HC Deb 28 May 2004 vol 422 cc195-6W
John McDonnell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff are employed by(a)the Prison Service at Head Office and (b)the National Probation Directorate; and how many at each are (i) consultants and (ii) contractual staff. [147659]

Paul Goggins

At the beginning of November 2003 there were 2,403 (full time equivalent) staff employed at Her Majesty's Prison Service Headquarters (including operational Area Offices). Of these, 1,330 were employed in central London offices. Central records are not held which specifically identify the number of consultants. However, information supplied by Headquarters Groups identifies a total of 122 agency staff and consultants working at Prison Service Headquarters at the beginning of November.

In December 2003, the National Probation Directorate employed 445 staff, of which 39 were consultants and 26 were contractors.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the Prison Service's alcohol strategy. [170517]

Paul Goggins

The Prison Service is in the final stages of development of a comprehensive alcohol strategy, which will be published shortly.

John Austin

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the Youth Justice Board definition is of purposeful activity for juvenile prisoners. [174344]

Paul Goggins

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) now categorises activity by reference to its National Specification for Learning and Skills. The National Specification sets out the expectations of the Board for the delivery of learning and skills to young people held in young offender institutions on Detention and Training Orders. The overall aim is that young offenders should spend 30 hours a week in formal educational classes; 12 on enrichment activities, including access to arts learning and arts experiences, environmental studies and sport; and have seven hours private study time.

The YJB and the Prison Service now have a Service Level Agreement that measures education, training and personal development activity for young people in the juvenile secure estate and sets out agreed performance targets.

Tom Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the new prisons being built in England and Wales; and what category of prisoner each will accommodate. [174488]

Paul Goggins

Two prisons are under construction in England and Wales through the Private Finance Initiative. Bronzefield, at Ashford, Middlesex, is a 450 place prison which will accommodate female offenders and is on schedule to open in June 2004. The second prison, sited at Peterborough, comprises 480 places for male offenders and 360 for female offenders and is scheduled to open in March 2005.

Both prisons are being procured to Category B security standards. Bronzefield will have provision for up to five Category A female prisoners and both prisons will have a 12 place Mother and Baby Unit.