington, Lancaster Farms and Wetherby young offender institutions. Staff in the majority of the other establishments that hold juveniles have been trained in the delivery of this programme and it is in the process of being rolled out to the rest of the juvenile estate. MORE is a motivational enhancement programme, which encourages young people to rethink the motivations behind their thoughts and actions.

Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS) is a 21 session cognitive-skills programme. This is an accredited programme which was developed on the basis that offenders may have poor thinking skills, which can adversely affect their ability to solve inter-personal problems and lead to an increased likelihood of offending. The programme aims to develop an individuals thinking skills. This programme is currently being delivered to juveniles in Brinsford, Lancaster Farms, Onley, Stoke Heath, Thorn Cross and Werrington young offender institutions.

The Reasoning and Reacting programme (R and Ra) is a cognitive-skills programme specifically designed to meet the needs of juvenile offenders by encouraging them to consider the consequences of their behaviour and to think about the impact such behaviour may have on other people. This programme has recently been piloted at Huntercombe young offender institution although it is not being offered there at present.

The Reasoning and Rehabilitation (R and R) programme is a 38 session cognitive skills programme. This is an accredited programme which is similar to ETS and the R and Ra. It is currently being delivered with juveniles at Wetherby young offender institution.

The programme Stop-Think-Act-Reflect (STAR) is currently being piloted at Feltham young offender institution and is being funded by the Youth Justice Board. This is a cognitive behaviour programme designed to address specific criminogenic factors which modelling has shown to produce delinquent outcomes.

Each establishment that holds juveniles also has a range of locally developed programmes that complement the programmes listed above and ensure that all areas of offending behaviour can be addressed. There are an extremely large number of these programmes, specifically designed by each establishment to address identified needs of the young people in their care. These include specific programmes to address alcohol education, anger control, drug use and illegal driving. The available programmes at any particular establishment are dependent on current need, which may change.

Some of the establishments which hold juveniles also, on a different part of the site, hold young offenders. Because of this there are some offending behaviour programmes available in these establishments that are not delivered to juveniles.

Mrs. Brooke

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of prisoners in UK prisons under 35 years old have also served time in young offenders prison. [49970]

Beverley Hughes

No information is collected centrally on where people served previous sentences. Information relating to prisoners in Scotland and Northern Ireland is the responsibility of the Scottish Executive and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland respectively.

Mrs. Brooke

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many young people sent to prison in 2001 aged under 18 were held more than(a) 50 miles from home and (b) 100 miles from home. [49983]

Beverley Hughes

In 2001 8,900 under 18-year-olds were received into prison and young offender institutions. Of these: 3,500 were held over 50 miles, but less than 100 miles from their home area; and 700 were held over 100 miles from their home area.

Mrs. Brooke

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which prisons do not allow lay prison visitors access; and if he will make a statement. [49978]

Beverley Hughes

Admission to a Prison Service establishment is at the discretion of the governor of the prison concerned. Prison Service policy guidelines stipulate that, where appropriate, governors should operate an official prison visiting scheme, but information regarding which establishments operate such a scheme is not held centrally.