Ellie Reeves Portrait

Ellie Reeves

Labour - Lewisham West and Penge

Shadow Minister (Justice)

(since December 2021)
Shadow Solicitor General
10th Apr 2020 - 4th Dec 2021
Justice Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 11th May 2020
Justice Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Department Event
Tuesday 20th September 2022
11:30
Ministry of Justice
Oral questions - Main Chamber
20 Sep 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Justice (including Topical Questions)
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Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Friday 15th July 2022
Public Advocate (No. 2) Bill
I commend my hon. Friend the Member for Garston and Halewood (Maria Eagle) for her persistence in bringing forward such …
Written Answers
Monday 25th July 2022
Prisoners: Weather
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure that conditions in …
Early Day Motions
Monday 23rd July 2018
SMALL CLAIMS LIMIT FOR PERSONAL INJURY AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE
That this House expresses concern at the planned increase in the small claims limit for personal injury; regrets the small …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 11th July 2022
1. Employment and earnings
31 March 2022, received £75 for a survey carried out on 1 February 2022. Hours: 25 mins. (Registered 11 July …
EDM signed
Thursday 24th March 2022
P&O Ferries and DP World
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice …
Supported Legislation
Clean Air (No. 2) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Ellie Reeves has voted in 400 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Ellie Reeves Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Michael Ellis (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
(23 debate interactions)
Suella Braverman (Conservative)
Attorney General
(19 debate interactions)
Victoria Atkins (Conservative)
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(23 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(22 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(18 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Ellie Reeves's debates

Lewisham West and Penge Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with highest Lewisham West and Penge signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

We have the second most expensive childcare system in the world. A full time place costs, on average, £14,000 per year, making it completely unaffordable for many families. Parents are forced to leave their jobs or work fewer hours, which has a negative impact on the economy and on child poverty.

A significant number of students will sit their final 2021 examinations. The outcome of which undoubtedly will be their passport, for many of their future life chances and successes. In order for this to be done fairly, it is imperative that the amount of content they are tested on is reduced.

We want the Education Secretary and the Government to step in and review the exam board’s decision on how GCSE and A-Level grades will be calculated and awarded due to the current coronavirus crisis. We want a better solution than just using our previous data to be the basis of our grade.

In light of the recent outbreak and lock down, those on maternity leave should be given 3 extra months paid leave, at least. This time is for bonding and social engaging with other parents and babies through baby groups which are vital for development and now everything has been cancelled.


Latest EDMs signed by Ellie Reeves

23rd March 2022
Ellie Reeves signed this EDM on Thursday 24th March 2022

P&O Ferries and DP World

Tabled by: Karl Turner (Labour - Kingston upon Hull East)
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice or consultation with their trade unions, the RMT and Nautilus; demands the immediate reinstatement of the sacked workers; condemns their replacement with agency workers earning as little as £1.80 per …
125 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Apr 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 94
Scottish National Party: 12
Liberal Democrat: 7
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Alba Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
23rd September 2021
Ellie Reeves signed this EDM on Monday 15th November 2021

Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall

Tabled by: Afzal Khan (Labour - Manchester, Gorton)
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; notes that this memorial now includes over 150,000 hand-painted hearts to symbolise all those who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic; praises the work of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for …
139 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Feb 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 97
Scottish National Party: 15
Liberal Democrat: 10
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Conservative: 4
Independent: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
View All Ellie Reeves's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Ellie Reeves, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Ellie Reeves has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Ellie Reeves has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Ellie Reeves has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


348 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
2 Other Department Questions
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the equity of the three months’ time limit in accessing justice where a claimant is pregnant and filing a case in an employment tribunal.

Individuals who experience pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace can access justice through an employment tribunal, under the Equality Act 2010. While the time limit for bringing a claim is three months, tribunals have the discretion to provide extensions where they consider it ‘just and equitable’ to do so.

The Government continues to look closely at extending the time limit for bringing Equality Act 2010 based cases to an employment tribunal. This decision, however, must take account of wider impacts across the justice system. We recognise that the pandemic has put additional pressure on the entire courts and tribunals service, particularly the employment tribunal, and that restoring its existing levels of service needs to be the priority before additional loading is added.

12th May 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, when the Government plans to respond to the Women and Equalities Committee's Fifth Report of Session 2019-21, Unequal impact? Coronavirus and the gendered economic impact, HC 385.

The Government response to the Women and Equalities Committee's Fifth Report of Session 2019-21, ‘Unequal impact? Coronavirus and the gendered economic impact’, was published on 14 May 2021 and is available on the Parliament website.

19th Oct 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many staff were employed in rape and serious sexual offences units in each (a) CPS area and (b) year since 2010.

Each of the 14 CPS Areas has a dedicated RASSO Unit, staffed by specially trained prosecutors and other operational delivery staff, equipped to deal with the complexities of rape cases. The below data shows the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff employed in each CPS RASSO Unit, which were established in 2016, as of 31 March for each year from 2017. The figures are set out in decimals as there are many part-time members of staff who work in RASSO Units.

CPS Areas are not uniform in size and as such there is a disparity in the staffing levels between each Area. Furthermore, case numbers and types of case in RASSO Units may vary from year to year and across Areas.

It is also important to note that CPS Areas have the flexibility to move staff between teams to support local needs. While the below figures show the number of FTE staff employed in each CPS RASSO Unit in each year, they do not include members of staff who have been moved to teams in other Areas to support local needs

CPS Area20172018201920202021
Cymru Wales27.0124.6421.6420.0618.97
East Midlands20.0220.5422.1920.1423.95
East of England22.2923.8523.7019.1919.65
London North*31.7631.7524.7626.11
London South*38.0236.3333.0134.14
Merseyside and Cheshire19.9821.8020.9419.9519.48
North East27.0028.3128.6826.7024.49
North West44.5750.5347.8745.8242.26
South East27.9625.1524..6420.9119.21
South West23.2921.9020.0218.0816.68
Thames and Chiltern19.8021.8220.0227.3324.14
Wessex26.2621.3022.5218.9819.33
West Midlands34.3833.6935.7436.5134.05
Yorkshire and Humberside37.4534.8035.0632.4835.95

*Prior to 2017, London South and London North operated as a single CPS Area, and the combined number of FTE staff in the pan-London RASSO Unit for 2017 was 66.23.

29th Jun 2021
To ask the Attorney General, whether a risk assessment has been carried out on the secure holding of CCTV footage within his Department.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, it is not government policy to comment on security procedures in government buildings.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Attorney General, whether any Departmental business has been conducted on private email addresses; and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that full records are kept of that business.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, it is not government policy to comment on security procedures in government buildings.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Attorney General, whether his Department has referred any Freedom of Information requests received by his Department to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House on Freedom of Information requests for advice on handling, in the last two years.

FOI requests are referred to the Clearing House in line with the published criteria available on gov.uk. The Clearing House, which has been in existence since 2004, provides advice to ensure a consistent approach across government to requests for information.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many CPS prosecutors have been in employment in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021.

The number of CPS prosecutors who have been in employment in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021 is as follows:

(a) 2485 (31 March 2018)

(b) 2579 (31 March 2019)

(c) 2692 (31 March 2020)

(d) 2943 (31 March 2021)

Source Data: Trent and Oracle HR Database

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Attorney General, whether officials in his Department have received remuneration for paid work for organisations or companies outside of Government in the latest period for which data is available.

On 23 April, the Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the management of outside interests in the Civil Service.

The Committee published this letter on 26 April. It can be found here:

https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/5623/documents/55584/default/

The Cabinet Secretary’s letter sets out a series of steps to improve processes. This programme of work will also take account of any recommendations that emerge from Nigel Boardman’s review.

The Civil Service Management Code sets out, at paragraph 4.3.4, the requirement that civil servants must seek permission before accepting any outside employment which might affect their work either directly or indirectly. The applicable principles are those set out in the Business Appointment Rules. The Civil Service Management Code is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-servants-terms-and-conditions

Where the civil servant is a member of the departmental board any outside employment, as well as other relevant interests will be published as part of the Annual Report and Accounts or other transparency publication.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the interim charging protocol introduced in March 2020 for cases relating to domestic violence, (a) when it will cease to operate and (b) what assessment has been made of the efficiency of the protocol.

The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (‘NPCC’) introduced an interim charging protocol in response to the Coronavirus pandemic on 1 April 2020 to identify and prioritise the highest risk cases. This includes those that involve domestic abuse.

The Charging Board, chaired jointly by the CPS and the NPCC, oversees and monitors arrangements for charging at a national level, including the interim charging protocol. Local police forces and CPS Areas (including CPS Direct that covers charging outside usual working hours) monitor local arrangements for charging through local Prosecution Team Performance Management meetings.

The interim charging protocol continues to operate and is the subject of ongoing discussion between the CPS and the police. No end date has been set.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the CPS annual report 2019-20, how many (a) additional prosecutors have been recruited, (b) operational delivery staff have been recruited and (c) offers of employment have been made to new lawyers since 2019.

As of 2nd February 2021, the CPS has recruited:

  • 399 additional prosecutors, with a further 75 due to start by April 2021;
  • 155 Paralegal Officers and Assistants (Operational Delivery Staff);
  • and made 570 offers of employment to new lawyers since 2019.

(Source data – CPS HR Recruitment records)

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the Victims Commissioner's annual report 2019/20, what steps the Attorney General is taking with the Lord Chancellor to promote the changes to the review into the unduly lenient scheme to ensure victims are aware of their right to request a challenge.

The Law Officers promote the unduly lenient sentence scheme and its extension, including in Parliament and on social media.

The AGO has also worked with the Ministry of Justice to take steps to raise awareness of the scheme as part of the revised statutory Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, which was published in November 2020 following consultation. The revised Code will come into force on 1 April, and now includes a requirement for the Witness Care Unit to inform victims of the unduly lenient sentence scheme promptly once sentencing has taken place. This will help to improve awareness of the scheme and also understanding of when cases may be eligible.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, following the recent HMCSPI inspectorate report on victim communication, what steps she is taking to implement the recommendations in that report.

The latest HMCPSI report on the Victim Communication and Liaison (VCL) scheme was published on 22 October 2020. The report suggested the CPS should fundamentally review at national level how the VCL scheme is being delivered.

The CPS accepts the need for a radical review of their communications with victims, and the need to make quick progress. The CPS is therefore planning to undertake an evidence-based assessment of victims’ needs, including conducting user research to inform the review. The CPS are taking a phased approach to this work so that early, targeted improvements can be made at the same time as developing a longer-term programme of more impactful change.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the UK withdrawing from participation in (a) the European Arrest Warrant, (b) membership of Europol and (c) membership of EuroJust on the work of the CPS in prosecuting international crime.


The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) has worked with other prosecutors, law enforcement, the courts and the Home Office to ensure the CPS continues to have access to the capabilities it needs and that effective international cooperation with EU Member States on extradition, gathering of evidence and asset recovery continues. The CPS has also engaged extensively with EU counterparts in order to safeguard existing cases using EU tools as well as operate the new arrangements effectively.

As well as providing for streamlined extradition arrangements, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) provides for cooperation between the UK and Europol and the UK and Eurojust to facilitate multilateral law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation. The UK remains fully operational at Eurojust with a Liaison Prosecutor Desk which was up and running from 1 January 2021. In December 2020, the CPS was participating in 33 out of 41 Joint Investigation Teams involving the UK and the CPS remains equally involved in all of these today.

The TCA equips operational partners on both sides with the capabilities that help protect citizens and bring criminals to justice – promoting the security of all our citizens.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many CPS staff were employed and (a) in what role and (b) at what grade those staff were employed in each year from 2010 to 2020.

The number of staff employed by the Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’), broken down by grade, between 31/03/12 to 31/03/20, can be found in the tables below. To retrieve data for years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, and the detail for roles across all years, would represent a disproportionate cost to the CPS.

31/03/2020

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1351

1226.88

EO

1217

1115.80

G6/G7

2656

2447.11

HEO/SEO

886

849.75

SCS

82

80.71

Grand Total

6192

5720.26

31/03/2019

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1392

1263.23

EO

1175

1069.66

G6/G7

2589

2384.21

HEO/SEO

791

757.75

SCS

78

77.10

Grand Total

6025

5551.95

31/03/2018

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1436

1309.02

EO

1186

1084.08

G6/G7

2472

2274.88

HEO/SEO

810

775.08

SCS

76

75.38

Grand Total

5980

5518.44

31/03/2017

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1536

1409.30

EO

1199

1094.03

G6/G7

2399

2206.89

HEO/SEO

780

745.46

SCS

70

69.38

Grand Total

5984

5525.04

31/03/2016

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1527

1398.90

EO

1223

1112.19

G6/G7

2354

2170.88

HEO/SEO

743

710.50

SCS

68

67.78

Grand Total

5915

5460.26

31/03/2015

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1683

1549.14

EO

1298

1189.95

G6/G7

2445

2258.48

HEO/SEO

789

754.83

SCS

65

65.00

Grand Total

6280

5817.40

31/03/2014

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1882

1726.96

EO

1381

1267.24

G6/G7

2558

2362.03

HEO/SEO

777

744.30

SCS

65

65.00

Grand Total

6663

6165.54

31/03/2013

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AO/AA

2061

1877.40

EO

1551

1422.82

G6/7

2801

2592.40

HEO/SEO

850

807.52

SCS

66

66.00

Grand Total

7329

6766.14

31/03/2012

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

2087

1896.94

EO

1601

1468.00

G6/G7

2961

2740.09

HEO/SEO

932

887.29

SCS

67

66.80

Grand Total

7648

7059.12

*Data is as at 31st March each year

This data is taken from the Trent and Oracle HR Database.

The data is compiled to ONS specification – it excludes career break, unpaid loans, fee paid and non-salaried staff.

The data excludes no pay staff which are derived from the CIS file provided to us.

Data shows HC and FTE to ONS Grade

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what steps she has taken to ensure the CPS can operate (a) effectively and (b) to the same standard when prosecuting international crime in the context of no longer being a member of Eurojust.


The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) has worked with other prosecutors, law enforcement, the courts and the Home Office to ensure the CPS continues to have access to the capabilities it needs and that effective international cooperation with EU Member States on extradition, gathering of evidence and asset recovery continues. The CPS has also engaged extensively with EU counterparts in order to safeguard existing cases using EU tools as well as operate the new arrangements effectively.

As well as providing for streamlined extradition arrangements, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) provides for cooperation between the UK and Europol and the UK and Eurojust to facilitate multilateral law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation. The UK remains fully operational at Eurojust with a Liaison Prosecutor Desk which was up and running from 1 January 2021. In December 2020, the CPS was participating in 33 out of 41 Joint Investigation Teams involving the UK and the CPS remains equally involved in all of these today.

The TCA equips operational partners on both sides with the capabilities that help protect citizens and bring criminals to justice – promoting the security of all our citizens.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many and what proportion of CPS staff have had to self-isolate as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and what the (a) role and (b) staffing grade of those staff is.

The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) holds data on staff who have been absent due to COVID-19 and received Special Leave with Pay. The Table below summarises that data, with the column labelled ‘Special Leave With Pay – Other reasons’ including those who have self-isolated. This column shows that 253 staff (approximately 3.8% of the workforce) fall within this category. However, in general, those who have self-isolated will predominantly have continued to work remotely and will not have needed to take time away from the workplace.

Grade

Special Leave with pay-Caring responsibilities (number of staff)

Special Leave with pay-Other reasons (number of staff)

Special Leave with pay-respiratory (number of staff)

Totals

Headcount

Percentage of grade

A1

2

6

1

9

13

69.23%

A2

52

66

118

1130

10.44%

B2

21

7

28

260

10.77%

B3

18

8

26

207

12.56%

Crown Advocate

9

2

11

194

5.67%

Crown Prosecutor

10

2

12

240

5%

Level D

12

2

14

163

8.59%

Level E

1

1

63

1.59%

Legal Manager 1

12

6

1

19

290

6.55%

Legal Manager 2

3

3

100

3%

Paralegal Assistant

17

17

1

35

260

13.46%

Paralegal Business Manager

8

3

11

109

10.09%

Paralegal Officer

36

23

59

609

9.69%

Senior Crown Prosecutor

120

53

3

176

1726

10.2%

Specialist Prosecutor

21

14

1

36

211

17.06%

Senior Specialist Prosecutor

2

1

3

16

18.75%

Senior Legal Manager/SCS

2

2

81

2.47%

AP

9

4

13

141

9.22%

B1/Legal Trainee/EO

47

39

3

89

735

12.11%

402

253

10

665

6594

10.08%

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many outstanding cases the CPS were working on as a part of EuroJust in December 2020.


The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) has worked with other prosecutors, law enforcement, the courts and the Home Office to ensure the CPS continues to have access to the capabilities it needs and that effective international cooperation with EU Member States on extradition, gathering of evidence and asset recovery continues. The CPS has also engaged extensively with EU counterparts in order to safeguard existing cases using EU tools as well as operate the new arrangements effectively.

As well as providing for streamlined extradition arrangements, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) provides for cooperation between the UK and Europol and the UK and Eurojust to facilitate multilateral law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation. The UK remains fully operational at Eurojust with a Liaison Prosecutor Desk which was up and running from 1 January 2021. In December 2020, the CPS was participating in 33 out of 41 Joint Investigation Teams involving the UK and the CPS remains equally involved in all of these today.

The TCA equips operational partners on both sides with the capabilities that help protect citizens and bring criminals to justice – promoting the security of all our citizens.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate's report entitled Charging Inspection 2020, published in September 2020, what steps he is taking to improve communication to victims about the Victims’ Right to Review scheme.

The CPS Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) scheme provides an important safeguard for victims. Following a request for a review, a new prosecutor not previously involved in the original decision will conduct a review of the case. If they decide that the original decision was wrong that decision will be overturned and proceedings reinstituted, where possible.

The HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate’s ‘Charging Inspection 2020’ report notes that in 84.7% of the cases where there was a decision to take no further action that qualified for the VRR scheme, there was enough information for the police to explain the decision to the victim.

The CPS are actively engaged in the development of the revised Victims’ Code which sets out victims’ rights to receive services from Criminal Justice agencies, including information about the VRR scheme. The CPS is committed to delivering its responsibilities under the Code to ensure that victims have the information they need to exercise their right to review CPS decisions.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate's report entitled Charging Inspection 2020, published in September 2020, what steps she is taking to improve the timings for communications in respect of (a) Victim Communication and Liaison letters being issued and (b) those victims who are entitled to an enhanced service.

The CPS offers an enhanced service to victims of rape or serious sexual offences and the bereaved families of homicide victims. This includes writing to victims or relatives within one day informing them of a decision not to charge a case.

I note that the recent Charging Inspection found 75% of appropriate VCL letters were sent within set enhanced service timescales. The CPS is committed to delivering an excellent service to victims, including working with the Ministry of Justice on revisions to the Victims’ Code, and continues to consider ways to further improve communication with victims, including timeliness.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what the compliance rate was for the Area Assurance Programme in (a) 2020, (b) 2019, (c) 2018, (d) 2017, (e) 2016 and (f) 2015.

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) commenced the Area Assurance Programme (AAP) in 2016 and completed the programme in 2018. HMCPSI assessed each CPS Area’s compliance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and these results are included in the individual AAP reports available on the HMCPSI website. Therefore, figures were published by Area and by year. In October 2019, HMCPSI published a composite report of all the AAP inspection findings; the overall CPS Area compliance rate with the Code for Crown Prosecutors was 95.1%.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, when the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate report on the Victim Communication and Liaison scheme will be published.

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate’s report on the Crown Prosecution Service’s Victim Communication and Liaison scheme will be published 22nd October 2020.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the 2019-20 annual report of the Victims Commissioner, what progress has been made on the joint review by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services into the drop in rape prosecutions.

Work on the joint inspection by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (led by the latter) has been delayed by COVID-19. However, a draft framework and methodology have been shared with stakeholders, including the Victims Commissioner, for consultation and an external reference group has been formed with the first virtual meeting to take place on 10th August 2020.

Thereafter, it is envisaged that interviews with national leads can commence in August 2020 and fieldwork across six police forces will start in September and continue until the mid-November.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to his oral contribution at Attorney General Questions on 9 July 2020, Official Report, Column 1110, if he will publish the framework for the CPS's interim charging protocol for cases of domestic violence.

It is essential that perpetrators, victims and their families know and understand that the criminal justice system remains open and operational during the covid-19 outbreak. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is working closely with colleagues across the Criminal Justice System to ensure that these offences continue to be brought to justice.

The interim charging protocol ‘Coronavirus: Interim CPS Charging Protocol between the National Police Chiefs' Council and Crown Prosecution Service’ was published on 31st March 2020. The interim protocol sets out how charging for all cases including domestic abuse should be managed by the police and the CPS.

The interim protocol specifies that priority must be given to the most serious cases to make sure dangerous offenders are dealt with quickly. The protocol aims to prioritise and focus demand so we are only putting the most serious cases into the courts system immediately. All non-custody domestic abuse cases have been categorised as Category B - High Priority cases. The CPS is committed to working closely with criminal justice partners and the third sector to ensure that victims and witnesses remain at the heart of the process.

Suella Braverman
Attorney General
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the Victims Commissioner's annual report 2019/20, what steps the Attorney General is taking with the Lord Chancellor to promote the changes to the review into the unduly lenient scheme to ensure victims are aware of their right to request a challenge.

The Law Officers promote the unduly lenient sentence scheme and its extension, including in Parliament and on social media. It is important that those in contact with victims at the time of sentencing ensure those victims are aware of the right to request a review of the sentence in qualifying cases. The Lord Chancellor consulted on including this in the Victims’ Code which is due to be published later this year.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the 2019-20 annual report of the Victims Commissioner, what steps the Attorney General is taking with the Lord Chancellor to (a) promote the updated changes to the unduly lenient scheme and (b) increase the awareness of those changes among victims as part of the upcoming launch of the new Victims’ Code.

The Law Officers promote the unduly lenient sentence scheme and its extension, including in Parliament and on social media. The Lord Chancellor, in the recent Victims’ Code public consultation, sought views on a requirement that witness care officers inform victims of the right to request a review of a sentence, at the time of sentence. The Ministry of Justice are currently analysing the responses to the consultation and aim to publish the revised Victims’ Code later this year. As set out in the consultation, raising awareness of the Victims’ Code will be an important part of the re-launch.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the 2019-20 annual report of the Victims Commissioner, what progress has been made on the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate case study review as part of the Government’s end to end rape review.

The case study referred to in the Victims Commissioners Annual Report was HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI)’s Rape Inspection Report published on 17th December 2019, which focussed on the role of the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Inspection and Report were carried out as a part of the cross-Government end-to-end review of the criminal justice system response to rape. One of the recommendations from this report was that HMCPSI should carry out a joint inspection with the police inspectorate, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire Rescue Services (HMICFRS), of the CPS and police response to rape allegations in order to delve deeper into this issue. That inspection is expected to commence in late August 2020.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what steps she is taking with the Lord Chancellor to increase the number of pre-trial video recordings of cross-examination of vulnerable victims in Crown courts; to which additional Crown court locations she plans to make available that capability; and when she plans to do so.

I am pleased that the Lord Chancellor has recently approved national rollout plans for pre-recorded cross examination, for Section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, for vulnerable witnesses in Crown Court centres in England and Wales.

This plan includes a focus on rolling out Section 28 to London and the South East in the first wave in August, followed by all remaining Crown Courts in England in Wales in the autumn. This is a crucial step to support vulnerable victims and witnesses to give their best evidence.

HMCTS’s intention has always been to complete a national rollout of this service to all Crown Courts by the end of this year and there is extra benefit in having this service available to support more victims and witnesses in light of COVID-19.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many and what proportion of CPS staff have had to self-isolate due to covid-19 and what (a) role and (b) staffing grade of those staff is.

From records held on the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Oracle HR database for the period 1 April 2020 to 10 August 2020, five CPS employees (0.08% of the workforce) have been absent from work, but not ill, because of the need to quarantine or be in self isolation due to COVID-19. Three of those are employed at Executive Officer equivalent grade and held non-prosecutor roles and two at Grade 7 equivalent and held prosecutor roles.

Data Source: CPS Oracle HR 10 August 2020, categorisation in accordance with Cabinet Office guidance

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 9 February 2021 to Question 146798 on Paternity Leave, what estimate his Department has made of the number of eligible fathers who took unpaid statutory shared parental leave in 2019-20.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy does not routinely collect data on the take-up of parental leave entitlements, including unpaid Shared Parental Leave. However, we are currently completing an extensive evaluation of the Shared Parental Leave and Pay schemes. This has included commissioning and interrogating information collected through large scale, representative, surveys of employers and parents. We also commissioned a qualitative study of parents who have used the schemes. The various data sources will give us a fuller picture of the level of take-up of paid and unpaid entitlements to Shared Parental Leave, tell us how the schemes are being used in practice, and help us to better understand the barriers and enablers to parents taking Shared Parental Leave. We will publish our findings later this year.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 9 February 2021 to Question 146798 on Paternity Leave, how many of the people who received statutory shared parental pay in 2019-20 were in receipt of that pay for more than (a) one month, (b) three months, (c) six months and (d) nine months.

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Pay was introduced in December 2014 for the parents of children due or adopted from 5 April 2015. The scheme enables eligible working parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay in the first year, where the mother does not intend to use her full maternity entitlements.

Information provided by employers to HMRC in respect of claims for Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) indicates that 4,100 individuals were in receipt of ShPP in Quarter 3 of 2020-21, and 3,300 individuals were in receipt of ShPP in Quarter 4 of 2020-21.

Please note that HMRC does not hold information which calculates the total duration of ShPP received by individual claimants. However, the following table sets out the number of individuals in receipt of ShPP in 2019-20 by the number of months in the year that they made a claim:

Number of months claimed in 2019-20 (see note 4)

Number of claimants

1

4,400

2

3,100

3

2,300

4

1,500

5

800

6

500

7

300

8

100

9

100

Please note:

  1. The data collected uses HMRC Real Time Information (RTI) system and was extracted in May 2021. RTI is subject to revision or updates, and so there may be small fluctuations in figures reported, and these figures should not be considered “final”.
  2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred.
  3. The number of individuals in receipt of ShPP per quarter are based on the total number of individuals in that quarter irrespective of when the payment first started. Quarterly figures should not be added together to make a yearly count of individuals in receipt of ShPP due to double counting claimants from quarter to quarter.
  4. “Number of months claimed” counts each month the same individual was in receipt of ShPP in a given tax year (2019-20). This should not be interpreted as the total duration of pay received. Where individuals are in receipt of pay that spans two financial years HMRC data can only count the period within a single year and where individuals have received pay spanning months, however briefly, will be recorded as two months.
  5. This data represents individuals in receipt of Shared Parental Pay only, so those who take unpaid Shared Parental Leave are not included.
Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, further to the Answer of 9 February 2021 to Question 146798 on Paternity Leave, how many people received statutory shared parental pay in (a) Quarter 3 and (b) Quarter 4 of 2020-21.

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Pay was introduced in December 2014 for the parents of children due or adopted from 5 April 2015. The scheme enables eligible working parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay in the first year, where the mother does not intend to use her full maternity entitlements.

Information provided by employers to HMRC in respect of claims for Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) indicates that 4,100 individuals were in receipt of ShPP in Quarter 3 of 2020-21, and 3,300 individuals were in receipt of ShPP in Quarter 4 (January and February only) of 2020-21.

Please note that HMRC does not hold information which calculates the total duration of ShPP received by individual claimants. However, the following table sets out the number of individuals in receipt of ShPP in 2019-20 by the number of months in the year that they made a claim:

Number of months claimed in 2019-20 (see note 4)

Number of claimants

1

4,400

2

3,100

3

2,300

4

1,500

5

800

6

500

7

300

8

100

9

100

Please note:

  1. The data collected uses HMRC Real Time Information (RTI) system and was extracted in May 2021. RTI is subject to revision or updates, and so there may be small fluctuations in figures reported, and these figures should not be considered “final”.
  2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred.
  3. The number of individuals in receipt of ShPP per quarter are based on the total number of individuals in that quarter irrespective of when the payment first started. Quarterly figures should not be added together to make a yearly count of individuals in receipt of ShPP due to double counting claimants from quarter to quarter.
  4. “Number of months claimed” counts each month the same individual was in receipt of ShPP in a given tax year (2019-20). This should not be interpreted as the total duration of pay received. Where individuals are in receipt of pay that spans two financial years HMRC data can only count the period within a single year and where individuals have received pay spanning months, however briefly, will be recorded as two months.
  5. This data represents individuals in receipt of Shared Parental Pay only, so those who take unpaid Shared Parental Leave are not included.
Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to monitor compliance with his 11 May 2020 guidance to employers on not acting in ways that may discriminate against people with caring responsibilities.

The guidance is non-statutory but does not change existing obligations relating to health and safety, employment, or equalities. Employers, therefore, need to bear in mind the particular needs of different groups or individuals, and make sure that the steps they take to address the risk of COVID-19 do not unjustifiably impact on some groups compared with others. Some workers, whether through specific vulnerability, family caring responsibilities or an abundance of caution may be reluctant to re-enter a workplace even though the employer feels it is safe to do so. The Government would encourage employers to engage constructively with such workers and their representatives and try to find solutions that are agreeable to all.

If anyone has concerns that employers are not taking all reasonably practicable steps to reduce the risks of COVID-19, they should get in touch with their employee representative or union, or with the Health and Safety Executive. Health and safety legislation is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive, the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and by local authorities. We have been clear that there will be Health and Safety Executive spot checks on businesses to ensure they keep their employees safe. If the enforcing authority finds that an employer is not taking action to properly manage workplace risk, a range of actions are is open to them including specific advice or issuing enforcement notices.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to enforce compliance with his 11 May 2020 guidance to employers on not discriminating against people with caring responsibilities.

The guidance is non-statutory but does not change existing obligations relating to health and safety, employment, or equalities. Employers, therefore, need to bear in mind the particular needs of different groups or individuals, and make sure that the steps they take to address the risk of COVID-19 do not unjustifiably impact on some groups compared with others. Some workers, whether through specific vulnerability, family caring responsibilities or an abundance of caution may be reluctant to re-enter a workplace even though the employer feels it is safe to do so. The Government would encourage employers to engage constructively with such workers and their representatives and try to find solutions that are agreeable to all.

If anyone has concerns that employers are not taking all reasonably practicable steps to reduce the risks of COVID-19, they should get in touch with their employee representative or union, or with the Health and Safety Executive. Health and safety legislation is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive, the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and by local authorities. We have been clear that there will be Health and Safety Executive spot checks on businesses to ensure they keep their employees safe. If the enforcing authority finds that an employer is not taking action to properly manage workplace risk, a range of actions are is open to them including specific advice or issuing enforcement notices.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with learning disabilities have access to the internet and are supported with using technology during the covid-19 outbreak.

To tackle the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on disabled people DCMS launched the £2.5m digital inclusion Digital Lifeline fund on 25 February. The fund will provide 5000 devices, data and support for disabled people to use the devices safely and confidently.

The government is working on the project with leading digital inclusion charities Good Things Foundation and AbilityNet, both highly experienced in helping disabled people boost their mental health and achieve their goals through digital technology.

The Government has worked closely with industry throughout the pandemic and has agreed a set of commitments with the UK’s major broadband and mobile operators to support vulnerable consumers during the Covid-19 period. Providers committed to working with customers who are finding it difficult to pay their bill as a result of Covid-19 to ensure that they are treated fairly and appropriately supported. Supplementary to this work, Ofcom published a Vulnerability Guide for providers, setting out its expectations and good practice on how vulnerable telecoms consumers should be supported.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will provide additional support to organisations working to tackle loneliness and isolation amongst older people in Budget 2021.

The Spring Budget did not include additional support specifically for organisations working to tackle loneliness and isolation amongst older people.

The government has rolled out a substantial package of support which has been available to charities and the wider voluntary sector. Together with the sector-specific £750million package and pan economy measures such as the furlough scheme, the VCSE sector has accessed a multi-billion pound package of support. This has helped to ensure that organisations at risk of financial hardship have been able to continue their vital work supporting the country during the coronavirus outbreak.

As part of this package of support, we have provided over £30 million this financial year to organisations which support people experiencing loneliness or social isolation. Most recently we launched the £4 million Local Connections Fund, made up of £2 million from government and £2 million from the National Lottery Community Fund, supporting small local organisations tackling loneliness. A second round of this funding will open later this year.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department has taken to tackle suicide chat forums since the death of Callie Lewis.

The Online Harms White Paper set out government’s plans to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, enforced by an independent regulator. As part of our plans, companies will be required to take action to address harmful suicide and self-harm content that provides graphic details of suicide methods and self-harming, including encouragement of self-harm and suicide.

There are already arrangements between companies and charities to improve the identification and removal of content when it is reported, and services that signpost help and supportive content to users. The Samaritans has a strategic partnership with social media companies and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC). The partnership works together to set guidance on moderating suicide and self-harm content, and supporting users to stay safe online.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to consult those with learning disabilities on the work that Adult Learning centres offer.

We recognise the importance of engaging all adults, particularly those with additional needs, to provide them with the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, an apprenticeship or further learning.

We are continuing to invest in education and skills training for adults through the Adult Education Budget (AEB) which fully funds, or co-funds, skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3, to help them gain the skills they need for work, an apprenticeship or further learning.

Community Learning within the AEB plays a particularly vital role in supporting those furthest from the workplace, and in improving the health and well-being of learners. Delivered in nearly every local authority area across England through adult education services, FE colleges, Institutes of Adult Learning, other training providers and voluntary sector organisations, this provision is an important stepping-stone for learners who are not ready for formal accredited learning, or who would benefit from learning in a more informal way particularly for (post-19) disadvantaged learners.

Community Learning is funded through the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the AEB, which requires providers to prioritise disadvantaged learners, particularly learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, learners with low basic skills, learners with mental health issues, and learners facing financial hardship. Colleges and training providers have the freedom and flexibility to determine how they use their Community Learning funding, to determine how best to meet their learners needs.

Currently, approximately half of the AEB has been devolved to seven Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) and the Mayor of London, acting where appropriate through the Greater London Authority (GLA). Devolving the AEB enables MCAs/GLA to directly support adults in developing the skills that local employers need, reducing skills shortages, boosting productivity and economic prosperity, and improving wellbeing in communities. The GLA is responsible for funding AEB learners resident in Lewisham West and Penge.

Any consultation with learners, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, on the local adult learning offer is the responsibility of local AEB funded providers, MCAs and the GLA.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the recently announced £300 million of catch up tutoring will go directly to schools.

On 24 February 2021, the Government announced a new £700 million plan to help young people catch up on lost education due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This package includes funding that will be provided directly to schools as well as funding for national support programmes that will provide additional capacity to support schools.

The funding includes:

  • A new one-off £302 million Recovery Premium for state primary and secondary schools, building on the Pupil Premium, to further support pupils who need it most. The average primary school will receive around £6,000 extra, and the average secondary school around £22,000 extra. This will help schools to bolster summer provision for their pupils, for example, laying on additional clubs and activities, or for evidence-based approaches for supporting the most disadvantaged pupils from September 2021.
  • £200 million (from the £300 million announced by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister in January 2021) will expand our successful tutoring programmes targeted at disadvantaged pupils. This will fund an £83 million expansion of the National Tutoring Programme for primary and secondary schools, which has been shown to boost catch up learning by as much as 3 to 5 months; a £102 million extension of the 16 to 19 Tuition Fund for a further year to support more pupils in English, maths and other vocational and academic subjects; and £18 million funding to support language development in the early years, supporting a critical stage of child development.
  • £200 million (including the final £100 million from the Prime Minister’s announcement) will be available to secondary schools to deliver face to face summer schools. Schools will be able to target provision based on pupils’ needs but the Government is suggesting they may want to initially target incoming Year 7 pupils. This is alongside wider support funded through our Holiday Activities and Food Programme across the country.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial support he is providing to the wraparound care sector in response to the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

We recognise that the wraparound childcare sector, like many sectors, is facing unprecedented financial pressures as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is for this reason that the government has made a range of financial packages of support available for businesses to access throughout the current crisis. This includes tax relief, business loans or cash grants through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, as well as a £594 million discretionary fund for councils and the devolved administrations to support local businesses that may not be eligible for other support during the current national lockdown.

While the department does not hold a central register of all wraparound provision and is therefore not able to give an assessment on the closure of providers, we do however recognise the value this sector offers to our children and young people, in terms of the enriching activities they provide and the valuable support they provide to our critical worker parents, and vulnerable children. That is why we have encouraged all local authorities to consider what local grants could be used to bolster this part of the childcare sector in their areas to safeguard sufficient childcare provision for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This includes discretionary funding, such as the £594 million fund provided by government to local authorities to help them support local businesses, as well funding streams such as the Holiday Activities and Food Programme. The expanded programme, which comprises a £220 million fund to be delivered through grants to local authorities, will be expanded to reach all local authority areas over the Easter, summer, and Christmas holidays in 2021.

We are also acutely aware of the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on young people and the vital role our childcare and youth services play. That is why more than £60 million of the unprecedented £750 million package for the voluntary and charity sector has been directed towards organisations supporting children and young people. More recently a £16.5 million youth COVID-19 support fund has been announced, which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-165-million-youth-covid-19-support-fund. This is on top of £200 million government investment in early intervention and prevention support initiatives to support children and young people at risk of exploitation and involvement in serious violence, through the Youth Endowment Fund.

In addition, the Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment for transformative levelling up across the country over the course of the parliament. In the recently announced Spending Review, £30 million of this was committed as capital investment for financial year 2021-22. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture.



Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the level of funding support available to the wraparound care sector on the ability of businesses within that sector to remain financially viable during the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise that the wraparound childcare sector, like many sectors, is facing unprecedented financial pressures as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is for this reason that the government has made a range of financial packages of support available for businesses to access throughout the current crisis. This includes tax relief, business loans or cash grants through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, as well as a £594 million discretionary fund for councils and the devolved administrations to support local businesses that may not be eligible for other support during the current national lockdown.

While the department does not hold a central register of all wraparound provision and is therefore not able to give an assessment on the closure of providers, we do however recognise the value this sector offers to our children and young people, in terms of the enriching activities they provide and the valuable support they provide to our critical worker parents, and vulnerable children. That is why we have encouraged all local authorities to consider what local grants could be used to bolster this part of the childcare sector in their areas to safeguard sufficient childcare provision for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This includes discretionary funding, such as the £594 million fund provided by government to local authorities to help them support local businesses, as well funding streams such as the Holiday Activities and Food Programme. The expanded programme, which comprises a £220 million fund to be delivered through grants to local authorities, will be expanded to reach all local authority areas over the Easter, summer, and Christmas holidays in 2021.

We are also acutely aware of the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on young people and the vital role our childcare and youth services play. That is why more than £60 million of the unprecedented £750 million package for the voluntary and charity sector has been directed towards organisations supporting children and young people. More recently a £16.5 million youth COVID-19 support fund has been announced, which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-165-million-youth-covid-19-support-fund. This is on top of £200 million government investment in early intervention and prevention support initiatives to support children and young people at risk of exploitation and involvement in serious violence, through the Youth Endowment Fund.

In addition, the Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment for transformative levelling up across the country over the course of the parliament. In the recently announced Spending Review, £30 million of this was committed as capital investment for financial year 2021-22. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture.



Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to provide financial support to the wraparound care sector in response to the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

We recognise that the wraparound childcare sector, like many sectors, is facing unprecedented financial pressures as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is for this reason that the government has made a range of financial packages of support available for businesses to access throughout the current crisis. This includes tax relief, business loans or cash grants through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, as well as a £594 million discretionary fund for councils and the devolved administrations to support local businesses that may not be eligible for other support during the current national lockdown.

While the department does not hold a central register of all wraparound provision and is therefore not able to give an assessment on the closure of providers, we do however recognise the value this sector offers to our children and young people, in terms of the enriching activities they provide and the valuable support they provide to our critical worker parents, and vulnerable children. That is why we have encouraged all local authorities to consider what local grants could be used to bolster this part of the childcare sector in their areas to safeguard sufficient childcare provision for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This includes discretionary funding, such as the £594 million fund provided by government to local authorities to help them support local businesses, as well funding streams such as the Holiday Activities and Food Programme. The expanded programme, which comprises a £220 million fund to be delivered through grants to local authorities, will be expanded to reach all local authority areas over the Easter, summer, and Christmas holidays in 2021.

We are also acutely aware of the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on young people and the vital role our childcare and youth services play. That is why more than £60 million of the unprecedented £750 million package for the voluntary and charity sector has been directed towards organisations supporting children and young people. More recently a £16.5 million youth COVID-19 support fund has been announced, which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-165-million-youth-covid-19-support-fund. This is on top of £200 million government investment in early intervention and prevention support initiatives to support children and young people at risk of exploitation and involvement in serious violence, through the Youth Endowment Fund.

In addition, the Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment for transformative levelling up across the country over the course of the parliament. In the recently announced Spending Review, £30 million of this was committed as capital investment for financial year 2021-22. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture.



Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many early years childcare providers have closed in each of the last five years; and what estimate he has made of the number of such providers that will close in the next 12 months.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to tackle funding deficit between the hourly costs of delivering a funded childcare place for a two-year-old and the rate paid to providers compared to places for three and four-year-olds.

The government continues to support families with their childcare costs. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 25 November a further £44 million investment in 2021-22.

We can now also confirm that in 2021-22 we will increase the hourly funding rates for all local authorities by 8p an hour for the 2 year old entitlement and, for the vast majority of areas, by 6p an hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlement. This will pay for a rate increase that is higher than the costs nurseries may face from the uplift to the national living wage in April.

We are also increasing the minimum funding floor - meaning no council can receive less than £4.44 per hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlements.

The small number of local authorities who have been protected from large drops to their funding rate as a result of the ‘loss cap’ will have their 2020-21 hourly funding rates for 3 and 4 year olds maintained in 2021-22. 2 of these authorities will see an increase to their hourly rate as they come off the loss cap in 2021-22.

In 2021-22, the average hourly funding rate for a 3-4 year old for the 15 hours universal entitlement in England will be £4.91 and the average hourly funding rate for a 2 year old in England will be £5.56.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have monitored the health of the early years market through continual contact with early years sector organisations through regular meetings and working groups. We have ensured that early years providers have been able to access all the support available by continuing to fund the free childcare entitlements and via the package of additional support provided by the government, which includes Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS,) business rates relief, income support and job retention schemes.

We have also updated the CJRS guidance, so that all providers who have seen a drop in their overall income are able to furlough any staff, so long as they were on payroll on or before 30 October, and aren’t required for delivering the government’s funded entitlements. Providers should consult the full guidance on the CJRS scheme before submitting a claim. Childminders may use the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. The sector has also benefitted from business rates holidays and business loans.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made the financial losses sustained by childcare providers due to the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans he has to prevent mass closures in that sector.

The government continues to support families with their childcare costs. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 25 November a further £44 million investment in 2021-22.

We can now also confirm that in 2021-22 we will increase the hourly funding rates for all local authorities by 8p an hour for the 2 year old entitlement and, for the vast majority of areas, by 6p an hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlement. This will pay for a rate increase that is higher than the costs nurseries may face from the uplift to the national living wage in April.

We are also increasing the minimum funding floor - meaning no council can receive less than £4.44 per hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlements.

The small number of local authorities who have been protected from large drops to their funding rate as a result of the ‘loss cap’ will have their 2020-21 hourly funding rates for 3 and 4 year olds maintained in 2021-22. 2 of these authorities will see an increase to their hourly rate as they come off the loss cap in 2021-22.

In 2021-22, the average hourly funding rate for a 3-4 year old for the 15 hours universal entitlement in England will be £4.91 and the average hourly funding rate for a 2 year old in England will be £5.56.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have monitored the health of the early years market through continual contact with early years sector organisations through regular meetings and working groups. We have ensured that early years providers have been able to access all the support available by continuing to fund the free childcare entitlements and via the package of additional support provided by the government, which includes Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS,) business rates relief, income support and job retention schemes.

We have also updated the CJRS guidance, so that all providers who have seen a drop in their overall income are able to furlough any staff, so long as they were on payroll on or before 30 October, and aren’t required for delivering the government’s funded entitlements. Providers should consult the full guidance on the CJRS scheme before submitting a claim. Childminders may use the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. The sector has also benefitted from business rates holidays and business loans.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the minimum wage increase on the childcare sector; and if he will make it his policy to increase the per child funding rate for the (a) 16 and (b) 30 hours childcare entitlement.

The government continues to support families with their childcare costs. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 25 November a further £44 million investment in 2021-22.

We can now also confirm that in 2021-22 we will increase the hourly funding rates for all local authorities by 8p an hour for the 2 year old entitlement and, for the vast majority of areas, by 6p an hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlement. This will pay for a rate increase that is higher than the costs nurseries may face from the uplift to the national living wage in April.

We are also increasing the minimum funding floor - meaning no council can receive less than £4.44 per hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlements.

The small number of local authorities who have been protected from large drops to their funding rate as a result of the ‘loss cap’ will have their 2020-21 hourly funding rates for 3 and 4 year olds maintained in 2021-22. 2 of these authorities will see an increase to their hourly rate as they come off the loss cap in 2021-22.

In 2021-22, the average hourly funding rate for a 3-4 year old for the 15 hours universal entitlement in England will be £4.91 and the average hourly funding rate for a 2 year old in England will be £5.56.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have monitored the health of the early years market through continual contact with early years sector organisations through regular meetings and working groups. We have ensured that early years providers have been able to access all the support available by continuing to fund the free childcare entitlements and via the package of additional support provided by the government, which includes Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS,) business rates relief, income support and job retention schemes.

We have also updated the CJRS guidance, so that all providers who have seen a drop in their overall income are able to furlough any staff, so long as they were on payroll on or before 30 October, and aren’t required for delivering the government’s funded entitlements. Providers should consult the full guidance on the CJRS scheme before submitting a claim. Childminders may use the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. The sector has also benefitted from business rates holidays and business loans.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what specific steps he is taking to allocate funds to improve the affordability of childcare.

The government continues to support families with their childcare costs. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 25 November a further £44 million investment in 2021-22.

We can now also confirm that in 2021-22 we will increase the hourly funding rates for all local authorities by 8p an hour for the 2 year old entitlement and, for the vast majority of areas, by 6p an hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlement. This will pay for a rate increase that is higher than the costs nurseries may face from the uplift to the national living wage in April.

We are also increasing the minimum funding floor - meaning no council can receive less than £4.44 per hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlements.

The small number of local authorities who have been protected from large drops to their funding rate as a result of the ‘loss cap’ will have their 2020-21 hourly funding rates for 3 and 4 year olds maintained in 2021-22. 2 of these authorities will see an increase to their hourly rate as they come off the loss cap in 2021-22.

In 2021-22, the average hourly funding rate for a 3-4 year old for the 15 hours universal entitlement in England will be £4.91 and the average hourly funding rate for a 2 year old in England will be £5.56.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have monitored the health of the early years market through continual contact with early years sector organisations through regular meetings and working groups. We have ensured that early years providers have been able to access all the support available by continuing to fund the free childcare entitlements and via the package of additional support provided by the government, which includes Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS,) business rates relief, income support and job retention schemes.

We have also updated the CJRS guidance, so that all providers who have seen a drop in their overall income are able to furlough any staff, so long as they were on payroll on or before 30 October, and aren’t required for delivering the government’s funded entitlements. Providers should consult the full guidance on the CJRS scheme before submitting a claim. Childminders may use the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. The sector has also benefitted from business rates holidays and business loans.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2020
What steps he is taking to close the gap in (a) educational outcomes and (b) levels of wellbeing between disadvantaged children and their peers.

All children have had their education disrupted by the the COVID-19 outbreak. The government has announced a catch up package worth £1 billion, including a ‘Catch up Premium’ worth a total of £650m to support schools to make up for lost teaching time.

To help schools make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students and a further school planning guide: 2020 to 2021.

Alongside this universal grant, a National Tutoring Programme worth £350 million will deliver proven, successful interventions to the most disadvantaged young people. Research shows high quality individual and small group tuition can add up to 5 months of progress for disadvantaged pupils.

Schools continue to receive the pupil premium each quarter. As schools’ original pupil premium strategies will not have been delivered since March, and the pupils’ needs will have changed or intensified, we recommend that, as part of the planning for needs-based universal catch up, school leaders review their pupil premium strategy and amend it to reflect the new situation from this term.

We have put in place an unprecedented range of action to help schools to develop whole school approaches to mental health and wellbeing, including our £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return training; and trials of approaches to promote positive mental wellbeing in schools, which aim to provide evidence on what works in a school setting to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

We recognise that disadvantaged children may not have access to the resources to undertake remote education. That’s why we’ve invested over £195 million to support access to remote education and online social care.

As part of this, we’re making over 340,000 laptops and tablets available this term to support disadvantaged children in year 3 to 11 whose face-to-face education may be disrupted. This supplements over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers, which have already been delivered during the summer term. This represents an injection of over half-a-million laptops and tablets by the end of the year.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans are in place to establish track and trace systems in schools.

The new NHS Test and Trace service was launched on 28 May across England. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. The Government has recruited 25,000 contact tracers, able to track 10,000 new cases a day.

If a child or young person in school develops symptoms compatible with COVID-19, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days and arrange to have a test. Where the child or young person tests positive, traced close contacts, including the rest of their small group, should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

As part of the national test and trace programme, if further positive test results arise among the child’s class or school, Public Health England’s local Health Protection Teams will conduct a rapid investigation into the outbreak and will advise schools and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases, a larger number of other children may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what (a) financial support and (b) guidance he has issued to (i) educational providers and (ii) others on the safe return of SEND pupils to school.

The department is providing financial support through providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources. This would include any costs incurred supporting the safe return of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to school. Details of this can be found in the ‘School funding: exceptional costs associated with COVID-19 for the period March to July 2020’ guidance, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools/school-funding-exceptional-costs-associated-with-coronavirus-covid-19-for-the-period-march-to-july-2020.

On the 26 May 2020, the department published its ‘Supporting children and young people with SEND [special educational needs and disabilities] as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening’ guidance, which was written with help from SEND sector organisations. It outlines pragmatic approaches that local authorities, educational settings, and parents or carers may wish to take to support children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance.

This guidance builds upon the department’s wider guidance for ‘Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings’, ‘Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings’, and ‘Opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June 2020’.

This was supplemented by an open letter from myself to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, their parents, carers and families, and others who support them, about the wider opening of schools, colleges and other educational settings from 1 June 2020.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the (a) adequacy and (b) effectiveness of consultation periods used by schools to consult parents on proposals to establish feeder arrangements.

School admission arrangements must comply with the School Admissions Code. The Code permits admission arrangements which give priority to children who attend named feeder schools. It also requires that the selection of feeder schools is transparent and made on reasonable grounds. In addition, the Code requires that admission arrangements are fair.

The School Admissions Code requires admission authorities to consult locally before making changes to their admission arrangements. They must consult for a minimum of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January in the school year before the arrangements come into effect. The Code specifies the people and organisations that the admission authority must consult. This includes local parents, other local schools and the local authority.

The admission authority must then determine its admission arrangements by 28 February and publish them on its website. Anyone who considers the determined admission arrangements are unlawful or unfair may complain to the Schools Adjudicator. Where the Adjudicator upholds a complaint, the admission authority is required to amend their admission arrangements.

In the Office of the Schools Adjudicator’s annual report for the 2016-17 school year, the Adjudicator stated, ‘If the giving of priority by a secondary school to children from certain feeder primaries means that other children will face a significantly longer or more difficult journey to different schools as a result, then the arrangements are likely to be found to be unfair.’ The report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/osa-annual-report.

The Department collects pupil forecasts from each local authority through the annual school capacity survey. The latest published data relates to the position in the 2017-18 school year. Secondary pupil numbers in Bromley local authority are forecast to increase by 3,214 (12%) from 23,618 in 2019-20 to 26,832 in 2024-25, as seen in the table below.

Table 1: Secondary pupil forecasts for Bromley local authority

School year

Bromley local authority secondary pupil total

2019-20

23,618

2020-21

24,415

2021-22

25,281

2022-23

25,991

2023-24

26,561

2024-25

26,832

Further information can be found in the place planning tables at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-capacity-academic-year-2017-to-2018.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the increase in the number of secondary school places in Bromley in each of the next five years; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect of feeder school arrangements on that increase.

School admission arrangements must comply with the School Admissions Code. The Code permits admission arrangements which give priority to children who attend named feeder schools. It also requires that the selection of feeder schools is transparent and made on reasonable grounds. In addition, the Code requires that admission arrangements are fair.

The School Admissions Code requires admission authorities to consult locally before making changes to their admission arrangements. They must consult for a minimum of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January in the school year before the arrangements come into effect. The Code specifies the people and organisations that the admission authority must consult. This includes local parents, other local schools and the local authority.

The admission authority must then determine its admission arrangements by 28 February and publish them on its website. Anyone who considers the determined admission arrangements are unlawful or unfair may complain to the Schools Adjudicator. Where the Adjudicator upholds a complaint, the admission authority is required to amend their admission arrangements.

In the Office of the Schools Adjudicator’s annual report for the 2016-17 school year, the Adjudicator stated, ‘If the giving of priority by a secondary school to children from certain feeder primaries means that other children will face a significantly longer or more difficult journey to different schools as a result, then the arrangements are likely to be found to be unfair.’ The report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/osa-annual-report.

The Department collects pupil forecasts from each local authority through the annual school capacity survey. The latest published data relates to the position in the 2017-18 school year. Secondary pupil numbers in Bromley local authority are forecast to increase by 3,214 (12%) from 23,618 in 2019-20 to 26,832 in 2024-25, as seen in the table below.

Table 1: Secondary pupil forecasts for Bromley local authority

School year

Bromley local authority secondary pupil total

2019-20

23,618

2020-21

24,415

2021-22

25,281

2022-23

25,991

2023-24

26,561

2024-25

26,832

Further information can be found in the place planning tables at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-capacity-academic-year-2017-to-2018.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect on freedom of secondary school choice for primary schools pupils not in a feeder school in Bromley of the Harris Federation and Langley Park Learning Trust setting up feeder arrangements.

School admission arrangements must comply with the School Admissions Code. The Code permits admission arrangements which give priority to children who attend named feeder schools. It also requires that the selection of feeder schools is transparent and made on reasonable grounds. In addition, the Code requires that admission arrangements are fair.

The School Admissions Code requires admission authorities to consult locally before making changes to their admission arrangements. They must consult for a minimum of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January in the school year before the arrangements come into effect. The Code specifies the people and organisations that the admission authority must consult. This includes local parents, other local schools and the local authority.

The admission authority must then determine its admission arrangements by 28 February and publish them on its website. Anyone who considers the determined admission arrangements are unlawful or unfair may complain to the Schools Adjudicator. Where the Adjudicator upholds a complaint, the admission authority is required to amend their admission arrangements.

In the Office of the Schools Adjudicator’s annual report for the 2016-17 school year, the Adjudicator stated, ‘If the giving of priority by a secondary school to children from certain feeder primaries means that other children will face a significantly longer or more difficult journey to different schools as a result, then the arrangements are likely to be found to be unfair.’ The report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/osa-annual-report.

The Department collects pupil forecasts from each local authority through the annual school capacity survey. The latest published data relates to the position in the 2017-18 school year. Secondary pupil numbers in Bromley local authority are forecast to increase by 3,214 (12%) from 23,618 in 2019-20 to 26,832 in 2024-25, as seen in the table below.

Table 1: Secondary pupil forecasts for Bromley local authority

School year

Bromley local authority secondary pupil total

2019-20

23,618

2020-21

24,415

2021-22

25,281

2022-23

25,991

2023-24

26,561

2024-25

26,832

Further information can be found in the place planning tables at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-capacity-academic-year-2017-to-2018.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that people that are (a) elderly, (b) vulnerable and (c) required to self-isolate receive food deliveries.

We are working closely across Government, with representatives of the food supply chain and with local authorities and charities to ensure that people who need to stay at home will have continued access to food.

To help supermarkets, the Government has already introduced new measures to keep food supply flowing. We have temporarily relaxed elements of competition law to enable supermarkets to work more closely together to ensure people can access the products they need. Food retailers will now be able to share data on their stock levels, cooperate to keep stores open and share staff, distribution depots and delivery vehicles. This will help keep shops open and staffed and better able to meet high demand. Guidance has been issued to local authorities to show flexibility to allow extended delivery hours to supermarkets to ensure shelves can be replenished more quickly. The Transport Secretary has also announced a temporary and limited relaxation of the drivers’ hours rules so that more goods can be delivered to every store every day. We welcome the actions that industry is taking, including hiring more staff, including prioritising delivery slots for those that need them most.

The Government is working to ensure that up to 1.5 million people in England identified by the NHS as being at higher risk of severe illness if they contract Coronavirus will have access to the food they need. A new Local Support System will make sure those individuals self-isolating at home and who are without a support network of friends and family will receive basic groceries. The Government is working with a partnership of the groceries industry, local government, local resilience forums and emergency partners, and voluntary groups, to ensure that essential items can start to be delivered as soon as possible to those who need it.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance he has issued to businesses on preventing members of the public from stockpiling (a) food and (b) other essential products.

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. Our retailers already have highly resilient supply chains and they are working around the clock to ensure people have the food and products they need. Industry is adapting quickly to any changes in demands, and food supply into and across the UK is resilient.

The Secretary of State is in regular dialogue with industry, including the British Retail Consortium and supermarket chief executives to discuss any additional support the Government can provide. To help supermarkets respond to this unprecedented demand we have already introduced new measures to keep food supply flowing. We have issued guidance to local authorities to allow extended delivery hours to supermarkets so that shelves can be filled up quicker, and we have implemented extensions to drivers’ hours.

We fully recognise the additional pressures on our food supply chain as a result of recent events. The UK’s major supermarkets have last weekend issued a statement to encourage everyone to shop as they normally would and pull together to support those staying at home.

We will continue to work closely with the industry over the coming days and months.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the suitability of the 26-week period of employment required for expectant mothers to qualify for statutory maternity leave; and whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of reducing that qualification period.

Statutory Maternity Leave (SML) is a “day one” right. This means that all employed women are entitled to 52 weeks’ SML if they are pregnant or give birth, provided they give their employer the correct notice.

To qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), a woman must have been continuously employed by the same employer for at least 26 weeks when she enters the 15th week before the week her baby is due. Once a woman has qualified for SMP, her employer must pay it to her even if she subsequently leaves their employment or is made redundant.

These criteria is designed to achieve a balance between the needs of the employer and those of a pregnant employee, ensuring that a woman has made a reasonable contribution towards her employer's business before that employer is required to administer Statutory Maternity Payments, and bear a proportion of the cost.

There are currently no plans to change the qualification period for SMP.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent progress her Department has made on tackling child poverty.

Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to protect incomes, including additional spending of over £7.4 billion last year, to strengthen welfare support for people of working age.

The evidence shows having parents in work is the most effective way of tackling child poverty, which is why we have invested £407 billion in protecting jobs throughout the pandemic, and why we are spending over £30 billion on a comprehensive plan for jobs to help people back into work

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent employment support her Department is providing to people with learning disabilities to find jobs they are able to apply for and secure employment.

DWP has a range of initiatives to support disabled people, including people with learning disabilities, to stay in and enter work. These include the Work and Health Programme, one-to-one support and training through the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, Access to Work, Disability Confident and support in partnership with the health system, including Employment Advice in NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have provided specialist employment support remotely, and made programmes easier to access.

Disability Employment Advisers support DWP colleagues by developing their skills to understand the interaction between individuals, their health and disability and employment, to help them to provide more personalised support, tailored to each claimant’s individual needs. They proactively share knowledge and information with work coaches about health and disability, national and local provision, services, training and employment opportunities.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what (a) assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities and (b) recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that people with learning disabilities can still access employment opportunities during the covid-19 outbreak.

DWP has a range of initiatives to support disabled people, including people with learning disabilities, to stay in and enter work. These include the Work and Health Programme, one-to-one support and training through the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, Access to Work, Disability Confident and support in partnership with the health system, including Employment Advice in NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have provided specialist employment support remotely, and made programmes easier to access.

Disability Employment Advisers support DWP colleagues by developing their skills to understand the interaction between individuals, their health and disability and employment, to help them to provide more personalised support, tailored to each claimant’s individual needs. They proactively share knowledge and information with work coaches about health and disability, national and local provision, services, training and employment opportunities.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of statutory sick pay in covering individual weekly living expenses; and if she will increase the value of that pay to the European average during the covid-19 outbreak.

The current Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rate is the legal minimum rate that an employer must pay to an employee; many employers have their own occupational health schemes. Our welfare system is not directly comparable with other European countries. The SSP system is designed to balance support for the individual with the costs to the employer and, as such, there are no plans to make this change. The Government has been clear in its commitment to support those affected in these difficult times and we have made a number of changes to the welfare system in the past fortnight to ensure people are supported in doing this. These changes include:

  • making it easier to access benefits. Those applying for Contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1 – as opposed to day 8 - and we have removed the need for face-to-face assessment. Both Universal Credit and Contributory ESA can now be claimed by phone or online;
  • increasing the standard allowance of Universal Credit and working tax credit for this year by around £1000 per year; and
  • increasing in the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

Together, these measures represent an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress the Government has made on adopting a similar model to the Comprehensive Health Assessment Tool for (a) male and (b) female prisoners with built-in evaluation.

There are no plans to do so as the Comprehensive Health Assessment Tool is used only in the children and young people estate and is not appropriate for the adult estate. Adults entering prisons in England receive an initial health screening based on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance. NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently reviewing the existing reception screening tool within the female estate. The outcome of this review is due to be reported in late summer.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prisoners received end of life care in the last year.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of prisoners received mental health screening check on entering prison.

Each prisoner is offered a healthcare screen at reception on arrival before being escorted to the residential unit. The reception screening is designed to ensure that the individual is safe before the offer of a second screen within seven days.

Both reception and secondary health screenings contain mental health screening questions to identify immediate risks and whether a referral to the prison integrated mental health service is required. Between April 2021 and February 2022, 87% of people entering prison received a reception screen within 24 hours of arriving.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the ability of long covid clinics to offer a full range of treatments and advice for patients in a timely manner.

The Department has not made a formal assessment.

NHS England and NHS Improvement operate 90 post-COVID-19 assessment services across England and publish national guidance which supports commissioners to design and implement local care pathways. This has been developed using guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. NHS England and NHS Improvement have also established 14 children and young people’s hubs in England to coordinate care across a range of services.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have published data on waiting times for an initial assessment at a post-COVID-19 service since October 2021. From 30 August to 26 September 2021, 31% of those who had their initial specialist assessment were seen within six weeks, 43% within eight weeks and 33% of patients waited longer than 15 weeks. As this is experimental data, there may be some variation due to incomplete data submissions.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of staffing levels at long covid clinics.

No formal assessment has been made.

NHS England and NHS Improvement operate 90 post-COVID-19 assessment services across England. Integrated care systems have developed service expansion plans, including increasing workforce capacity. Services are currently recruiting a expert clinical teams, including psychologists, physiotherapists, nurses and occupational therapists. This includes the creation of a care coordination role to support integrated care across the local post-COVID-19 pathway. In July 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement announced an additional investment of £100 million bringing total National Health Service funding in England to £134 million.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time is for a first assessment at a long covid clinic.

Since September 2021, information on activity and demographics of patients who have been referred to a post-COVID-19 assessment service in England have been published as part of the official statistics publication, which can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-post-covid-assessment-service/

Data on waiting times was first added to this publication in October 2021, for the period from 2 August. As this is a relatively new data collection and this is experimental data, some variation may be due to incomplete data submissions.

The attached table shows the waiting times of patients who had an initial assessment at a post-COVID-19 assessment service between 27 September and 24 October 2021.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what further steps he will take to ensure long covid clinics can deal effectively with caseloads.

The Department has invested over £50 million in dedicated research to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of the long term effects of COVID-19. The research includes projects focused on service evaluation, such as the LOCOMOTION project which aims to establish a ‘gold standard’ of care which can be shared in England and the rest of the United Kingdom drawing from the experiences of current patients and National Health Service professionals.

Post-COVID-19 assessment services are operated by NHS England and NHS Improvement. In July 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement confirmed an additional £100 million investment in these services with the total NHS funding in England of £134 million. NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed an assurance process to address the regional variation in access to services in a streamlined process, identifying and providing bespoke support to systems.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the UK delegation to the Ninth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will include a gender balance in line with the WHO's request that representatives follow United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/58/142 on women and political participation.

Our delegation to the Ninth session of the Conference of the Parties consists of four female and two male representatives.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of prison inmates have been (a) offered a covid-19 vaccine and (b) vaccinated against covid-19.

All eligible prisoners in England have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine and according to the latest available data, 44% are now fully vaccinated with two doses. This includes 80% of those over 50 years old and 37% of the under 50 year old population.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to finding by the Parent-Infant Foundation in 2019 that 42 per cent of CCGs reported local CAMHS services would not accept a referral for a child aged two and under, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that NHS CAMHS services do not turn away children under two.

We remain committed to the aim of the NHS Long Term Plan to invest at least an extra £2.3 billion a year into mental health by 2023/24. This will see an additional 345,000 children and young people a year, including the youngest children, accessing NHS-funded mental health support by 2023/24, if they need it.

Commissioning mental health services for the youngest age groups is a local matter for clinical commission groups. However, the Government recently published it’s Early Years Review which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-best-start-for-life-a-vision-for-the-1001-critical-days.

Babies and the youngest children in England will get a better start in life following the publication of a review into reducing inequalities in the first 1,001 days of life. This includes every new parent and carer being able to access compassionate and timely mental health support if they need it. To implement this work, the Department will work with Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement as well as local authorities to map out the Start for Life journey of parents and carers that captures how they experience digital, virtual and telephone-based services during the 1,001 critical days from conception to the age of 2. We will ensure parents and carers have an NHS-branded online ‘one stop shop’ to access all the information they need.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS Long Term Plan goal that all children who need specialist mental health care can access it, what steps he has taken to ensure that the youngest children can access specialist mental health care.

We remain committed to the aim of the NHS Long Term Plan to invest at least an extra £2.3 billion a year into mental health by 2023/24. This will see an additional 345,000 children and young people a year, including the youngest children, accessing NHS-funded mental health support by 2023/24, if they need it.

Commissioning mental health services for the youngest age groups is a local matter for clinical commission groups. However, the Government recently published it’s Early Years Review which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-best-start-for-life-a-vision-for-the-1001-critical-days.

Babies and the youngest children in England will get a better start in life following the publication of a review into reducing inequalities in the first 1,001 days of life. This includes every new parent and carer being able to access compassionate and timely mental health support if they need it. To implement this work, the Department will work with Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement as well as local authorities to map out the Start for Life journey of parents and carers that captures how they experience digital, virtual and telephone-based services during the 1,001 critical days from conception to the age of 2. We will ensure parents and carers have an NHS-branded online ‘one stop shop’ to access all the information they need.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average waiting time is for women experiencing mental ill health to be admitted to a community-based mother and baby unit (a) during or (b) in the year following their pregnancy.

The information requested is not held centrally as there is no defined access and waiting times standard for these services.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of placing a statutory duty on Integrated Care Systems to deliver a strategy that improves outcomes and reduces inequalities in the mental and physical wellbeing of children aged under two.

The proposed legislation for integrated care systems (ICS) is designed to be flexible, allowing the system to continue to evolve and develop new and better ways of working, based on local needs and circumstances.

We expect ICS, in partnership with local agencies, to deliver targeted measures to support people at all stages of life, including measures to address health inequalities in the mental and physical wellbeing of children aged under two.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of mandated health visiting checks missed since covid-19 lockdown began in March 2020; and what steps he is taking in response to those mandated health visiting checks being missed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Public Health England has made no such estimate. Collection of quarterly and annual health visitor service delivery metrics covering has now restarted with the next publication of official statistics expected later in 2021.

Health visiting services have continued to deliver throughout the pandemic with virtual contact unless there has been a clinical or safeguarding need to ensure children remain safe and protected. The restoration framework for community health services for children and young people outlines a recommendation for services to move to restore health visiting services, following their prioritisation during the containment phase of the pandemic.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the level of funding required to deliver the two additional health visiting checks recommended in the Healthy Child Programme commissioning guidance published by Public Health England on 17 March 2021.

Public Health England has made no estimate.

Commissioning guidance provides a framework for local authorities to use and adapt to meet local needs. Additional, non-mandated contacts are described at ages three months or six months old, based on evidence and are outlined for local consideration. Health visitors should also use their clinical judgement to determine use of targeted interventions or referral.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of emerging Public Health England data indicating that the likelihood of babies receiving mandated health visiting checks varies based on ethnicity and level of deprivation.

Public Health England’s experimental statistical release is intended to provide greater visibility and emerging evidence on children who received mandated health visiting reviews accounting for ethnicity, deprivation and other characteristics. This data is in addition to the routinely available health visitor metrics and outcomes. Local authorities and their health visiting providers can use this data to inform their commissioning strategies and needs assessments to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities faced by children of minority ethnic or deprived backgrounds.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to improve accountability for delivering mandated health visiting checks in response to evidence from the Children’s Commissioner's Best Beginnings in the Early Years report that indicated up to 65 per cent of children were not receiving the two and a half year old check in some local areas.

Since publication of the Children’s Commissioner’s report ‘Best beginnings in the Early Years’, Public Health England (PHE) has published updated guidance for mandated health visits to support local decision-making on service commissioning and provision. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/healthy-child-programme-0-to-19-health-visitor-and-school-nurse-commissioning

To monitor implementation, PHE also continues to collect and publishes quarterly data on health visiting service metrics, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/health-visitor-service-delivery-metrics-2019-to-2020

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the new Office for Health Promotion will take to (a) improve outcomes and (b) reduce inequalities in the mental and physical wellbeing of children aged under two.

The Office for Health Promotion (OHP) will bring health improvement focused expert advice, analysis and evidence together with policy development and delivery from Public Health England and the Department. This will include children and young people's health. We will present more detail on our plans for the OHP in due course.

13th Apr 2021
What recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on NHS pay.

The independent Pay Review Bodies (PRBs) will make a recommendation on pay for National Health Service staff in the spring. In reaching their recommendations the PRBs will take into account the cost of living and inflation, recruitment and retention, morale and motivation, affordability and value for the taxpayer.  The Department works closely with HM Treasury when submitting evidence to the PRBs.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the needs of babies, children and young people in decisions on the restructure of Public Health England.

On Monday 29 March, we published ‘Transforming the Public Health System: Reforming the Public Health System for the challenges of our times’, which sets out our reform plans for the public health system. The publication can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transforming-the-public-health-system

We are proposing to move most of the Public Health England functions that directly support development and delivery of national health improvement policy into the new Office for Health Promotion in the Department of Health and Social Care, alongside existing Departmental capability on prevention and health improvement, as they are integral to policy development and delivery, and directly support national decision-making. This will include subject-matter expertise on a range of important public health issues, including but not limited to obesity and nutrition, physical activity, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sexual health, public mental health, children and young people's public health.

Our proposals will strengthen the system and ensure it can meet the needs of the population. This means improving health throughout the life course; from pregnancy and early years, all the way through to old age. We will present more detail on our plans and ambitions for improving the public's health later in 2021.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish details on the future of Public Health England’s maternity and early years functions.

On Monday 29 March, we published ‘Transforming the Public Health System: Reforming the Public Health System for the challenges of our times’, which sets out our reform plans for the public health system. The publication can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transforming-the-public-health-system

We are proposing to move most of the Public Health England functions that directly support development and delivery of national health improvement policy into the new Office for Health Promotion in the Department of Health and Social Care, alongside existing Departmental capability on prevention and health improvement, as they are integral to policy development and delivery, and directly support national decision-making. This will include subject-matter expertise on a range of important public health issues, including but not limited to obesity and nutrition, physical activity, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sexual health, public mental health, children and young people's public health.

Our proposals will strengthen the system and ensure it can meet the needs of the population. This means improving health throughout the life course; from pregnancy and early years, all the way through to old age. We will present more detail on our plans and ambitions for improving the public's health later in 2021.

4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how often individuals and their recent contacts who are required to self-isolate are contacted; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the monitoring of adherence to the requirement to self-isolate.

NHS Test and Trace contacts those who have tested positive and the close recent contacts they provide by text, email and/or telephone and will call up to 10 times. NHS Test and Trace subsequently maintains contact with each person who is self-isolating on days four and seven of their self-isolation period. SMS messages or e-mails are sent on days two, five and eight.

NHS Test and Trace has carried out surveys of reported compliance with self-isolation for people who have tested positive and their contacts. Data is being compiled an assessment of the effectiveness of the monitoring of adherence to self-isolation has yet to be completed.

4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many Contact Tracing staff have recently been made redundant from the UK-wide symptomatic Covid Testing service; and what the reasons are for those redundancies.

Contact tracing staff are employed by commercial service providers and are separate to those involved with COVID-19 testing. We are not aware of any redundancies among contact tracing staff. Contact tracers are delivered through a number of provisional contracts that allow numbers of tracers to be scaled up and down according to demand.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the (a) efficiency and (b) availability of PCR covid-19 testing for care home employees and residents.

Regular testing is available for all staff, including agency staff, and residents in care homes.

Regular re-testing for all adult care homes has been available since 31 August 2020 through the care home registration portal. The regular re-testing regime in care homes requires staff to be tested once weekly using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, with two additional weekly lateral flow device (LFD) tests and residents are tested every 28 days using a PCR test.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the funding support available to the care home sector for the long-term financial viability of that sector.

As part of the 2020 Spending Review, the Government will provide councils with access to an additional £1 billion for social care next year. In addition, we expect to provide councils with estimated funding of around £3 billion to help manage the impact of COVID-19 across their services, including in adult social care and to compensate for income losses. This funding will support local authorities to maintain care services while keeping up with rising demand and recovering from the impact of COVID-19. Funding decisions on social care beyond 2021/22 will be decided at the next Spending Review. In the longer term, the Government is committed to sustainable improvement of the adult social care system and will bring forward proposals this year.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that working age adults living in care homes receive prioritised access to covid-19 vaccines.

There is clear evidence that those living in residential care homes for older adults have a high risk of exposure to infection and are at higher clinical risk of severe disease and mortality. Therefore, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that this group should be the highest priority for vaccination as part of phase one.

Many younger adults in long-stay nursing and residential care settings will also be eligible for vaccination if they fall into a clinical risk group - for example, those with learning disabilities. Given the likely high risk of exposure in these settings, where a high proportion of the population would be considered eligible, vaccination of the whole resident population is recommended.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the capacity for regular covid-19 testing for care home employees.

Due to the increasing prevalence of the virus, the existing regime of weekly polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing was extended on 23 December 2020 to include two additional weekly lateral flow device (LFD) tests for care home staff. Additionally, the rapid response testing where all staff are tested daily for seven days using LFD test kits in response to a positive test result in tier 4 care homes which was announced on 23 December 2020 was extended to all care homes in England following the national lockdown announcement on 4 January 2021.

15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the ability and capacity of NHS Test and Trace to trace contacts in schools.

No such assessment has been made. Contact tracing in schools is carried out by schools, rather than NHS Test and Trace.

15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many contacts the average NHS Test and Trace contact tracer makes per day.

This information is currently not available in the format requested. During the period 31 December 2020 to 6 January 2021, an average of 11,749 contacts were completed every day by our contact tracers.

15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the ability of NHS Test and Trace to monitor self-isolating pupils.

No such assessment has been made. Contact tracing in schools is carried out by schools.

Any positive case identified should be reported to the school. The school should then use their risk assessment to identify close contacts of the index case and report cases via the Department for Education’s helpline. Advisors will inform them of any further action that may be required in response to the positive case.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure hospitalised users of (a) other languages and (b) British Sign Language have access to communication support.

National Health Service providers working with their NHS commissioners should be taking steps to ensure hospitalised users receive access to interpreters in community languages and British Sign Language (BSL).

NHS England and NHS Improvement published guidance for Interpreting and Translation principles in primary care. This guidance is available for NHS providers and commissioners to help them in their roles providing hospitalised patients with communication support, whether that is community languages or BSL.

The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/primary-care/primary-care-commissioning/interpreting/

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure users of (a) other languages, (b) British Sign Language and (c) Braille have timely and accessible information on covid-19.

All guidance, statements and public information released by the Government are readily available to read online information on COVID-19 from Public Health England and the Department is translated into British Sign Language videos can be found at the following link:

https://www.signhealth.org.uk/

Resources for COVID-19 are currently available in nine other languages to ensure that support and advice can be given to non-English speakers. These languages are Polish, Welsh, Arabic (Modern), French, Simplified Chinese (Mandarin), Traditional Chinese (Cantonese), Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, and Portuguese.

NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard sets out the National Health Service’s obligations around providing information in an accessible format for people who use British Sign Language and braille.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance he plans to issue to people aged 70 and over that are self-isolating to (a) combat loneliness and (b) stay fit and healthy.

Those who are self-isolating are protecting the lives of others, as well as making sure the National Health Service does not get overwhelmed. However, it can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people, especially if there is limited space or no access to a garden.

Guidance on looking after personal wellbeing while self-isolating is provided at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

This guidance advises those who are self-isolating to stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media, and signposts sources of support and information that can help, such as the? Every Mind Matters website, available at the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

The guidance also suggests activities such as cooking, reading, online learning and watching films, or taking part in light exercise within the home or garden if those who are self-isolating feel well enough.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he will introduce covid-19 testing for front line NHS and emergency service workers when they show symptoms for covid-19.

The United Kingdom has tested more people than almost any other major economy outside of China, South Korea, Germany and Italy.

We have boosted the number of labs undertaking testing while home testing and drive-through testing is also available in some areas.

We have increased the number of tests to 5,000 a day and it reached over 10,000 on 1 April.

Both key workers - such as health workers - and clinically high priority cases will be prioritised for testing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government will take to ensure babies and children of parents requiring intensive care treatment as a result of covid-19 are looked after.

In many cases, other family members or friends of the parent(s) will provide temporary care. If there is no-one to look after the child, the local authority may need to take the child into temporary care.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to promote social distancing in response to the outbreak of covid-19.

The Government has commissioned a marketing campaign to promote social distancing, including television adverts, posters and via the use of social media.

The Government has introduced three new measures:

- Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes;

- Closing certain businesses and venues; and

- Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.

Every person in the United Kingdom must comply with these new measures, which came into effect on Monday 23 March. The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase (a) the number of ventilators and (b) ICU capacity.

It is the Government’s priority that the National Health Service has appropriate equipment to respond to COVID-19. This includes the provision of intensive care beds. The Department is working closely with NHS England and the devolved administrations to ensure this is achieved.

NHS England is actively assessing the critical care capacity of NHS organisations and the availability of additional facilities in the independent sector. It is working to ensure that hospitals have as much ventilation equipment as required and, crucially, the skilled and trained people to use it.

A new temporary hospital - the NHS Nightingale hospital – will open at the Excel Centre in London next week. It will have capacity for 4,000 people.

Two new temporary hospitals will be set up at Birmingham's NEC and the Manchester conference centre and will be ready next month.

NHS England has agreed a major deal with the nation’s independent hospitals. The deal – the first of its kind ever - includes the provision of 8,000 hospital beds across England and nearly 1,200 more ventilators.

We have been buying up ventilation equipment since the start of the crisis. NHS England expects soon to have just short of 12,000 ventilators available and we have asked the nation’s advanced manufacturers to join a national effort to produce more.

Information on critical care bed capacity is published by NHS England and can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/critical-care-capacity/

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when testing for covid-19 will be made available for members of the public who are not hospitalised.

The United Kingdom has tested more people than almost any other major economy outside of China, South Korea, Germany and Italy.

We have boosted the number of labs undertaking testing while home testing and drive-through testing is also available in some areas.

We have increased the number of tests to 5,000 a day and it reached over 10,000 on 1 April.

Both key workers - such as health workers - and clinically high priority cases will be prioritised for testing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) quality of care and (b) adequacy of support provided to mental health patients by caseworkers in community mental health teams.

The mental health workforce plan, ‘Stepping Forward: a mental health workforce plan for England’ sets out an ambition for 21,000 new posts across the mental health system occupied by 19,000 new staff. This plan also includes the aim for 6000 full time posts in mental health trusts to come through improved retention.


Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we have announced a £975 million investment in transforming community mental health services. The first tranche of funding will provide 12 pilot sites with 1,000 extra staff and bring together primary and specialist care to better support people’s physical and mental health and better link with other local services such as housing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the steps taken by Kent and Medway NHS Trust in response to the findings of the inquest into the death of Callie Lewis.

The Trust has confirmed that, after the death of Callie Lewis in the summer of 2018, it has updated its suicide prevention training to include a section on autism. It has released a new strategy, under which suicide prevention training is a mandatory, annual requirement for all staff in inpatient, liaison psychiatry and crisis settings. The Trust has also included in its training materials information about the harm that suicide forums pose to vulnerable people.

We would expect a National Health Service trust and its responsible clinical commissioning group to ensure the effectiveness of any actions taken to improve and increase safety in a trust’s services. In addition, the Care Quality Commission is responsible for monitoring and inspecting all health care services. It continues to discuss the implementation of the Trust’s improvements at regular engagement meetings and will consider these at future inspections.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a duty of care that an individual removes from their relatives automatically passes to a public body from which that individual is receiving care.

Both the National Health Service and local authorities owe a common law duty of care to the people within their care.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of caseloads for community mental health teams; and whether he has plans to allocate additional funding from the public purse to support those teams.

The mental health workforce plan, ‘Stepping Forward: a mental health workforce plan for England’ sets out an ambition for 21,000 new posts across the mental health system occupied by 19,000 new staff. This plan also includes the aim for 6000 full time posts in mental health trusts to come through improved retention.


Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we have announced a £975 million investment in transforming community mental health services. The first tranche of funding will provide 12 pilot sites with 1,000 extra staff and bring together primary and specialist care to better support people’s physical and mental health and better link with other local services such as housing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to take steps to ensure that community mental health workers are able to manage their caseloads.

The mental health workforce plan, ‘Stepping Forward: a mental health workforce plan for England’ sets out an ambition for 21,000 new posts across the mental health system occupied by 19,000 new staff. This plan also includes the aim for 6000 full time posts in mental health trusts to come through improved retention.


Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we have announced a £975 million investment in transforming community mental health services. The first tranche of funding will provide 12 pilot sites with 1,000 extra staff and bring together primary and specialist care to better support people’s physical and mental health and better link with other local services such as housing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the judgment in the case of Callie Lewis, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that (a) community mental health and (b) Kent & Medway NHS Trust caseworker cases are covered when they are on sick leave.

It is the responsibility of each National Health Service organisation to determine how they manage cover for sick leave with guidance available from both NHS Employers and NHS England and NHS Improvement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have informed us that Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust’s sickness absence is managed in accordance with trust policy and reviewed on a monthly basis.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason patient satisfaction of England’s community mental health services has decreased in each of the last five years; and what plans he has to reverse that trend.

We recognise that community mental health services need to evolve and expand. Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we have committed to investing £975 extra million per year by 2023/24 in transformed models of integrated primary and community mental health care. These new models will be based on the Community Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults, published in September 2019, which provides a blueprint for change.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps Kent and Medway NHS trust has taken to ensure the safe and effective treatment of patients since the Care Quality Commission reports on that trust and the case of Callie Lewis.

The Trust has confirmed that, after the death of Callie Lewis in the summer of 2018, it has updated its suicide prevention training to include a section on autism. It has released a new strategy, under which suicide prevention training is a mandatory, annual requirement for all staff in inpatient, liaison psychiatry and crisis settings. The Trust has also included in its training materials information about the harm that suicide forums pose to vulnerable people.

We would expect a National Health Service trust and its responsible clinical commissioning group to ensure the effectiveness of any actions taken to improve and increase safety in a trust’s services. In addition, the Care Quality Commission is responsible for monitoring and inspecting all health care services. It continues to discuss the implementation of the Trust’s improvements at regular engagement meetings and will consider these at future inspections.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure adequate 24-hour crisis care is available for community mental health patients throughout the UK.

Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we are investing an additional £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 in mental health services. Much of this increased investment will be used to increase community-based early intervention and crisis care services as an alternative to hospital admission and ensure timely, universal mental health crisis care for everyone.

We have set out ambitious measures to improve crisis care services including a new national single point of access to crisis care via NHS 111, new mental health transport vehicles and better training for ambulance staff to deal with mental health crises as well as increased investment in complementary and alternative crisis services (sanctuaries, crisis houses etc).

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of community mental health funding.

We recognise that community mental health services need to evolve and expand. Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we have committed to investing £975 extra million per year by 2023/24 in transformed models of integrated primary and community mental health care. These new models will be based on the Community Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults, published in September 2019, which provides a blueprint for change.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of mental health bed availability.

The most recent information on mental illness bed availability is shown in the following table.

Year

Period

Available

Occupied

Occupancy rate

2018/19

Q1

18,395

16,519

89.8%

2018/19

Q2

18,311

16,431

89.7%

2018/19

Q3

18,389

16,285

88.6%

2018/19

Q4

18,368

16,378

89.2%

2019/20

Q1

18,270

16,375

89.6%

2019/20

Q2

18,179

16,284

89.6%

2019/20

Q3

18,097

16,187

89.4%

Notes:

- The data are very limited in terms of what they tell us about mental health bed availability and should therefore be treated with caution for the following reasons:

- The ‘mental illness’ category covers a huge range of inpatient mental health settings which provide very different services for people with different needs. As such, it does not provide the granularity of information required to identify where there might be particular pressures in the mental health system.

- They only cover beds in services that are consultant-led.

- It is very difficult to assess the accuracy of the aggregate data submitted and the accompanying guidance has not been updated since the Department published it in 2010.

Source: NHS England: KH03 data collection

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to close the gaps in community mental health service provision.

We recognise that community mental health services need to evolve and expand. Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we have committed to investing £975 extra million per year by 2023/24 in transformed models of integrated primary and community mental health care. These new models will be based on the Community Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults, published in September 2019, which provides a blueprint for change.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS Improvement Report 2018-19, Q4, what steps he is taking to fill the 10,000 unfilled posts across all mental health services.

The NHS People Plan, which will be published by the National Health Service in early 2020, will set out a clear framework for collective action on workforce priorities, with a focus on growing and sustaining a well-skilled workforce across the whole NHS and will build upon the progress made through the Mental Health Workforce Plan (published by Health Education England in July 2017).

NHS Improvement has developed a shared learning resource to improve staff retention, including case studies to highlight the great work taking place across the service to tackle this specific challenge.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that Kent & Medway NHS Trust staff have (a) autism awareness and (b) suicide awareness training; and what steps he is taking to ensure the provision of that training for health and social care professionals.

Following the death of Callie Lewis in 2018, Kent and Medway NHS Trust have initiated a series of actions. The Trust has updated its suicide prevention training for staff, including refreshing its suicide prevention strategy to specifically reference autism. This training is now a mandatory annual requirement for all Trust staff within inpatient, liaison psychiatry and crisis settings. The Trust has updated its training to include the risks of suicide forums.

In January 2019, we published the first Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Workplan, which sets out an ambitious programme across national and local government and the National Health Service.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance is provided to mental health assessment staff on (a) autism and (b) suicide; and whether that guidance refers to tips on suicide forums on how to pass mental health assessments.

Following the death of Callie Lewis in 2018, Kent and Medway NHS Trust have initiated a series of actions. The Trust has updated its suicide prevention training for staff, including refreshing its suicide prevention strategy to specifically reference autism. This training is now a mandatory annual requirement for all Trust staff within inpatient, liaison psychiatry and crisis settings. The Trust has updated its training to include the risks of suicide forums.

In January 2019, we published the first Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Workplan, which sets out an ambitious programme across national and local government and the National Health Service.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has made representations to her Colombian counterpart on the effectiveness of the dismantling of paramilitary groups in that country following the 2016 peace agreement.

Colombia is a UK Human Rights Priority Country and UK ministers and senior officials regularly raise our concerns about the activities of illegal armed groups with the Colombian Government and in multilateral fora. Most recently, Lord Ahmad discussed human rights and the security situation in Colombia in his meeting with President Duque on 12 April. Successive UK-drafted UN Security Council press statements have called for the National Commission on Security Guarantees, working with civil society, to adopt and implement a public policy to dismantle illegal armed groups.

To date, we have spent over £69 million through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund to support the implementation of the Peace Agreement in Colombia and improve stability and security. Our funding is supporting the Colombian Government's rural development and reintegration programmes, transitional justice mechanisms, and strengthening the security and participation of communities in conflict-affected areas.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many British nationals were murdered abroad in each year since 2017.

Information on the number of cases where consular officers provided assistance following a British national's death abroad through murder or manslaughter is published on GOV.UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/consular-data) on a monthly basis by country.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of recent information released by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Colombia that that the security forces of that country intentionally killed at least 6,402 civilians between 2002 and 2008.

The ongoing work by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace is vital for the transitional justice process agreed as part of the peace agreement. We have been clear that all actors being investigated, including the security services, must be held accountable for their actions, and any crimes thoroughly investigated. The UK has been a leading international advocate of Colombia's peace process, including mechanisms like the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, and supporting the Colombian government in its commitment to implement the 2016 Peace Accords will remain our top priority.

We have contributed more than £60 million in support via the UK's Conflict, Security, and Stability Fund and are the largest donor to the UN Trust Fund for Colombia. We are proud to lead on the issue at the UN Security Council, and will continue to strengthen the international community's support and commitment to peace, stability, and justice in Colombia.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) financial and (b) other support the Government plans to provide to UK nationals overseas to enable them to return to the UK.

Our consular team is working around the clock to provide support, advice and information. We are working closely with local authorities, commercial airlines and other diplomatic missions to enable British people to get home. If British people are in need of urgent assistance, they should call our Embassies and High Commissions, which will automatically connect them to our consular contact centres, where our staff can provide further advice. Given the dramatic increase in demand we are doubling the number of call handlers working to answer peoples' calls. We are helping to reduce travel costs by encouraging airlines to have maximum flexibility on changing return tickets. Where people are in real need, our consular teams will work with them to consider their options and, as a last resort, offer an emergency loan.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that self-employed women that qualify for 30 hours free childcare scheme will be able to access that scheme in the event that Self-Employment Income Support Scheme calculations bring their total income below the threshold for qualifying as a result of a period of maternity leave over the last three years.

To be eligible for Tax Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare, both parents need to earn at least the equivalent of 16 hours per week at the National Living Wage. The Government introduced a temporary measure to ensure that those who are unable to meet this requirement due to loss of income as a result of Covid-19 will maintain their entitlement.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that the nine Departments tasked with tackling loneliness receive adequate funding to (a) deliver the Government’s long-term vision on tackling loneliness and (b) build on the progress made against the 60 commitments set out in the 2018 strategy entitled A Connected Society.

The government is taking a cross-departmental approach to tackling loneliness, recognising that no one department holds all the levers for successful change. The work is led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with eight other departments contributing commitments to the Loneliness Strategy. The government's Loneliness Strategy was published in October 2018 and an annual report was published in January 2020, setting out headlines on progress so far. The government will carry out a Comprehensive Spending Review later this year, where the government will take a systematic view across all spending over multiple years and set future budgets. An announcement on the timing of the Spending Review will be made in due course.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the findings of Operation Soteria will be published.

Operation Soteria is a joint police-Crown Prosecution Service programme designed to drive improvements in the handling of rape cases. The policing elements are being funded by the Home Office to build a new national operating model for the investigation of rape.

The findings from the research in pathfinder police forces are shared with police and prosecutors nationally as soon as they are available, including through a National Rape and Sexual Offences Learning Network. The most recent national learning event took place on the 29 March and was attended by over approximately 180 individuals from across 39 police forces.

Findings from the research will be published in the Autumn, when the first phase of the programme is complete. In the interim, an update on progress will be provided in the next Rape Review Progress Update which will published shortly and be available on GOV.uk.

9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how long on average detainees have had to stay in prison after their sentence has been served whilst awaiting on an authority to detain notification (IS91) decision in each year since 2010.

The Government is committed to a fair and humane immigration policy that welcomes those here legally, but tackles abuse and protects the public.

We make every effort to ensure that a foreign national offender’s (FNO) removal by deportation coincides, as far as possible, with their release from prison on completion of sentence. Detention plays a crucial role in enabling the removal of FNOs and those who are here illegally.

Published Home Office policy, Detention General instructions (publishing.service.gov.uk), is clear that immigration detention must be used sparingly and for the shortest period necessary. Where the Home Office intends to detain a time-served FNO under immigration powers at the end of their custodial sentence, detention notices are served in advance of this date, subject to certain exceptions. A timely risk assessment is also carried, out in line with published guidance, which reviews the suitability of the FNOs transfer to the immigration removal estate.

Foreign national offenders held in detention have the option to apply to an independent immigration judge for bail at any point. Once a person is in detention, regular reviews are undertaken to ensure that their detention remains lawful, appropriate and proportionate. We do not detain people indefinitely.

The Home Office publishes data on people in immigration detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. The number of people in detention on the last day of each quarter are published in table Det_D02 of the Detention detailed datasets. The data include those detained under immigration powers in HM prisons from July 2017 and can be broken down by place of detention. The latest data relate to the number of people in detention at the end of September 2021.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much compensation has been paid out to detainees across the prison estate for having to wait for a Home Office decision on an authority to detain notification (IS91) once they have already served their sentence in each year since 2010.

The Government is committed to a fair and humane immigration policy that welcomes those here legally, but tackles abuse and protects the public.

We make every effort to ensure that a foreign national offender’s (FNO) removal by deportation coincides, as far as possible, with their release from prison on completion of sentence. Detention plays a crucial role in enabling the removal of FNOs and those who are here illegally.

Published Home Office policy, Detention General instructions (publishing.service.gov.uk), is clear that immigration detention must be used sparingly and for the shortest period necessary. Where the Home Office intends to detain a time-served FNO under immigration powers at the end of their custodial sentence, detention notices are served in advance of this date, subject to certain exceptions. A timely risk assessment is also carried, out in line with published guidance, which reviews the suitability of the FNOs transfer to the immigration removal estate.

Foreign national offenders held in detention have the option to apply to an independent immigration judge for bail at any point. Once a person is in detention, regular reviews are undertaken to ensure that their detention remains lawful, appropriate and proportionate. We do not detain people indefinitely.

The Home Office publishes data on people in immigration detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. The number of people in detention on the last day of each quarter are published in table Det_D02 of the Detention detailed datasets. The data include those detained under immigration powers in HM prisons from July 2017 and can be broken down by place of detention. The latest data relate to the number of people in detention at the end of September 2021.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many inmates across the prison estate have been detained at the end of their sentence awaiting a Home Office decision on an authority to detain notification (IS91) in each year since 2010.

The Government is committed to a fair and humane immigration policy that welcomes those here legally, but tackles abuse and protects the public.

We make every effort to ensure that a foreign national offender’s (FNO) removal by deportation coincides, as far as possible, with their release from prison on completion of sentence. Detention plays a crucial role in enabling the removal of FNOs and those who are here illegally.

Published Home Office policy, Detention General instructions (publishing.service.gov.uk), is clear that immigration detention must be used sparingly and for the shortest period necessary. Where the Home Office intends to detain a time-served FNO under immigration powers at the end of their custodial sentence, detention notices are served in advance of this date, subject to certain exceptions. A timely risk assessment is also carried, out in line with published guidance, which reviews the suitability of the FNOs transfer to the immigration removal estate.

Foreign national offenders held in detention have the option to apply to an independent immigration judge for bail at any point. Once a person is in detention, regular reviews are undertaken to ensure that their detention remains lawful, appropriate and proportionate. We do not detain people indefinitely.

The Home Office publishes data on people in immigration detention in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. The number of people in detention on the last day of each quarter are published in table Det_D02 of the Detention detailed datasets. The data include those detained under immigration powers in HM prisons from July 2017 and can be broken down by place of detention. The latest data relate to the number of people in detention at the end of September 2021.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which units in her Department are responsible for monitoring management performance at (a) Brook House, and (b) Tinsley House immigration removal centres; and if she will make a statement.

Brook House and Tinsley House immigration removal centres (IRCs), located near Gatwick airport, are operated through private contract, with Home Office oversight. This oversight includes daily operational monitoring by Detention and Escorting Services (DES) Compliance teams and second line assurance carried out by DES Audit and Assurance team. Quarterly, high level oversight is carried out by senior Home Office officials and Commercial leads. Cumulatively, this oversight framework ensures the delivery of services and provisions in line with the supplier’s contract, statutory instruments, Home Office policies and published guidance.

In order to support the management of the arrival of migrants, we have temporarily accommodated people under the provisions of the Short-term Holding Facility (STHF) Rules 2018 in a small number of IRCs, including Tinsley House.

Additionally, the Home Office works closely with our providers and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the immigration removal estate, which includes making sure anyone who may have been exposed self-isolates. As part of these safeguards, operational regimes may be adapted to mitigate the spread of the virus. All residents continue to have access to necessary provisions during this time.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when findings on the police and CPS response to prosecuting rape offences from the first phase of Project Soteria, which was announced in the cross-Government end-to-end rape review published in June 2021, will be made public.

Operation Soteria is a joint police-Crown Prosecution Service programme designed to drive improvements in the handling of rape cases, with an overarching aim to build a new national operating model for the investigation of rape and serious sexual assault.

The Home Office is providing funding for five police forces – Avon and Somerset, the Metropolitan Police Service, Durham, West Midlands and South Wales - to participating in intensive academic research, and the resulting recommendations, tools and techniques are embedded in each force.

Research has concluded in Avon and Somerset and the Metropolitan Police Service and recently commenced in Durham.

Findings from the research are shared with police and prosecutors nationally as soon as they are available, including through the National Rape and Sexual Offences Learning Network events. The most recent national learning event took place on the 11 January and outlined findings from research in Avon and Somerset and the Metropolitan Police Service. This event was attended by close to 300 practitioners, with 39 forces represented.

In addition, progress updates on Operation Soteria form part of the Government’s regular rape review progress updates, the first of which was published on 9 December 2021.

29th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the data she holds on the number of people reporting offences under the Offences against The Person Act 1861, section 23, and section 24 in each year since 2010.

Information on the number of crimes recorded under the Offences against The Person Act 1861 section 23 and section 24, including the offence subcodes “Administering poison so as to endanger life” and “Administering poison with intent to injure or annoy” for each financial year from 2015/16 to 2020/21 can be found in the attached annex.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have reported street flashing as part of the recorded crime statistics for exposure and voyeurism for each year since 2010.

The Home Office collects information on the number of Exposure and Voyeurism offences recorded by the police in England and Wales. However whether or not these offences involved street flashing is not separately identifiable.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the number of cases issued under a fixed penalty notice in (a) 2020, (b) 2019, (c) 2018, (d) 2017, (e) 2016 and (f) 2015.

The Home Office routinely collects and publishes data on the number of recorded Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued by the police in England and Wales for motoring offences. These data are published as part of the annual ‘Police Powers and Procedures’ statistical bulletin and can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/841256/fixed-penalty-notices-police-powers-procedures-mar19-hosb2519-tables.ods.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has been regularly publishing the number of FPNs issued by the police in England and Wales for breaches of the public health regulations that have been introduced this year to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). The latest published information can be found here:

https://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/crime-is-close-to-pre-lockdown-levels-and-fines-given-to-the-public-rise-as-new-regulations-are-introduced-1

The Home Office does not collect information on FPNs issued by other public bodies, such as local authorities, who have powers to issue them with respect to anti-social behaviour, environmental breaches and parking offences.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure that conditions in (a) prisons, (b) police cells, (c) immigration detention and (d) escort vans are safe during the level 4 heat-health alert.

We have worked closely with the prison estate during this period of hot weather to ensure they are appropriately prepared. Heatwave guidance in line with the Heatwave Plan for England was issued to the whole prison estate on 15th June in anticipation of hot weather, and further advice issued on 15th July to all prison governors to support them with managing the situation at the local level. We remain in close contact.

As well as providing information on safety for the general prison population and for staff, the guidance covers support for vulnerable groups identified by the UK Health Security Agency as at greater risk in heatwaves. The guidance encourages joint working with NHS prison health services to identify and support people with vulnerabilities.

The vehicles providing Prisoner Escort and Custody Services (PECS) were introduced in 2020/21, and all have air conditioning. Court custody suites are routinely monitored with calibrated temperature monitoring equipment. HMCTS and PECS have an agreed process in place for the management of extreme temperatures and work closely together to ensure a safe operating environment. When appropriate measures can include the closure and the use of alternative courts.

The Home Office manage Immigration Detention Centres (IRCs). They have confirmed that, in line with the Detention Centre Rules 2001 and Short-Term Holding Facility Rules 2018, detained individuals are given the opportunity to spend at least one hour in the open air each day. As part of planning for the level 4 heat health alert all IRCs have adequate stocks of bottled water for residents. Summer clothing and sun cream are also provided on request.

As part of the planning for the level 4 heat health alert all police forces should have sufficient availability of food and water in custody suites and contingency plans in place for maintaining operational capability. In addition, local plans may include the effective use of bail or voluntary attendance to ensure that periods in police detention are kept to a minimum.

The Home Office publish guidance on Gov.uk (at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/accommodation-lighting-heating-and-ventilation) regarding accommodation standards for those in detention, which includes minimum requirements for space and ventilation

Simon Baynes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the Ministry of Justice sets minimum staffing levels as Key Performance Indicators for (a) HMP Lowdham Grange and (b) other rebids.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) does not mandate minimum staffing levels for privately managed prisons as staffing is the responsibility of the contract operators who will be responsible for operational delivery within those prisons. Staffing levels are specific to each individual prison and competition, and each contract provider’s individual operating model.

However, as part of the procurement exercise for any privately managed prison and, prior to the award of the contracts for Five Wells, Fosse Way and all other prisons competed under the Prison Operator Services Framework (including any expiring PFI prison such as HMP Lowdham Grange), we robustly scrutinise all aspects of each bid. This includes a rigorous assessment of their resourcing model to test its resilience and ability to deliver the regime they propose, and to deliver a safe, decent and secure operating environment at all times.

These agreed staffing levels are contractualised and we hold bidders to account to them. The amount of detail and information about staffing, including numbers and grades of staff, in the new contracts is significantly improved from the old style PFI contracts. These new contracts include HMP Five Wells, HMP Fosse Way and any other prison that is competed under the Prison Operator Services Framework (including any expiring PFI prison such as HMP Lowdham Grange). Staffing levels are monitored against those contained in the contract as Management Information (MI), not as a KPI.

Each year the contract operator is required to show how it will provide the Custodial Service and Sustainability Requirements in the Annual Custodial Service Delivery Plan. As part of this, an Annual Resourcing Plan is drawn up, highlighting any departure from the Plan for the preceding Contract Year and giving reasons for such departure. This must be approved by HMPPS.

The approach taken through the competitions ensures that staffing levels contained in the contract deliver the service and maintain a safe, decent, and secure operating level. Management throughout the life of the contracts against that resource model is undertaken by HMPPS and MoJ Commercial contract management teams who continually assess the capability of the operator, taking action if the operator should fail to deliver in accordance with the Contract.

Simon Baynes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether there is an agreed staffing level for upcoming contracts for (a) HMP Fosse way and (b) HMP Welllingborough.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) does not mandate minimum staffing levels for privately managed prisons as staffing is the responsibility of the contract operators who will be responsible for operational delivery within those prisons. Staffing levels are specific to each individual prison and competition, and each contract provider’s individual operating model.

However, as part of the procurement exercise for any privately managed prison and, prior to the award of the contracts for Five Wells, Fosse Way and all other prisons competed under the Prison Operator Services Framework (including any expiring PFI prison such as HMP Lowdham Grange), we robustly scrutinise all aspects of each bid. This includes a rigorous assessment of their resourcing model to test its resilience and ability to deliver the regime they propose, and to deliver a safe, decent and secure operating environment at all times.

These agreed staffing levels are contractualised and we hold bidders to account to them. The amount of detail and information about staffing, including numbers and grades of staff, in the new contracts is significantly improved from the old style PFI contracts. These new contracts include HMP Five Wells, HMP Fosse Way and any other prison that is competed under the Prison Operator Services Framework (including any expiring PFI prison such as HMP Lowdham Grange). Staffing levels are monitored against those contained in the contract as Management Information (MI), not as a KPI.

Each year the contract operator is required to show how it will provide the Custodial Service and Sustainability Requirements in the Annual Custodial Service Delivery Plan. As part of this, an Annual Resourcing Plan is drawn up, highlighting any departure from the Plan for the preceding Contract Year and giving reasons for such departure. This must be approved by HMPPS.

The approach taken through the competitions ensures that staffing levels contained in the contract deliver the service and maintain a safe, decent, and secure operating level. Management throughout the life of the contracts against that resource model is undertaken by HMPPS and MoJ Commercial contract management teams who continually assess the capability of the operator, taking action if the operator should fail to deliver in accordance with the Contract.

Simon Baynes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department has an agreed staffing level for contracts.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) does not mandate minimum staffing levels for privately managed prisons as staffing is the responsibility of the contract operators who will be responsible for operational delivery within those prisons. Staffing levels are specific to each individual prison and competition, and each contract provider’s individual operating model.

However, as part of the procurement exercise for any privately managed prison and, prior to the award of the contracts for Five Wells, Fosse Way and all other prisons competed under the Prison Operator Services Framework (including any expiring PFI prison such as HMP Lowdham Grange), we robustly scrutinise all aspects of each bid. This includes a rigorous assessment of their resourcing model to test its resilience and ability to deliver the regime they propose, and to deliver a safe, decent and secure operating environment at all times.

These agreed staffing levels are contractualised and we hold bidders to account to them. The amount of detail and information about staffing, including numbers and grades of staff, in the new contracts is significantly improved from the old style PFI contracts. These new contracts include HMP Five Wells, HMP Fosse Way and any other prison that is competed under the Prison Operator Services Framework (including any expiring PFI prison such as HMP Lowdham Grange). Staffing levels are monitored against those contained in the contract as Management Information (MI), not as a KPI.

Each year the contract operator is required to show how it will provide the Custodial Service and Sustainability Requirements in the Annual Custodial Service Delivery Plan. As part of this, an Annual Resourcing Plan is drawn up, highlighting any departure from the Plan for the preceding Contract Year and giving reasons for such departure. This must be approved by HMPPS.

The approach taken through the competitions ensures that staffing levels contained in the contract deliver the service and maintain a safe, decent, and secure operating level. Management throughout the life of the contracts against that resource model is undertaken by HMPPS and MoJ Commercial contract management teams who continually assess the capability of the operator, taking action if the operator should fail to deliver in accordance with the Contract.

Simon Baynes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have received a fine for failure to pay the initial fine for TV licence fee evasion by (a) gender and (b) region in each of the last ten years.

The number of people admitted to prison for failing to pay fines in respect of the non-payment of a TV licence in England and Wales, by gender, between 1995 and 2018 can be viewed at the following link:

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-03-09/26808

The number of people admitted to prison for failing to pay fines in respect of the non-payment of a TV licence in England and Wales in 2019 was two or fewer (the actual number has not been released in order to protect against personal identification), none of whom were women.

In 2020 and 2021, there were no admissions into prison associated with failing to pay a fine in respect of the non-payment of a TV licence in England and Wales.

The penalty for TV licence evasion is a fine. A person cannot receive a custodial sentence for TV licence evasion but can be committed to prison for wilfully refusing to pay the fine or culpably neglecting to pay. The courts will do everything within their powers to trace those who do not pay and use a variety of means to ensure the recovery of criminal fines and financial penalties. Imprisonment is only pursued as a matter of last resort.

A person cannot receive an additional fine if they do not pay the initial fine for TV licence evasion.

Sarah Dines
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many applications there were to the PQiP scheme for each recruitment drive since the inception of that scheme; and how many prison officer vacancies there were in each 12 month period over the last 10 years.

More than 1,500 new trainee probation officers have been hired this year - hitting the government’s target while helping to cut crime, make streets safer and protect the public.

Table 1: Number of applications to the PQiP scheme.

PQiP Campaign

2020

2021

2022

Total

PQiP 08

3542

3542

PQiP 09

6392

6392

PQiP 10

6225

6225

PQiP 11

1811

1811

PQiP 12

3444

3444

PQiP 13

3736

3736

Overall

9934

8036

7180

25150

Table 1 notes:

  1. Data prior to PQiP 8 is not available on the Oleeo recruitment system that we have access to as recruitment was carried out by a third party.

Prison Officer vacancy figures for the past 10 years are not available as we do not have a fixed staffing requirement for each individual prison establishment.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress his Department has made on implementing its Race Action Programme.

We are committed to actively tackling the impact of race disparities in the Criminal Justice System. As part of this commitment, in December 2020 HMPPS launched the Race Action Programme (RAP), which builds on the MoJ Race Action Plan. The RAP will increase the diversity of our workforce, address the risk of bias in our policies and tackle disparity in outcomes for prisoners, people on probation and children in our system. This will also help to reduce reoffending and enhance rehabilitative practices.

The programme has worked to establish a network of stakeholders, internally and externally, to ensure all interventions are sustainable. A range of initiatives have successfully been implemented across HMPPS which has included: a successful pilot of enhanced training for staff to improve the quality of pre-sentencing reports on ethnic minority individuals; the launch of a Race Allyship charter to build a community of staff who proactively support ethnic minority individuals; introducing a series of inclusive policy consultations sessions with expert third sector organisations; and piloting healing events to create safe spaces for staff to manage and overcome racial trauma.

HMPPS are also leading an External Advice and Scrutiny Panel (EASP) which includes a wide range of expert stakeholders to review, assure, and challenge our plans and implementation accordingly. The RAP Strategic Case has also been shared with external and internal stakeholders setting out the background for the programme, including an evidence summary and the deliverables and outcomes of the five priority projects. It also outlines our approach to evaluation and a summary of the headline benefits. There are no current plans for official publication of this document, however, all key stakeholders will continue to be updated on the progress of the programme throughout the Programme lifecycle.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish his Department’s plan for the HMPPS Race Action Programme.

We are committed to actively tackling the impact of race disparities in the Criminal Justice System. As part of this commitment, in December 2020 HMPPS launched the Race Action Programme (RAP), which builds on the MoJ Race Action Plan. The RAP will increase the diversity of our workforce, address the risk of bias in our policies and tackle disparity in outcomes for prisoners, people on probation and children in our system. This will also help to reduce reoffending and enhance rehabilitative practices.

The programme has worked to establish a network of stakeholders, internally and externally, to ensure all interventions are sustainable. A range of initiatives have successfully been implemented across HMPPS which has included: a successful pilot of enhanced training for staff to improve the quality of pre-sentencing reports on ethnic minority individuals; the launch of a Race Allyship charter to build a community of staff who proactively support ethnic minority individuals; introducing a series of inclusive policy consultations sessions with expert third sector organisations; and piloting healing events to create safe spaces for staff to manage and overcome racial trauma.

HMPPS are also leading an External Advice and Scrutiny Panel (EASP) which includes a wide range of expert stakeholders to review, assure, and challenge our plans and implementation accordingly. The RAP Strategic Case has also been shared with external and internal stakeholders setting out the background for the programme, including an evidence summary and the deliverables and outcomes of the five priority projects. It also outlines our approach to evaluation and a summary of the headline benefits. There are no current plans for official publication of this document, however, all key stakeholders will continue to be updated on the progress of the programme throughout the Programme lifecycle.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans his Department has to publish an update on their progress against the recommendations made by Lord Farmer, in his review entitled, The Importance of Strengthening Prisoners' Family Ties, published in August 2017.

We expect to complete the final recommendation from Lord Farmer’s 2017 Review of Strengthening Family Ties in the male prison estate in the next few months. Recommendations from this review have been instrumental in supporting the organisation to take a strategic approach to our overall aim to embed the importance of family and significant others in reducing reoffending and preventing intergenerational crime.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many equality staff work in prisons holding (a) men and (b) women by (i) their grade and (ii) the time allocated to their equalities work.

HMPPS are considering the findings of the IMB / CRA reports and will act accordingly. We recognise that race disparities persist in the Criminal Justice System, and we are committed to actively tackling the impact of this across MoJ. In December 2020 HMPPS launched the Race Action Programme, which will increase the diversity of our workforce, address the risk of bias in our policies and tackle disparity in outcomes for prisoners, people on probation and children in our system.

The Female Offender Strategy also included a clear commitment to look at how the distinct needs of ethnic minority and non-British national women can be better addressed. This is being taken forward by the Female Offender Minority Ethnic working group, which brings together officials and stakeholders to work together to improve outcomes for this cohort of women.

There is no place for racial abuse in prisons, which should be safe, orderly and decent places for both prisoners and staff. As set out in the Prisons Strategy White Paper we are introducing training for staff in women’s prisons to address the diverse needs of all women in their care. This will include cultural competence training to equip our staff with an increased knowledge of the effects of culture, faith and sustaining family relationships for ethnically diverse communities, increasing their confidence and skills in supporting all offenders, including those subjected to racial abuse.

Information on the number, grade and allocated duties of equality staff is not held centrally. The majority of HMPPS PGDs have a dedicated Regional Equality Lead (Band 8 & Full Time) who coordinate activity and drive a regional strategy designed to best represent the unique situations arising in that part of the country, representative of the staff and prisoner population. Profiles for equalities work are decided at a local level to ensure they best fit the nature of individual establishments.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to provide support to women prisoners who have been victims of racial abuse in prison.

HMPPS are considering the findings of the IMB / CRA reports and will act accordingly. We recognise that race disparities persist in the Criminal Justice System, and we are committed to actively tackling the impact of this across MoJ. In December 2020 HMPPS launched the Race Action Programme, which will increase the diversity of our workforce, address the risk of bias in our policies and tackle disparity in outcomes for prisoners, people on probation and children in our system.

The Female Offender Strategy also included a clear commitment to look at how the distinct needs of ethnic minority and non-British national women can be better addressed. This is being taken forward by the Female Offender Minority Ethnic working group, which brings together officials and stakeholders to work together to improve outcomes for this cohort of women.

There is no place for racial abuse in prisons, which should be safe, orderly and decent places for both prisoners and staff. As set out in the Prisons Strategy White Paper we are introducing training for staff in women’s prisons to address the diverse needs of all women in their care. This will include cultural competence training to equip our staff with an increased knowledge of the effects of culture, faith and sustaining family relationships for ethnically diverse communities, increasing their confidence and skills in supporting all offenders, including those subjected to racial abuse.

Information on the number, grade and allocated duties of equality staff is not held centrally. The majority of HMPPS PGDs have a dedicated Regional Equality Lead (Band 8 & Full Time) who coordinate activity and drive a regional strategy designed to best represent the unique situations arising in that part of the country, representative of the staff and prisoner population. Profiles for equalities work are decided at a local level to ensure they best fit the nature of individual establishments.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking in response to the survey of Black, Asian and minority ethnic women in prison published by the Independent Monitoring Boards and Criminal Justice Alliance in April 2022.

HMPPS are considering the findings of the IMB / CRA reports and will act accordingly. We recognise that race disparities persist in the Criminal Justice System, and we are committed to actively tackling the impact of this across MoJ. In December 2020 HMPPS launched the Race Action Programme, which will increase the diversity of our workforce, address the risk of bias in our policies and tackle disparity in outcomes for prisoners, people on probation and children in our system.

The Female Offender Strategy also included a clear commitment to look at how the distinct needs of ethnic minority and non-British national women can be better addressed. This is being taken forward by the Female Offender Minority Ethnic working group, which brings together officials and stakeholders to work together to improve outcomes for this cohort of women.

There is no place for racial abuse in prisons, which should be safe, orderly and decent places for both prisoners and staff. As set out in the Prisons Strategy White Paper we are introducing training for staff in women’s prisons to address the diverse needs of all women in their care. This will include cultural competence training to equip our staff with an increased knowledge of the effects of culture, faith and sustaining family relationships for ethnically diverse communities, increasing their confidence and skills in supporting all offenders, including those subjected to racial abuse.

Information on the number, grade and allocated duties of equality staff is not held centrally. The majority of HMPPS PGDs have a dedicated Regional Equality Lead (Band 8 & Full Time) who coordinate activity and drive a regional strategy designed to best represent the unique situations arising in that part of the country, representative of the staff and prisoner population. Profiles for equalities work are decided at a local level to ensure they best fit the nature of individual establishments.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to improve the publication of disaggregated data on prisoners’ demographics and protected characteristics including (a) gender, (b) ethnic group, (c) age and (d) religion.

Data on prisoners’ gender, ethnicity, age and religion is obtained through self-declaration by prisoners on reception into custody. Declaration rates across Sex, Age, Ethnicity & Religion are high and present no barrier to publishing of prison population data.

We are currently developing a new service to improve the creation of prisoner records and collection of data which will include protected characteristics. This will reduce duplication and improve storage of information by redesigning the way we ask questions about these characteristics.

There are no current plans to change the Offender Management Statistics Quarterly publication which provide regular data on sex, ethnicity, age and religion within the prison population.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to improve the collection of data on prisoners' (a) gender, (b) ethnic group, (c) age and (d) religion.

Data on prisoners’ gender, ethnicity, age and religion is obtained through self-declaration by prisoners on reception into custody. Declaration rates across Sex, Age, Ethnicity & Religion are high and present no barrier to publishing of prison population data.

We are currently developing a new service to improve the creation of prisoner records and collection of data which will include protected characteristics. This will reduce duplication and improve storage of information by redesigning the way we ask questions about these characteristics.

There are no current plans to change the Offender Management Statistics Quarterly publication which provide regular data on sex, ethnicity, age and religion within the prison population.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans his Department has to involve the voluntary sector in supporting the delivery of Bail Information Services in courts.

The Bail Information Service (BIS) project has Bail Information Officers (BIOs) operating in 31 public sector remand prisons across England and Wales, providing bail information reports for defendants who are being considered for release on bail following an initial remand into custody. This can be provided to magistrate and Crown Courts at the second or subsequent hearing.

Bail Information Services are not yet provided in court at first hearings; however, we anticipate that over the coming months the project will generate sufficient data to help us to understand the efficacy of any design and development of a potentially permanent dedicated and proactive Bail Information Service that can operate in both prisons and courts across England and Wales.

Owing to the circumstances created by the pandemic, it was not possible to carry out the pilot as originally planned. A limited bail information service was attempted in a few magistrates’ courts in the North West of England – mainly Liverpool Magistrates’ Court and Manchester Magistrates’ Court, with some partial cover in a few smaller courts in Lancashire. Owing to the delivery environment at that time, however, it was not possible to collect the data needed for the pilot.

In March 2021, Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service introduced a bail information scheme in prisons across England and Wales. Every public sector remand prison, apart from high-security establishments, now has a bail information officer. This project was originally intended to run for 12 months, but as the difficulties relating to the pandemic continued throughout 2021-22, the scheme has been extended to April 2023. This will enable data to be gathered and evaluated, to inform decisions about the design and development of a potentially permanent scheme in prisons in England and Wales (the scheme could also include magistrates’ courts).

We do not currently hold data on the number of people accessing the Bail Information Service. However, the data we are collecting through the current initiative is to provide us with the evidence we need in order to develop a longer-term scheme.

The Bail Information Service project has been extended until April 2023. A key aim of the project is to gather sufficient data and evidence to inform decisions around the development of a future dedicated and pro-active Bail Information Service in England and Wales. As the project develops, we are exploring how voluntary sector involvement can support the operational delivery of the Bail Information Service, and any findings will be analysed as part of the overall evaluation post April 2023.

Sarah Dines
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to provide Bail Information Services with dedicated Bail Information Officers in all Magistrates courts; and what the timeframe is for that work.

The Bail Information Service (BIS) project has Bail Information Officers (BIOs) operating in 31 public sector remand prisons across England and Wales, providing bail information reports for defendants who are being considered for release on bail following an initial remand into custody. This can be provided to magistrate and Crown Courts at the second or subsequent hearing.

Bail Information Services are not yet provided in court at first hearings; however, we anticipate that over the coming months the project will generate sufficient data to help us to understand the efficacy of any design and development of a potentially permanent dedicated and proactive Bail Information Service that can operate in both prisons and courts across England and Wales.

Owing to the circumstances created by the pandemic, it was not possible to carry out the pilot as originally planned. A limited bail information service was attempted in a few magistrates’ courts in the North West of England – mainly Liverpool Magistrates’ Court and Manchester Magistrates’ Court, with some partial cover in a few smaller courts in Lancashire. Owing to the delivery environment at that time, however, it was not possible to collect the data needed for the pilot.

In March 2021, Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service introduced a bail information scheme in prisons across England and Wales. Every public sector remand prison, apart from high-security establishments, now has a bail information officer. This project was originally intended to run for 12 months, but as the difficulties relating to the pandemic continued throughout 2021-22, the scheme has been extended to April 2023. This will enable data to be gathered and evaluated, to inform decisions about the design and development of a potentially permanent scheme in prisons in England and Wales (the scheme could also include magistrates’ courts).

We do not currently hold data on the number of people accessing the Bail Information Service. However, the data we are collecting through the current initiative is to provide us with the evidence we need in order to develop a longer-term scheme.

The Bail Information Service project has been extended until April 2023. A key aim of the project is to gather sufficient data and evidence to inform decisions around the development of a future dedicated and pro-active Bail Information Service in England and Wales. As the project develops, we are exploring how voluntary sector involvement can support the operational delivery of the Bail Information Service, and any findings will be analysed as part of the overall evaluation post April 2023.

Sarah Dines
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish his Department’s evaluations of recent pilots of Bail Information Services in (a) courts and (b) prisons.

The Bail Information Service (BIS) project has Bail Information Officers (BIOs) operating in 31 public sector remand prisons across England and Wales, providing bail information reports for defendants who are being considered for release on bail following an initial remand into custody. This can be provided to magistrate and Crown Courts at the second or subsequent hearing.

Bail Information Services are not yet provided in court at first hearings; however, we anticipate that over the coming months the project will generate sufficient data to help us to understand the efficacy of any design and development of a potentially permanent dedicated and proactive Bail Information Service that can operate in both prisons and courts across England and Wales.

Owing to the circumstances created by the pandemic, it was not possible to carry out the pilot as originally planned. A limited bail information service was attempted in a few magistrates’ courts in the North West of England – mainly Liverpool Magistrates’ Court and Manchester Magistrates’ Court, with some partial cover in a few smaller courts in Lancashire. Owing to the delivery environment at that time, however, it was not possible to collect the data needed for the pilot.

In March 2021, Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service introduced a bail information scheme in prisons across England and Wales. Every public sector remand prison, apart from high-security establishments, now has a bail information officer. This project was originally intended to run for 12 months, but as the difficulties relating to the pandemic continued throughout 2021-22, the scheme has been extended to April 2023. This will enable data to be gathered and evaluated, to inform decisions about the design and development of a potentially permanent scheme in prisons in England and Wales (the scheme could also include magistrates’ courts).

We do not currently hold data on the number of people accessing the Bail Information Service. However, the data we are collecting through the current initiative is to provide us with the evidence we need in order to develop a longer-term scheme.

The Bail Information Service project has been extended until April 2023. A key aim of the project is to gather sufficient data and evidence to inform decisions around the development of a future dedicated and pro-active Bail Information Service in England and Wales. As the project develops, we are exploring how voluntary sector involvement can support the operational delivery of the Bail Information Service, and any findings will be analysed as part of the overall evaluation post April 2023.

Sarah Dines
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people accessed Bail Information Services in (a) courts and (b) prisons in the most recent period for which data is available.

The Bail Information Service (BIS) project has Bail Information Officers (BIOs) operating in 31 public sector remand prisons across England and Wales, providing bail information reports for defendants who are being considered for release on bail following an initial remand into custody. This can be provided to magistrate and Crown Courts at the second or subsequent hearing.

Bail Information Services are not yet provided in court at first hearings; however, we anticipate that over the coming months the project will generate sufficient data to help us to understand the efficacy of any design and development of a potentially permanent dedicated and proactive Bail Information Service that can operate in both prisons and courts across England and Wales.

Owing to the circumstances created by the pandemic, it was not possible to carry out the pilot as originally planned. A limited bail information service was attempted in a few magistrates’ courts in the North West of England – mainly Liverpool Magistrates’ Court and Manchester Magistrates’ Court, with some partial cover in a few smaller courts in Lancashire. Owing to the delivery environment at that time, however, it was not possible to collect the data needed for the pilot.

In March 2021, Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service introduced a bail information scheme in prisons across England and Wales. Every public sector remand prison, apart from high-security establishments, now has a bail information officer. This project was originally intended to run for 12 months, but as the difficulties relating to the pandemic continued throughout 2021-22, the scheme has been extended to April 2023. This will enable data to be gathered and evaluated, to inform decisions about the design and development of a potentially permanent scheme in prisons in England and Wales (the scheme could also include magistrates’ courts).

We do not currently hold data on the number of people accessing the Bail Information Service. However, the data we are collecting through the current initiative is to provide us with the evidence we need in order to develop a longer-term scheme.

The Bail Information Service project has been extended until April 2023. A key aim of the project is to gather sufficient data and evidence to inform decisions around the development of a future dedicated and pro-active Bail Information Service in England and Wales. As the project develops, we are exploring how voluntary sector involvement can support the operational delivery of the Bail Information Service, and any findings will be analysed as part of the overall evaluation post April 2023.

Sarah Dines
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) courts and (b) prisons had a dedicated Bail Information Service in the most recent period for which data is available.

The Bail Information Service (BIS) project has Bail Information Officers (BIOs) operating in 31 public sector remand prisons across England and Wales, providing bail information reports for defendants who are being considered for release on bail following an initial remand into custody. This can be provided to magistrate and Crown Courts at the second or subsequent hearing.

Bail Information Services are not yet provided in court at first hearings; however, we anticipate that over the coming months the project will generate sufficient data to help us to understand the efficacy of any design and development of a potentially permanent dedicated and proactive Bail Information Service that can operate in both prisons and courts across England and Wales.

Owing to the circumstances created by the pandemic, it was not possible to carry out the pilot as originally planned. A limited bail information service was attempted in a few magistrates’ courts in the North West of England – mainly Liverpool Magistrates’ Court and Manchester Magistrates’ Court, with some partial cover in a few smaller courts in Lancashire. Owing to the delivery environment at that time, however, it was not possible to collect the data needed for the pilot.

In March 2021, Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service introduced a bail information scheme in prisons across England and Wales. Every public sector remand prison, apart from high-security establishments, now has a bail information officer. This project was originally intended to run for 12 months, but as the difficulties relating to the pandemic continued throughout 2021-22, the scheme has been extended to April 2023. This will enable data to be gathered and evaluated, to inform decisions about the design and development of a potentially permanent scheme in prisons in England and Wales (the scheme could also include magistrates’ courts).

We do not currently hold data on the number of people accessing the Bail Information Service. However, the data we are collecting through the current initiative is to provide us with the evidence we need in order to develop a longer-term scheme.

The Bail Information Service project has been extended until April 2023. A key aim of the project is to gather sufficient data and evidence to inform decisions around the development of a future dedicated and pro-active Bail Information Service in England and Wales. As the project develops, we are exploring how voluntary sector involvement can support the operational delivery of the Bail Information Service, and any findings will be analysed as part of the overall evaluation post April 2023.

Sarah Dines
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of whether the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Commissioning Guidance has led to any improvements in specialist victims services being commissioned for Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.

Under the Victims’ Code, victims are entitled to access support services which are tailored to their needs. This can only begin to be achieved by government departments, and other funders of victims’ services, adopting more aligned commissioning processes.

We have set out, in the newly published Victims Funding Strategy, our intention to monitor and review the impact of existing commissioning guidance that relates to victim support services, including the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Commissioning Guidance. As part of this work, we will consider the updating and publication of any relevant guidance in due course.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Victims Funding Strategy published on 26 May 2022, if his Department will publish the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Commissioning Guidance.

Under the Victims’ Code, victims are entitled to access support services which are tailored to their needs. This can only begin to be achieved by government departments, and other funders of victims’ services, adopting more aligned commissioning processes.

We have set out, in the newly published Victims Funding Strategy, our intention to monitor and review the impact of existing commissioning guidance that relates to victim support services, including the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Commissioning Guidance. As part of this work, we will consider the updating and publication of any relevant guidance in due course.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to Delivering justice for victims: Consultation response published on 25 May 2022, if he will provide more details on the restorative justice pilot to understand gaps in provision.

We are committed to supporting restorative justice as a way to help victims cope and, as far as possible, recover from the impact of crime. However, it should only take place when both the victim and the offender agree, and it is considered safe. That is why, under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (‘the Victims’ Code’), all victims must be told about the option of restorative justice and how to access it, should it be appropriate.

On 25 May 2022, we published our response to the ‘Delivering justice for victims’ consultation and a draft Victims Bill, which sets out how we intend to enshrine the Victims’ Code in legislation, sending a clear signal that the justice system must deliver these entitlements for victims. We are also working with criminal justice agencies, Police and Crime Commissioners and Local Criminal Justice Boards to develop a set of metrics to ensure consistent monitoring of compliance with the Code and improve the delivery of its entitlements.

We want to make sure that restorative justice services target the most appropriate cases, where we have clear evidence for the benefits of that approach. We provide Police and Crime Commissioners with grant funding for victim support services, including restorative justice services. We are increasing our funding for victim and witness support services to £192 million by 2024/25, more than quadruple the level in 2009/10. In order to improve local partnership working regarding restorative justice services, work is underway by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service to identify the factors supporting quality practice and to test effective, evidence-based access to, and delivery of, MoJ-funded restorative justice work. I continue to carefully consider the recommendations of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Restorative Justice, which included a recommendation to refresh the action plan, and will respond in due course.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans his Department has to issue an updated Restorative Justice Action Plan for the Criminal Justice System given the last action plan elapsed in 2018.

We are committed to supporting restorative justice as a way to help victims cope and, as far as possible, recover from the impact of crime. However, it should only take place when both the victim and the offender agree, and it is considered safe. That is why, under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (‘the Victims’ Code’), all victims must be told about the option of restorative justice and how to access it, should it be appropriate.

On 25 May 2022, we published our response to the ‘Delivering justice for victims’ consultation and a draft Victims Bill, which sets out how we intend to enshrine the Victims’ Code in legislation, sending a clear signal that the justice system must deliver these entitlements for victims. We are also working with criminal justice agencies, Police and Crime Commissioners and Local Criminal Justice Boards to develop a set of metrics to ensure consistent monitoring of compliance with the Code and improve the delivery of its entitlements.

We want to make sure that restorative justice services target the most appropriate cases, where we have clear evidence for the benefits of that approach. We provide Police and Crime Commissioners with grant funding for victim support services, including restorative justice services. We are increasing our funding for victim and witness support services to £192 million by 2024/25, more than quadruple the level in 2009/10. In order to improve local partnership working regarding restorative justice services, work is underway by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service to identify the factors supporting quality practice and to test effective, evidence-based access to, and delivery of, MoJ-funded restorative justice work. I continue to carefully consider the recommendations of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Restorative Justice, which included a recommendation to refresh the action plan, and will respond in due course.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether any young people under the age of 15 are being considered for transfer to youth facilities reserved for young people aged 15 to 18.

All children and young people are placed within the Youth Secure Estate in the most appropriate, available accommodation that meets their needs. Each placement is subject to an individual risk assessment and is decided upon in line with the Youth Custody Service (YCS) Placement Guidance. Boys and girls aged between 12 and 18 years old are placed together at some establishments within the Youth Secure Estate.

Legally, there are no places exclusively reserved for 15- to 18-year-olds. However, the YCS Placements Guidance Policy guides the YCS Placements Team to generally only place children who are aged 15 years old or above into the Young Offenders Institution (YOI) sector. However, children aged under 15 could legally be placed into the YOI sector although this exceptional circumstance would have to be approved by senior officials.

24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether males and females are detained together in the youth estate.

All children and young people are placed within the Youth Secure Estate in the most appropriate, available accommodation that meets their needs. Each placement is subject to an individual risk assessment and is decided upon in line with the Youth Custody Service (YCS) Placement Guidance. Boys and girls aged between 12 and 18 years old are placed together at some establishments within the Youth Secure Estate.

Legally, there are no places exclusively reserved for 15- to 18-year-olds. However, the YCS Placements Guidance Policy guides the YCS Placements Team to generally only place children who are aged 15 years old or above into the Young Offenders Institution (YOI) sector. However, children aged under 15 could legally be placed into the YOI sector although this exceptional circumstance would have to be approved by senior officials.

24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many applications there were to (a) the PQiP scheme and (b) vacancies for prison officers in the last 12 months.

Between 1 June 2021 and 31 May 2022 inclusive, 5,614 applications to the PQiP scheme were submitted and 78,890 applications to prison officer vacancies were submitted.

Notes:

  1. This data comes from the Oleeo Recruitment Database. Figures do not include recruitment campaigns managed by external companies.
  2. Oleeo is a live system so figures may be subject to change. Data regarding prison officer applications was extracted on 2 June 2022.
  3. The total number of applications include both external and internal applicants.
  4. The prison officer data only includes recruitment for Public Sector Prisons.
  5. Youth Justice Worker applications are included in the count of prison officer applications.
  6. The count of prison officer applications covers Bands 3-5.
  7. The prison officer figure excludes applications to the “Unlocked Graduate Scheme” but includes applications to Operational Support Grade to prison officer / Youth Justice Worker fast track campaigns.
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many hours a prison officer is permitted to spend on training each year.

There are no set training hours for prison officers however all HMPPS staff are able to access the online e-learning platform MyLearning which hosts a variety of training, which can be accessed at any time.

To become a fully trained prison officer, each learner must undertake a Level 3 Custody & Detention Apprenticeship, which is a total of 441 hours completed over the initial 16-18 month period.

All prison officers are able to undertake a variety of operational training as part of their continued professional development. Our e-learning platform MyLearning is available to all HMPPS employees and includes all essential learning.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if his Department will take steps to ensure that new temporary accommodation to support prison leavers at risk of homelessness will be situated in places that are not likely to increase the risk of further reoffending.

This Government is determined to continue driving down reoffending rates, to make our streets safer and reduce the £18bn annual cost of reoffending. The overall reoffending rate has already fallen from 31% in 2009/10 to 26% in 2019/20.

The provision of temporary accommodation for prison leavers is a key part of our work to further reduce reoffending - we know that offenders are around 50 per cent more likely to commit crimes again if released without somewhere to stay. The provision of more temporary accommodation for prison leavers forms part of our plans to spend £200m a year by 2024-25 to reduce reoffending.

As part of this, HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has launched a service providing up to 12 weeks’ basic accommodation and support for those leaving prison at risk of homelessness. Originally launched in 5 probation regions, the provision is being fully rolled out across England and Wales this year, supporting the thousands of prison leavers who leave prison each year who would otherwise lack stable accommodation. We launched the competition for new contracts on 18 May 2022.

In terms of the locations of new temporary accommodation, the provider of the accommodation must obtain HMPPS’ approval for new accommodation before it can be used. Information received by the Authority from the police or local authority helps to inform the decision, and a Community Probation Practitioner will risk assess whether the accommodation is suitable for the offender. In this way, it is ensured that new temporary accommodation is in appropriate locations.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to improve outcomes for prisoners from ethnic minority backgrounds.

We want people to have confidence in a justice system that is fair and open, where no person suffers discrimination of any kind. The over-representation of ethnic minorities in prisons, and in the justice system more widely, is a real concern and we continue to prioritise understanding and tackling any disparities they face.

Our commitment to tackling race and ethnic disparity is clear, as set out in the government’s Inclusive Britain strategy (published in response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities). It laid out a clear and broad set of steps we are taking in relation to improving outcomes in criminal justice, and built on the extensive work undertaken in response to the 2017 Lammy Review, a detailed overview of which can be found in the Tackling Racial Disparity updates published in 2018 and 2020.

Our work to tackle disparities focuses on not just the initial actions committed to in response to the Lammy Review, such as significant efforts to ensure a more representative HMPPS workforce, but also builds on these steps, going further where we can, By way of example, we launched a Stewardship Fund of over £1.5m to better support grassroot, ethnic minority-led and specialist voluntary or community sector organisations. Through the provision of informed services to ethnic minority offenders, they help turn their lives around, reduce reoffending, and improve outcomes for them and wider society.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when his plans to reduce Friday release will be implemented.

This Government will legislate to enable offenders who are at risk of reoffending to be released up to two days earlier, where a release date falls on a Friday or before a bank holiday, when Parliamentary time allows.

We will continue to consider the views of stakeholders, including operational colleagues, prison staff and the third sector to shape the policy to ensure that legislative change reduces risk of reoffending, protects the public and effectively manages risk.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress his Department has made on the policy details of the Problem Solving Court pilot.

We have created the necessary legislative provisions to enable Problem-solving Court (PSC) pilots within the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act 2022. We have committed to up to five pilots to test this new and innovative approach with offenders with substance misuse issues, female offenders, and domestic abuse perpetrators.

The Problem-Solving Court pilots will be available to offenders who fit certain criteria to be specified in regulations and who can be diverted into a Community Order or Suspended Sentence Order with intensive rehabilitative requirements to meet criminogenic needs alongside punitive requirements.

We are considering a range of locations to ensure that the pilots are situated in the best possible areas that provide the broadest range of support services to help manage offenders in the community. We will be implementing the pilots over the course of the Spending Review.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the fast-track adjudications process does not have disproportionate impacts on protected groups.

The Prisons Strategy White Paper set out our ambition to introduce a fast-track adjudications system with rehabilitative interventions for lower-level offences.

We will complete a full impact and equalities assessment for this policy, and we will take the appropriate steps to ensure that prisoners with protected characteristics are not disproportionately negatively impacted by the changes.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will increase the current entitlement of prisoners to make video calls.

We remain committed in continuing to offer social video calls, as we have clear evidence that these, alongside face-to-face visits, telephone calls, voicemail and email, help maintain contact with families and significant others. Maintaining such ties is not only important for the well-being of prisoners but has also been shown to reduce reoffending.

At present, we are operating this offer in accordance with our interim policy which enables one free 30-minute call per prisoner, per month. Additional calls are also available at the discretion of Governors.

A longer-term policy is being developed to support our commitment to sustaining social video calling and we are considering options in line with our commitments in the Prison Strategy White Paper.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress his Department has made on the policy details for the new deal for prison governors set out in the Prisons Strategy white paper.

In the Prisons Strategy White Paper, we committed to delivering the ‘New Deal’ for governors based on clear expectations and accountability, but with greater freedom and autonomy to shape delivery in prisons. In April 2022, we introduced Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to drive improved outcomes by measuring progress with annually published performance ratings for each prison. At the end of June 2022, we will issue guidance to governors restating their existing local freedoms. We are committed to launching Earned Autonomy in early 2023 which will empower our highest performing operational leaders to innovate locally and improve outcomes.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to stop women being sent to prison for non-violent crimes.

As set out in the 2018 Female Offender Strategy, the Government is committed to ensure more women are managed successfully in the community and that fewer women go to prison, particularly on short sentences.

We are investing tens of millions of pounds over the next three years into community services for women, drug rehabilitation and accommodation support, so fewer women end up in prison. We will open the first Residential Women’s Centre (RWC), in Swansea, which will offer an intensive residential support package in the community for women at risk of short custodial sentences. Under powers in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, we will pilot Problem-Solving Courts targeting specific cohorts with underlying needs, including one pilot exclusively for female offenders, to provide robust community sentences as a more effective alternative to custody where appropriate.

In addition, we have launched a Pre-Sentence Report (PSR) pilot in 15 magistrates’ courts to evaluate how higher quality and more timely PSRs can best inform sentencers’ decisions in relation to female offenders (and other groups).

We will publish a Delivery Plan for the Female Offender Strategy later this summer. This will set out our ambitious cross-Government approach for the next three years.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the daily regime of prison in reducing reoffending.

The prison regime dictates the daily timetable of activity and enables all elements of rehabilitation work in prisons. The regime components (including the delivery of education, work and skills) are key, and the impact of these is what reduces reoffending.

As set out in the Prisons Strategy White Paper, we have committed to Future Regime Design that is focused on ensuring that time is well spent for all in prisons. This Government will invest £200 million a year by 2024/25 to improve prison leavers’ access to accommodation, employment support and substance misuse treatment, and introduce further measures for early intervention to tackle youth offending.

Overall reoffending has been reduced from 31% in 2009/10 to 26% in 2019/20, and these measures will allow us to make further progress.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the viability of prisons that are over 100 years old to (a) provide a safe place for staff and prisoners, (b) adapt for digital services and (c) house appropriate educational opportunities.

Current refurbishment projects underway at HMP Liverpool and HMP Birmingham provide evidence of how Victorian era buildings can be upgraded to provide fit-for-purpose prison accommodation.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to improve conditions for those living and working in prisons.

We are investing £675m over the period 2022 to 2025 in capital projects across the prison estate to improve conditions for prisoners and staff, safeguard capacity, and improve sustainability. Over the same period we are also investing £3.8bn to make significant progress in delivering 20,000 prison places. These will provide modern, safe and decent accommodation and workplaces for prisoners and staff.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to deliver drug treatment to prisoners.

In England, the NHS is responsible for commissioning healthcare services in all prisons including integrated substance misuse services. The Ministry of Justice works with NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care and the Welsh Government, to ensure all prisoners access treatment that meets their needs with a focus on abstinence-based recovery to support a meaningful recovery from drug dependency.

The Ministry of Justice is investing £120m over the next three years to get more offenders engaged in treatment. With this investment, we will enhance testing regimes in prison, expand the use of Drug Recovery Wings where prisoners commit to remain drug-free and undergo regular voluntary drug tests, support prisoners to engage with community treatment ahead of their release and increase the use of intensive drug rehabilitation requirements for those on community sentences.

Prisoners will be supported to use their time in prison to become free from drugs, and we will establish a key performance measure to monitor all prisons’ progress in ensuring that recovery is the focus and share local good practice around the estate.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what his Department's timeline is for the work to improve digital access across the prison estate.

A key strategic objective of the 2021-2024 HMPPS Digital, Data, and Technology Strategy is to give the people in our care digital tools and technology to support their rehabilitation, including prisoner education and administration. Within that strategy, we have committed to making laptops available in prisoners’ cells in up to 15 prisons through the In-Cell Technology programme by the end of October 2022. We have now completed deployments to 9 sites, with a further 4 to be completed by October, and we are also refreshing the devices and service in the two original in-cell prisons (Wayland and Berwyn) to ensure they remain secure and supportable. Furthermore, we have now enabled the rollout of the education software, Virtual Campus 2, on in-cell laptops, offering people in prison access to education services while in their cell.

We acknowledge the potential benefits this can bring to prisons, with initial feedback from prisons highlighting the time saved for staff and the benefits to prisoners’ wellbeing, including reducing levels of stress and anxiety. Consequently, we aim to continue our work on this programme and continue rollout to more of the prison estate in the coming years.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he plans to take to provide a safer and more secure custodial environment, as described in the Prisons Strategy White Paper – Response to Consultation.

This Government is investing £37 million to deliver improvements to prison safety announced in the Prisons Strategy White Paper. This includes making key changes to the physical environment, introducing specialist support, developing bespoke interventions and testing new technology.

In March, we completed our £100 million Security Investment Programme including 75 X-ray body scanners which now cover the entire closed male estate. We have also secured a further £25 million of funding for prison security. This will enable us to tackle efforts to undermine prison stability, such as drug smuggling, through increased drug trace detection units and x-ray baggage scanners at 42 priority sites.

The recruitment and retention of staff is integral to better outcomes in prisons, including making prisons safer and more secure. From October 2016 to March 2022, the number of band 3-5 prison officers increased by over 4,000. Alongside our recruitment and retention strategy, we are also creating a more resilient estate by both building additional prison places and undertaking refurbishments; improving prisoner access to healthcare; and investing £120 million in tackling substance misuse over the next three years to get more offenders engaged in treatment all of which will support safer, more secure prisons.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Prisons Strategy White Paper–Response to Consultation Questions, published in June 2022, what funding his Department plans to allocate for the staff retention package, including on professional supervision for officers and training for staff.

Having experienced staff in our prisons is vital to ensuring prisons remain safe, secure and decent and we have introduced a number of initiatives since the publication of the Prison Strategy White Paper (PSWP).

In late 2021 we launched a retention tool kit to help Governors to tackle the main drivers of attrition in their prisons. We are using the data from this and enhanced exit interviews to better understand why employees leave.

Since April 2022, we have invested in several new initiatives, costing an additional £17 million, to improve the experience of our new joiners and increase retention. These include a new peer-to-peer learning scheme, the introduction of mentors for new prison officers, a supervision pilot in two prisons, and new leadership training in prisons with the highest attrition.

Through the PSWP, we also committed to the development of a suite of learning modules to support the needs of our diverse prison population. Funding for this activity is delivered through a number of budgets across the Department utilising both existing and new funding.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, which prisons will be installed with (a) high-specification drugs trace detection, (b) mobile phone blocking technology and (c) an intelligence management system.

In March 2022, we completed the £100 million Security Investment Programme, aimed at reducing crime in prisons, including reducing the conveyance of illicit items such as drugs and mobile phones. This included 75 X-ray body scanners which now cover the entire closed male estate. Since installation began in July 2020 approximately 20,000 positive scans have been recorded.

HMPPS uses a range of data and intelligence to understand key threats to prison security, which informs our approach to counter measures to tackle them. This additional £25 million investment package has been designed to restrict drug supply into prisons via the gate and post, for example by increasing the number of drug trace detection equipment from 125 to 160, and installing x-ray baggage scanners at 42 high priority sites; enhancing our mobile blocking technology to prevent the illicit mobile phone communications that we know facilitates the illicit economy both within and outside of the prison walls; and providing the entire prison estate with a new intelligence management system so we can understand and respond to the security threats we face.

For security reasons, we do not disclose the precise locations of our equipment. Such information could be used by prisoners, including serious and organised criminals to subvert and bypass our countermeasures.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how the £25 million for disrupting the supply of drugs to prison will be allocated; and what the evidential basis is for that policy.

In March 2022, we completed the £100 million Security Investment Programme, aimed at reducing crime in prisons, including reducing the conveyance of illicit items such as drugs and mobile phones. This included 75 X-ray body scanners which now cover the entire closed male estate. Since installation began in July 2020 approximately 20,000 positive scans have been recorded.

HMPPS uses a range of data and intelligence to understand key threats to prison security, which informs our approach to counter measures to tackle them. This additional £25 million investment package has been designed to restrict drug supply into prisons via the gate and post, for example by increasing the number of drug trace detection equipment from 125 to 160, and installing x-ray baggage scanners at 42 high priority sites; enhancing our mobile blocking technology to prevent the illicit mobile phone communications that we know facilitates the illicit economy both within and outside of the prison walls; and providing the entire prison estate with a new intelligence management system so we can understand and respond to the security threats we face.

For security reasons, we do not disclose the precise locations of our equipment. Such information could be used by prisoners, including serious and organised criminals to subvert and bypass our countermeasures.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Liaison Officers there are across the women’s estate; and what training they have received.

The Prisons Strategy White Paper set out a new approach for women’s prisons: one which is trauma responsive, recognises the distinct nature of women’s experience in custody and provides the appropriate levels of support, particularly for pregnant women and those with young children.

So far, we have developed bespoke selection and assessment criteria for staff in women’s prisons and started to roll out a bespoke model of staff training.

We have also funded a number of activities to support improvements in safety, including additional support for women with complex needs, specialist support for women who have experienced abuse and extra support during early days in custody.

In addition, we have announced the opening of a pilot Residential Women’s Centre in Swansea to provide a community-based alternative to a short custodial sentence.

The Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Unit and Maternal Separation from Children up to the Age of Two in Women’s Prisons Policy Framework (September 2021), committed to the introduction of the Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Liaison Officer across the women’s estate. There are 13 Liaison Officers in place and 12 attended the national ‘Managing Pregnant Women in Prison’ course in March 2022. Additionally, we have introduced a National Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Liaison Officers Support Network.

We also committed to The National Stakeholder Advisory Forum on Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units, and Maternal Separation from Children up to the Age of Two in Women’s Prisons. This bi-annual event will bring together key stakeholders and individuals with lived experience ensuring a culture of reflective practice and informed policy development. The first event is scheduled for Autumn 2022 and the terms of reference will be shared with forum attendees in advance.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress his Department is making on ensuring that each women’s prison is a trauma-informed and responsive environment.

The Prisons Strategy White Paper set out a new approach for women’s prisons: one which is trauma responsive, recognises the distinct nature of women’s experience in custody and provides the appropriate levels of support, particularly for pregnant women and those with young children.

So far, we have developed bespoke selection and assessment criteria for staff in women’s prisons and started to roll out a bespoke model of staff training.

We have also funded a number of activities to support improvements in safety, including additional support for women with complex needs, specialist support for women who have experienced abuse and extra support during early days in custody.

In addition, we have announced the opening of a pilot Residential Women’s Centre in Swansea to provide a community-based alternative to a short custodial sentence.

The Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Unit and Maternal Separation from Children up to the Age of Two in Women’s Prisons Policy Framework (September 2021), committed to the introduction of the Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Liaison Officer across the women’s estate. There are 13 Liaison Officers in place and 12 attended the national ‘Managing Pregnant Women in Prison’ course in March 2022. Additionally, we have introduced a National Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Liaison Officers Support Network.

We also committed to The National Stakeholder Advisory Forum on Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units, and Maternal Separation from Children up to the Age of Two in Women’s Prisons. This bi-annual event will bring together key stakeholders and individuals with lived experience ensuring a culture of reflective practice and informed policy development. The first event is scheduled for Autumn 2022 and the terms of reference will be shared with forum attendees in advance.

17th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the terms of reference are for the National Stakeholder Advisory Forum to improve support for pregnant women and young mothers.

The Prisons Strategy White Paper set out a new approach for women’s prisons: one which is trauma responsive, recognises the distinct nature of women’s experience in custody and provides the appropriate levels of support, particularly for pregnant women and those with young children.

So far, we have developed bespoke selection and assessment criteria for staff in women’s prisons and started to roll out a bespoke model of staff training.

We have also funded a number of activities to support improvements in safety, including additional support for women with complex needs, specialist support for women who have experienced abuse and extra support during early days in custody.

In addition, we have announced the opening of a pilot Residential Women’s Centre in Swansea to provide a community-based alternative to a short custodial sentence.

The Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Unit and Maternal Separation from Children up to the Age of Two in Women’s Prisons Policy Framework (September 2021), committed to the introduction of the Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Liaison Officer across the women’s estate. There are 13 Liaison Officers in place and 12 attended the national ‘Managing Pregnant Women in Prison’ course in March 2022. Additionally, we have introduced a National Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Liaison Officers Support Network.

We also committed to The National Stakeholder Advisory Forum on Pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units, and Maternal Separation from Children up to the Age of Two in Women’s Prisons. This bi-annual event will bring together key stakeholders and individuals with lived experience ensuring a culture of reflective practice and informed policy development. The first event is scheduled for Autumn 2022 and the terms of reference will be shared with forum attendees in advance.

6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the suitability of the grading for the Victim Liaison Officer role in the Probation Service being at National Probation Service pay band 3.

Each role within the Probation Service is evaluated via a Job Evaluation Scheme (JES), jointly owned with Probation Trade Unions, to compare and measure the relative demands of jobs across the Service. This provides a rational basis for the design and maintenance of an equitable grading structure. The VLO role was assessed in 2016, via that scheme, to be at pay band 3.

However, as identified by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, recent enhancements to the Victims Code has changed some of the work of VLOs. This, along with last year’s unification of the Probation Service, means we are currently looking at whether the VLO is banded appropriately through a process agreed with trade unions involving staff engagement and trade union consultation, followed by consideration of a draft job description by a joint employer and trade union panel.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of implementing a system for sealing criminal records as employed in many US states.

The Government agrees with the conclusion of the 2017 Justice Select Committee report, ‘Disclosure of youth criminal records’, which found that, whilst there may be some merits in a mechanism whereby records could become ‘sealed’, this would create “unsustainable pressures” on the body responsible for deciding if a record should be sealed. While this report focused only on youth cases, this finding and the Government’s conclusion would also apply to adult offenders. As the report recommended, we are instead focused on using and reforming the existing automatic filtering system.

In November 2020 we implemented secondary legislation that changed the rules governing criminal records disclosure for those working with children, vulnerable adults or in a position of public trust, removing (for example) the requirement to disclose youth cautions. Further changes introduced by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act significantly reduce the length of time that someone needs to disclose their criminal record for custodial sentences of under four years and community sentences.

We believe that these reforms will continue to ensure we strike the right balance between public protection and ensuring that individuals who have ceased offending can move on with their lives as quickly as possible.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department has commissioned a study on the costs of unemployment among ex-offenders.

We know that the economic and social cost of reoffending is approximately £18 billion per year. Evidence also shows that prison leavers who get a job within a year after release are up to nine percentage points less likely to reoffend compared to those who do not.

That is why we are committed to delivering a presumption in favour of offering offenders the chance to work in prison, on Release on Temporary Licence and on release, including by building stronger links with employers. We are on track to roll out Prison Employment Leads, Employment Hubs and Employment Advisory Boards across all 91 resettlement prisons by April 2023.

The proportion of prisoners released from custody employed at six months from their release rose by almost two thirds to 23% between April 2021 and March 2022.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, which prisons have established a forum for officers and prisoners to review the fairness and effectiveness of their incentives and earned privileges regime.

The Incentives Policy Framework mandates that forums must be in place to review the fairness and effectiveness of the local incentives policy, including the efficacy of the incentives on offer. It also confirms that they must involve staff and prisoners, including all prisoner groups with protected characteristics where present in the local population.

All prisons either have a specific forum in place to discuss the incentives policy or facilitate the opportunity to do so through other methods. The capacity for such forums to take place has been reduced during the pandemic, however, as the majority of Covid restrictions within prisons are being removed regular operation is returning.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress Her Majesty's Prisons and Probation Service has made on developing performance indicators for prisons on equality of (a) treatment and (b) outcomes for BAME and white prisoners.

We recognise that race disparities persist in the Criminal Justice System, and we are committed to actively tackling the impact of this across MoJ. As part of this commitment, in December 2020 HMPPS launched the Race Action Programme (RAP), which builds on the MoJ Race Action Plan.

The RAP will increase the diversity of our workforce, address the risk of bias in our policies and tackle disparity in outcomes for prisoners, people on probation and children in our system. This will also help to reduce reoffending and enhance rehabilitative practices.

Prisons use a monitoring tool which shows the distribution of prisoner protected characteristics across a range of components of prison life. This includes prisoners placed on the incentives scheme, as well as adjudications and complaints. The tool will be expanded to include other areas such as release on temporary licence and use of force.

Governors use this tool to monitor the characteristics of their local prison population, and in this way can better explain local conditions and discern whether changes may be warranted.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will provide details of the ethnicity of prison staff, broken down by each (a) prison and (b) ethnic group.

The figures for the number of Public Sector Prison and Youth Custody Estate staff in post are published and available in Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service’s workforce quarterly publication. The latest figures can be found here in Table 5a and b of HMPPS workforce statistics bulletin: March 2022 tables:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/her-majestys-prison-and-probation-service-workforce-quarterly-march-2022.

This publication provides headline statistics at an organisational, group/division level. We are not able to break this down further to establishment level.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate his Department has made of the number of prisons that have adopted a problem-solving approach to tackling complaints; and whether complainants are able to state what action they want taken as a result of an investigation into their complaint.

The current Prisoner Complaints policy framework was published in August 2019 and implemented across all prisons in England and Wales. There is a clear requirement within this for staff in all prisons to adopt a problem-solving approach and give prisoners the opportunity to state what they want to see happen as a result of their complaint.

Operational managers are required to complete routine checks of samples of complaint forms in order assure themselves of the quality of responses and address any staff training issues. Work is underway with the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s complaints leads to review this assurance process.

Outside of this process, people in prison are also able to submit a DIRF (Discrimination Incident Reporting Form) if they perceive that they have experienced, or witnessed, an incident of discrimination. This process is confidential and each incident must be investigated via a designated process within a set timeline.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, which prison use of force committees have a member whose remit is to consider the interests of prisoners.

HMPPS has accepted recommendation 25 of the Lammy Review, which states prison governors should ensure Use of Force Committees are not ethnically homogeneous and involve at least one individual, such as a member of the prison’s Independent Monitoring Board, with an explicit remit to consider the interests of prisoners.

A Use of Force Good Practice Guide has been produced and issued to all governors, reiterating this recommendation from the Lammy Review. Whilst this information is not collected centrally, all governors have been written to by the Director of Security Order and Counter Terrorism, restating the expectation that Use of Force Committees should be ethnically diverse and should have a member whose remit is to consider the interests of prisoners.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will provide details of the members of use of force committees in each prison, broken down by ethnicity.

HMPPS has accepted recommendation 25 of the Lammy Review, which states prison governors should ensure Use of Force Committees are not ethnically homogeneous and involve at least one individual, such as a member of the prison’s Independent Monitoring Board, with an explicit remit to consider the interests of prisoners.

A Use of Force Good Practice Guide has been produced and issued to all governors, reiterating this recommendation from the Lammy Review. Whilst this information is not collected centrally, all governors have been written to by the Director of Security Order and Counter Terrorism, restating the expectation that Use of Force Committees should be ethnically diverse and should have a member whose remit is to consider the interests of prisoners.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average cost per cell is of each new or planned prison place in 2022-23.

The information requested is commercially sensitive due to the on-going and future procurements planned across the programme.

Additional prison places will come online in the financial year 2022/23 with 480 places to be delivered via the rapid deployment cells project, 90 places at High Down and the ongoing increase in the number of prisoners at HMP Five Wells.

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of prisoners who are released from prison reoffend, broken down by (a) offence and (b) ethnicity, including the proportion of offenders of each ethnicity.

This Government is tackling the causes of reoffending to make our streets safer. We are investing in probation services and new initiatives to reduce reoffending and beat crime.

The Prisons Strategy White Paper, published in December 2021, sets out our ambitious plans to reduce reoffending. We will spend £200 million a year by 2024/25 to improve prison leavers’ access to accommodation, employment support and substance misuse treatment, and on further measures for early intervention to tackle youth offending. This builds on £70 million of investment in 2021 to tackle drivers of reoffending.

Our measures are working. Overall proven reoffending has decreased from 30.9% in 2009/10 to 25.6% in 2019/20. The reoffending rates for index offences of robbery, possession of weapons, criminal damage and arson, and sexual and drug offences have all fallen between 2009/10 and 2019/20.

The proportion of individuals (adults and juveniles) released from custody who subsequently went on to reoffend over a one-year follow-up period are presented in the table below. The figures are broken down by index offence and ethnicity.

Table 1: Overall proven reoffending data for offenders released from custody, by index offence and ethnicity, April 2019 to March 2020 annual offender cohort

Index offence

Proportion of offenders who reoffend (%)

Violence against the person

36.5%

White

38.4%

Black

29.2%

Asian

29.6%

Other

20.6%

Not recorded

24.0%

Sexual

10.9%

White

10.7%

Black

18.0%

Asian

9.0%

Other

14.7%

Not recorded

4.9%

Robbery

26.1%

White

26.3%

Black

26.1%

Asian

25.9%

Other

*

Not recorded

20.9%

Theft

63.4%

White

63.8%

Black

64.5%

Asian

55.2%

Other

45.7%

Not recorded

56.3%

Criminal damage and arson

24.5%

White

24.4%

Black

*

Asian

*

Other

*

Not recorded

*

Drug

21.0%

White

21.0%

Black

22.8%

Asian

19.9%

Other

10.6%

Not recorded

13.2%

Possession of weapons

42.2%

White

43.5%

Black

39.9%

Asian

38.4%

Other

39.6%

Not recorded

32.0%

Public order

56.1%

White

57.3%

Black

51.7%

Asian

49.3%

Other

*

Not recorded

47.1%

Miscellaneous crimes against society

27.9%

White

30.9%

Black

26.2%

Asian

18.4%

Other

6.8%

Not recorded

15.0%

Fraud

31.0%

White

35.5%

Black

25.7%

Asian

15.3%

Other

*

Not recorded

7.2%

Summary non-motoring

56.9%

White

58.3%

Black

51.9%

Asian

46.7%

Other

*

Not recorded

44.7%

Summary motoring

36.0%

White

37.9%

Black

30.1%

Asian

29.4%

Other

*

Not recorded

20.0%

Other

*

White

*

Black

*

Asian

*

Other

*

Not recorded

*

Total

42.2%

White

44.6%

Black

36.3%

Asian

30.7%

Other

23.1%

Not recorded

28.3%

Notes:

  1. Annual figures are produced by aggregating the four preceding 3-monthly cohorts. Please note that this may result in a single offender being included in the annual cohort more than once.
  2. Proven reoffences are measured over a one-year follow-up period and a further six-month waiting period to allow for offences to be proven in court. It is worth noting that the reoffending follow-up and waiting periods for the April 2019 to March 2020 annual offender cohort overlaps, to varying degrees, with the first, second and third national lockdowns due as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. Due to this, figures relating to this cohort period should be interpreted with caution.
  3. Index offence refers to the proven offence that led to an offender being included in the cohort.
  4. Ethnicity categories presented are based on the reporting police officers' perception of the offender's ethnicity which is entered onto the Police National Computer and not self-reported.
  5. Where offender counts are less than or equal to 5, data have been suppressed to avoid deductive disclosure. In addition, proven reoffending proportions based on less than 30 offenders are also removed as they make data unreliable for interpretation. In both instances, counts and/or proportions are marked as *.
  6. Due to how custodial sentences are recorded, offenders with prison sentence lengths of one day are not included.
Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the re-offending rates were in those (a) that have re-offended after 2 years of release, (b) that have re-offended after 5 years of release, and (c) who have re-offended after 9 years of release the most recent period after January 2010.

The answer can only be provided at disproportionate cost as it would require data matching across separate systems.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what (a) qualifications and (b) verification a witness must demonstrate to present as an expert witness in the family court.

Section 13 of the Children and Families Act 2014 makes provision in relation to the control of expert evidence in children proceedings. An expert may only be instructed to provide evidence in proceedings relating to children with the permission of the court. This legislation is underpinned by detailed rules of court practice and procedure set out in the Family Procedure Rules 2010 and supporting Practice Directions. Practice Direction 25B includes a duty on experts to comply with specified standards, including evidencing their relevant experience and a requirement to be up-to-date with continuing professional development appropriate to their discipline and expertise. If the expert’s area is regulated by a UK statutory body, they must confirm possession of a current licence to practice or equivalent. If the area is not so regulated, then they must demonstrate appropriate qualifications and/or registration with a relevant professional body.

The President of the Family Division has published a memorandum on experts in the family court. The memorandum restates the principles applied by the Family Court when it considers whether to authorise or admit expert evidence as well as noting that experts should only be instructed when to do so is ‘necessary’ to assist the court in resolving issues justly.

The Family Justice Council has also produced guidelines on the instruction of medical experts from overseas in family cases. This sets out a series of recommendations for the process of instructing an expert and ensuring they have the appropriate experience.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the (a) number and (b) cost of agency staff working in the Probation Service was in the most recent period for which data is available.

The table below shows figures for the number and cost of contingent labour (agency staff) working in the Probation Service between April 2021 and March 2022. The total cost and numbers relate to the National Probation Service from 01 April 2021 to 26 June 2021, and then for the Probation Service thereafter.

It has been broken down by the number of Operational and admin/clerical agency staff workers. It should be noted that the figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Probation England, Wales and Probation Reform Programme

FY 2021-22

Number of Agency Staff

Operational Agency Staff

£23,069,614

734

Admin/Clerical Agency Staff

£6,020,447

541

The Probation Service is actively recruiting to all vacancies. The Probation Service has recruited an additional 1,007 against a target of 1,000 trainee Probation Officers in 2020-21, and an additional 1,518 against a target of 1,500 in 2021/22. A further 1,500 trainees will be recruited in 2022/23 in order to reduce the use of agency staff.

12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to oral evidence provided by officials in his Department to the Public Accounts Committee on 2 February 2022 relating to its inquiry on Improving outcomes for women in the criminal justice system, HC997, Q40, if his Department will publish its assessment on what helps to rehabilitate women.

The Female Offender Strategy recognised in its commitments for Better Custody that if we are to achieve equal outcomes for women, we should adopt a gender-informed approach and an adapted environment, that meets their gender-specific needs.

Our assessment of what rehabilitates women is included in the design principles for the new women’s facilities which are set out in the Prisons Strategy White Paper. These principles were informed by both the Female Offender Strategy and engagement with those with lived experience and our experienced staff in the women’s estate.

12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the national re-offending rates of prison leavers were by those that have re-offended after (a) two, (b) five, and (c) nine years of release in the period since 2010.

The answer can only be provided at disproportionate cost as it would require data matching across separate systems.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners (a) requested and (b) received a requested dictionary in the last 12 months; and what the rules are for the provision of dictionaries for prisoners.

The information requested is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Dictionaries will be made available for prisoners that request them. The Incentives Policy Framework (IPF) identifies those items that Governors must allow each prisoner when requested, irrespective of incentive level. Writing and reading materials, including dictionaries, form part of this list.

As well as this, all prisoners do have reasonable access to prison libraries, which focus on supporting learning and resettlement, and improving literacy. Prison libraries have the overarching aim of promoting reading as a source of pleasure and to provide prisoners with opportunities for wider cultural engagement. The stock available should reflect the needs of the prisoner community, based on a wide range of management information supplied by the establishment and library service provider.

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners in the adult estate are under 21 years of age.

Data on the age and location of prisoners throughout the adult estate is provided in the ‘prison population tool’ which is released as part of the Offender Management Statistics quarterly series. The most recent document can be accessed via the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1050261/Prison_Population_data_tool_20211231.xlsx.

Children and young people between 10-17 are held across the youth secure estate. The Youth Custody Service provides transition planning for those who will be in custody at the point of their 18th birthday and identify suitable placements for them.

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the proportion of the prison population that will be aged 18-21 in each of the next five years.

Projections for the young adult population only include those aged 18-20, and are available up to July 2025 here: Juvenile, young adult and adult populations by sex. Projections for the young adult population only include those aged 18-20, and are available up to July 2025 here: Juvenile, young adult and adult populations by sex.

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish a breakdown by age group of all prisoners in England and Wales.

The requested information is published quarterly at: Offender management statistics quarterly - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many Victim Liaison Officers are employed by the HM Prison and Probation Service.

Following the restructuring programme implemented from 1st June 2016, the Probation Service Victim Liaison Officer (VLO) job title was disbanded and aligned to the Probation Services Officer (PSO) function.

This change was to improve the service delivered by the Probation Service to victims across England and Wales. We have now introduced greater flexibility into the role by subsuming the VLO teams into the PSO function. The restructuring programme introduced standardised operating model, clearer team structures and aligned all job descriptions.

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of pre-sentence reports are completed on the day at court.

It would be misleading to give the proportion of cases sentenced without a pre-sentence report before the Crown and magistrates’ court due to the high numbers of cases for which a pre-sentence report would be unnecessary, particularly in the magistrates’ courts, for disposals of fines and discharges. This would also involve a process of matching court record data with probation data and the cost of doing so would be disproportionate.

While the decision of whether to order a PSR is up to the discretion of the judiciary, we recognise the value and importance of pre-sentence reports and are working to improve this number, and importantly also their quality, targeting and timeliness.

One example of this is through the PSR pilot that is currently running in 15 magistrates’ courts across England and Wales. As part of the pilot, we are encouraging the earlier identification of in-scope cases that would benefit from a PSR, and providing additional training and support to build the capacity of PSR writers to write higher quality reports. The pilot also requires that short format written reports are produced for three priority cohorts generally understood to have more complex needs, namely female offenders, young adult offenders and offenders at risk of custody. These more comprehensive reports may necessarily require a short adjournment.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of cases before the Crown Court are sentenced without a pre-sentence report.

It would be misleading to give the proportion of cases sentenced without a pre-sentence report before the Crown and magistrates’ court due to the high numbers of cases for which a pre-sentence report would be unnecessary, particularly in the magistrates’ courts, for disposals of fines and discharges. This would also involve a process of matching court record data with probation data and the cost of doing so would be disproportionate.

While the decision of whether to order a PSR is up to the discretion of the judiciary, we recognise the value and importance of pre-sentence reports and are working to improve this number, and importantly also their quality, targeting and timeliness.

One example of this is through the PSR pilot that is currently running in 15 magistrates’ courts across England and Wales. As part of the pilot, we are encouraging the earlier identification of in-scope cases that would benefit from a PSR, and providing additional training and support to build the capacity of PSR writers to write higher quality reports. The pilot also requires that short format written reports are produced for three priority cohorts generally understood to have more complex needs, namely female offenders, young adult offenders and offenders at risk of custody. These more comprehensive reports may necessarily require a short adjournment.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of cases before magistrates’ courts are sentenced without a pre-sentence report.

It would be misleading to give the proportion of cases sentenced without a pre-sentence report before the Crown and magistrates’ court due to the high numbers of cases for which a pre-sentence report would be unnecessary, particularly in the magistrates’ courts, for disposals of fines and discharges. This would also involve a process of matching court record data with probation data and the cost of doing so would be disproportionate.

While the decision of whether to order a PSR is up to the discretion of the judiciary, we recognise the value and importance of pre-sentence reports and are working to improve this number, and importantly also their quality, targeting and timeliness.

One example of this is through the PSR pilot that is currently running in 15 magistrates’ courts across England and Wales. As part of the pilot, we are encouraging the earlier identification of in-scope cases that would benefit from a PSR, and providing additional training and support to build the capacity of PSR writers to write higher quality reports. The pilot also requires that short format written reports are produced for three priority cohorts generally understood to have more complex needs, namely female offenders, young adult offenders and offenders at risk of custody. These more comprehensive reports may necessarily require a short adjournment.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the results of the most recent survey of probation staff as carried out by the Annual Civil Service People Survey.

The Civil Service People Survey 2021 benchmark and organisation results, including those for the Probation Service, will be published by the Cabinet Office and government communications on the GOV.UK site in due course.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases are held under the victim contact scheme.

The Probation Victim Contact Scheme (VCS) is statutory for victims of specified sexual and violent offences, where the offender has been sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment, or made subject to a hospital order. Eligible victims will be offered the service after sentence. Those victims who take up the service are kept informed about key stages of the sentence by a dedicated Victim Liaison Officer and have the right to make requests about licence conditions on release, such as a no contact condition and an exclusion zone.

On Thursday 1 April 2022, a total of 42,635 victims were recorded as actively engaged with the VCS. This figure has been drawn from an administrative IT system which, as with any large-scale recording system, is subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an assessment of the usefulness of assessments made under the Offender Assessment System in probation.

OASys is the core risk assessment tool utilised by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service to assess the risks and needs of any offender. The system was built based on existing evidence and was piloted prior to its implementation in 2001.

There have been a number of research reports since its implementation, and there is a current validation exercise of the predictive element of it, all of which have helped to ensure it remains a valid and reliable tool for assessing offenders’ risk.

The first research report, which covered a period between 2006 and 2009, outlined that OASys had contributed to the reduction of reoffending and can be found here: A compendium of research and analysis on the Offender Assessment System (OASys) 2006-2009 (cep-probation.org).

A second report presents the OASys studies completed between 2009 and 2013, including a systematic review of the usefulness of the tool and analyses of various aspects of reliability and validity: A compendium of research and analysis on the Offender Assessment System (OASys), 2009–2013 (publishing.service.gov.uk).

The OASys Sexual reoffending Predictor was introduced after the compendiums were written, and the evaluation of that tool is also available:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/955345/comparing-2-predictors-sexual-recidivism.pdf.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has plans to introduce additional clinical supervision for probation officers.

I refer the honourable member to the answer I gave on Monday 4 April to PQ 147089.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of prisons have resumed family days following the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the honourable member to the answer I gave on Monday 4 April to PQ 147093.

"We do not collect data centrally on which prisons hold family days. Anyone wishing to visit a prisoner should consult the following link to determine what facilities are available for doing so: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/prisons-in-england-and-wales. HMPPS continues to fund contracted family service providers to support prisons in delivering family days subject to local restrictions within the prison.

Our strategy for managing Covid-19 in prisons continues to be guided by our National Framework, which sets out the basis for decisions on the necessary level of Covid controls over time. All prisons in England and Wales have resumed social visits when safe to do so."

30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the annual cost to the public purse was of sentences of less than and up to 12 months in each year since 2010.

The information requested is not held.

An average cost per prisoner, costs per prison place and overall prison unit costs for each private and public sector prison in England and Wales are, however, routinely published by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). This information is produced annually and published after the end of each financial year on the gov.uk website. The number of prisoners by sentence length is also published on a quarterly basis under the Offender Management Statistics on the gov.uk website.

29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of adults who were remanded in custody pending sentencing received a non custodial sentence, in the most recent year for which data is available.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on custodial remands and sentencing outcomes found in the ‘Remands: Magistrates’ Court’ and ‘Remands: Crown Court’ data tools, up to December 2020. The data is in tools available at:

*To avoid double counting individuals dealt with at Crown Court, in the remands magistrates court tool, deselect outcomes ’06: Sent to Crown Court for trial’ and ’07: Committed to Crown Court for sentencing’ in the ‘Outcome’ filter.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many probation officers have left their role by the lowest possible geographical level in each month of the last three years.

The information on number of probation officers who leave HMPPS for each month in 2019, 2020 and 2021 by region is given in the accompanying excel file.

Information for probation officers who leave the probation officer role to go to another role internally is not always recorded and so have not been included in the figures.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to Answer of 24 March 2022 to Question 129213 on Courts, how many court rooms have been in use on average in each court in England and Wales in each month of last five years.

Over the time period provided, the number of court and tribunal rooms available for use has increased by 14%.

We allocated over a quarter of a billion pounds to support court recovery in the last financial year, making court buildings safe, rolling out new technology for remote hearings, recruiting additional staff, and opening Nightingale courtrooms, of which 30 have been extended to March 2023.

The total number of rooms recorded as available for use in all courthouses and tribunal hearing centres in England & Wales since September 2020 is provided below. The data is not available prior to September 2020.

End of month snapshot

Number of courthouses & tribunal hearing centres

Number of rooms available

30 September 2020

340

2110

31 October 2020

344

2169

30 November 2020

346

2173

31 December 2020

348

2184

31 January 2021

350

2205

28 February 2021

351

2204

31 March 2021

353

2211

30 April 2021

357

2218

31 May 2021

360

2234

30 June 2021

360

2239

31 July 2021

358

2311

31 August 2021

357

2308

30 September 2021

357

2334

31 October 2021

355

2338

30 November 2021

358

2370

31 December 2021

358

2384

31 January 2022

358

2391

28 February 2022

357

2403

Because a number of locations contain multiple jurisdictions (i.e. include both courts and tribunals) and rooms which are used flexibly, it is not possible to provide data for courtrooms alone without artificially deflating the number of rooms actually available for court use.

The data includes all permanent and Nightingale rooms but excludes the court and other hearing rooms within the Royal Courts of Justice Group.

28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much has been spent on legal aid for domestic abuse victims in each of the last 10 years; how many domestic abuse victims have been denied access to legal aid in each year since means testing was introduced; and what estimate he has made of savings to the public purse in each year since means testing was introduced.

The requested information is not held centrally. It is not a requirement for an individual to disclose if they have been a victim of domestic abuse when applying for legal aid unless they are applying for legal aid in connection with a protective order or private family law cases under the domestic violence gateway. Consequently, it is not possible to specify how much legal aid has been spent across the whole of the legal aid scheme on domestic abuse victims in each of the last ten years.

Expenditure on legal aid for domestic abuse victims to obtain a protective order, such as a non-molestation order, an occupation order or a forced marriage protection order is published within the Legal Aid Agency’s official statistics (table 6.5) https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/legal-aid-statistics-july-to-september-2021. This expenditure only captures the cost of civil representation i.e. where court proceedings are issued and covers the period from 1 April 2008 to 30 September 2021.

The official statistics (tables 6.8-6.10) also provide data regarding volumes of applications for legal aid received in connection with private family proceedings under the domestic violence gateway introduced on 1 April 2013. The domestic violence gateway requires the applicant to provide evidence that they have experienced or at risk of experiencing domestic abuse in order to bring family legal aid services into scope. The official statistics include information about the number of unsuccessful applications submitted under the domestic violence gateway. Unsuccessful applications will include cases where legal aid was refused (whether due to financial eligibility, application of the merits criteria or failure to provide compliant gateway evidence), where the application was withdrawn or discontinued at the applicant’s request or where the application was rejected for administrative reasons.

The official statistics (table 6.1) include details of the number of applications that were unsuccessful (for any reason including where the application was withdrawn by the individual) in each category of law, including domestic abuse cases where legal aid was sought specifically in connection with an application for a protective order. However, it is not possible to specify the number of unsuccessful applications submitted by victims of domestic abuse across the whole of the legal aid scheme as this data is not recorded.

The majority of civil legal aid services, including proceedings relating to protective orders and private family law cases, have always been subject to means testing both under current and previous legal aid legislation.

Under current legal aid legislation, the Director of Legal Aid Casework has a discretion where the application related to proceedings concerning protective orders to waive the financial eligibility limits for both income and capital where she considers it equitable to do so. All applicants seeking protection from domestic abuse may access legal aid irrespective of their financial circumstances, although they may be asked to make a contribution towards the cost of the case from either income or capital.

On 15 March the Government launched a consultation on its proposals following a review of the legal aid means test, which include specific proposals to support better victims of domestic abuse applying for legal aid in in connection with a protective order or other civil proceedings. For example, any disputed assets – including property – will not be included in a means assessment. This is much fairer for domestic abuse victims who are contesting a property and who cannot use their equity in that property to fund the legal proceedings.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent steps he has taken to assess the potential success of current rehabilitation programme, Becoming New Me.

The design of our rehabilitation programmes is informed by various evaluations of existing and predecessor programmes, and all programmes are subject to ongoing quality assurance and monitoring. More detailed impact evaluations on reoffending programmes require large samples and study of offenders’ behaviour over time and therefore, it can take several years before there is a sufficient sample to produce such findings.

We expect to carry out evaluations of the Thinking Skills Programme (TSP) delivered in custody in England and Wales, and to conduct studies to assess Horizon and Becoming New Me Plus (BNM+). For Building Better Relationships (BBR), the Department is currently producing a feasibility study to assess the extent to which BBR can be evaluated in a robust way.

The Department published a substantial impact evaluation of the RESOLVE accredited programme in January 2021. This evaluation assessed the programme’s effectiveness as delivered in custody in England and Wales, and can be found by visiting https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/957855/RESOLVE_report.pdf.

A supplementary appendix was also published in October 2021 which provided further insight into the circumstances which affected the impact of the programme. This appendix can be found by visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/justice-data-lab-statistics-october-2021.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made to assess the potential success of rehabilitation programme, Building Better Relationships.

The design of our rehabilitation programmes is informed by various evaluations of existing and predecessor programmes, and all programmes are subject to ongoing quality assurance and monitoring. More detailed impact evaluations on reoffending programmes require large samples and study of offenders’ behaviour over time and therefore, it can take several years before there is a sufficient sample to produce such findings.

We expect to carry out evaluations of the Thinking Skills Programme (TSP) delivered in custody in England and Wales, and to conduct studies to assess Horizon and Becoming New Me Plus (BNM+). For Building Better Relationships (BBR), the Department is currently producing a feasibility study to assess the extent to which BBR can be evaluated in a robust way.

The Department published a substantial impact evaluation of the RESOLVE accredited programme in January 2021. This evaluation assessed the programme’s effectiveness as delivered in custody in England and Wales, and can be found by visiting https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/957855/RESOLVE_report.pdf.

A supplementary appendix was also published in October 2021 which provided further insight into the circumstances which affected the impact of the programme. This appendix can be found by visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/justice-data-lab-statistics-october-2021.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of pregnant prisoners are assessed as being at high risk of harm.

Increased data collection is one of a range of reforms we have implemented following our recent policy review and introduction of a new policy framework in September 2021. We now publish data on pregnancies in prisons annually, in the HMPPS Annual Digest here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1047456/Ch_11_MBU_FINAL.ods.

The latest data was published 29 July 2021 and covers the period July 2020-March 2021. This includes women sentenced and remanded to custody, and women in all risk categories.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of pregnant prisoners are on remand.

Increased data collection is one of a range of reforms we have implemented following our recent policy review and introduction of a new policy framework in September 2021. We now publish data on pregnancies in prisons annually, in the HMPPS Annual Digest here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1047456/Ch_11_MBU_FINAL.ods.

The latest data was published 29 July 2021 and covers the period July 2020-March 2021. This includes women sentenced and remanded to custody, and women in all risk categories.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether prisons prevent or restrict friends and family of prisoners sending them books and magazines from (a) Amazon and (b) other sellers.

We appreciate the essential role books play in prison and the value they hold for prisoners, particularly where restricted regimes are in place that may mean prisoners are spending more time in their cells. We also recognise how important they are for rehabilitation purposes.

The Incentives Policy Framework (IPF) outlines a list of 9 approved retailers from which family and friends can send books into prisoners; this list does not currently include Amazon. The approved retailers scheme is often a more efficient method of getting books to prisoners and helps to reduce demand on searching procedures. However, family and friends of prisoners are not restricted to using this route and are free to send books to prisoners directly or hand them in at social visits. The IPF directs Governors to ensure there are procedures in place to check books for illicit enclosures.

For magazines there is a different arrangement, separate to the approved retailer scheme. At the discretion of the establishment, they can only be purchased by prisoners through the use of local supplier agreements using their private cash or prison earnings.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of prisons have resumed family days following the covid-19 outbreak.

We do not collect data centrally on which prisons hold family days. Anyone wishing to visit a prisoner should consult the following link to determine what facilities are available for doing so: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/prisons-in-england-and-wales. HMPPS continues to fund contracted family service providers to support prisons in delivering family days subject to local restrictions within the prison.

Our strategy for managing Covid-19 in prisons continues to be guided by our National Framework, which sets out the basis for decisions on the necessary level of Covid controls over time. All prisons in England and Wales have resumed social visits when safe to do so.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what amount of entitlement to free video calls prisoners receive; and how that amount was decided.

Secure social video calling was introduced in all prisons across England and Wales as an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain family ties when social visits were limited in prisons. To offer fair and equal access, all prisoners are offered one 30-minute video call per month at no cost to them or their families as an alternative form of social contact. Additional video calls may also be offered at local discretion.

We are committed to continue providing secure social video calling as an additional method of communication, in line with our commitment in the Prisons Strategy White Paper and we will use lessons learnt from the roll out during the pandemic to inform future long-term policy direction.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of prison officers in the prison estate have received training in trauma informed practice.

The Prison Officer Entry Level Training Exceptional Delivery Model has been reviewed and has moved to a Level 3 Custody & Detention Apprenticeship in 2021/22 which enhances practical skills and is in line with adult learning principles and reflective practice which all new prisons officers complete. During the foundation training element there is an 8-week period of learning at a designated site prior to commencing duties at an establishment. The apprenticeship lasts between 12-15 months with support provided by apprenticeship coaches as well as line managers, located in prisons. During the 8-week learning period, there are dedicated sessions on Trauma Informed and Suicide Prevention which all learners must complete to become a fully trained Prison Officer as this is mandatory learning.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of prison officers are trained in suicide prevention.

The Prison Officer Entry Level Training Exceptional Delivery Model has been reviewed and has moved to a Level 3 Custody & Detention Apprenticeship in 2021/22 which enhances practical skills and is in line with adult learning principles and reflective practice which all new prisons officers complete. During the foundation training element there is an 8-week period of learning at a designated site prior to commencing duties at an establishment. The apprenticeship lasts between 12-15 months with support provided by apprenticeship coaches as well as line managers, located in prisons. During the 8-week learning period, there are dedicated sessions on Trauma Informed and Suicide Prevention which all learners must complete to become a fully trained Prison Officer as this is mandatory learning.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the proportion of prisoners entering prison without qualifications who leave with improved literacy in the last five years.

From April 2021 until 28 March 2022, 42,657 prisoners started 107,076 courses in total. In the same time period, 42,574 prisoners completed 104,827 courses in total.

Information on the proportion of prisoners entering prison without qualifications and who leave with improved literacy in the last five years could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. Information on participation and outcomes for prisoners in English and Maths is published. Statistics for 2018 to 2020 were released last August and can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/prison-education-statistics-2019-2020.

Through our Prisons Strategy White Paper, we will deliver a Prisoner Education Service that raises levels of numeracy and literacy – helping offenders to gain the skills and qualifications needed to secure jobs or apprenticeships on release and in turn reducing reoffending.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners completed courses in prison last year.

From April 2021 until 28 March 2022, 42,657 prisoners started 107,076 courses in total. In the same time period, 42,574 prisoners completed 104,827 courses in total.

Information on the proportion of prisoners entering prison without qualifications and who leave with improved literacy in the last five years could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. Information on participation and outcomes for prisoners in English and Maths is published. Statistics for 2018 to 2020 were released last August and can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/prison-education-statistics-2019-2020.

Through our Prisons Strategy White Paper, we will deliver a Prisoner Education Service that raises levels of numeracy and literacy – helping offenders to gain the skills and qualifications needed to secure jobs or apprenticeships on release and in turn reducing reoffending.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners began training courses in prison in the last year.

From April 2021 until 28 March 2022, 42,657 prisoners started 107,076 courses in total. In the same time period, 42,574 prisoners completed 104,827 courses in total.

Information on the proportion of prisoners entering prison without qualifications and who leave with improved literacy in the last five years could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. Information on participation and outcomes for prisoners in English and Maths is published. Statistics for 2018 to 2020 were released last August and can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/prison-education-statistics-2019-2020.

Through our Prisons Strategy White Paper, we will deliver a Prisoner Education Service that raises levels of numeracy and literacy – helping offenders to gain the skills and qualifications needed to secure jobs or apprenticeships on release and in turn reducing reoffending.

25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on average how many years experience senior probation officers have prior to their appointment.

Based on existing data and bearing in mind the creation of the National Probation Service (NPS) on 1st June 2014; the average length of service for Senior Probation Officers prior to promotion to the Senior Probation Officers grade in HM Prison and Probation Service in the year 2020/21 was 6.3 years. However, given the data limitations mentioned above this is an under estimation as it does not take into account experience staff gained working in Probation Trusts before NPS was formed.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Offender Assessment System (OASys) in probation.

OASys is the core risk assessment tool for HMPPS and was built on the existing evidence base in the literature and piloted prior to its implementation in 2001. The intention was that, as the evidence base developed, the System would be improved over time. A continuing research programme has assisted in the development of OASys following implementation, helping to ensure that it remains a valid and reliable tool for assessing offenders’ risk.

The first OASys research compendium (Debdin, 2009) presented the findings from research and analysis completed between 2006 and 2009. This contributed to some important revisions to OASys: A compendium of research and analysis on the Offender Assessment System (OASys) 2006-2009 (cep-probation.org).

A second research compendium (Moore, 2015) presents the OASys studies completed between 2009 and 2013, including a systematic review of the underlying evidence base, a survey of assessors’ views and experiences, and analyses of various aspects of reliability and validity: A compendium of research and analysis on the Offender Assessment System (OASys), 2009–2013 (publishing.service.gov.uk).

The OASys Sexual reoffending Predictor was introduced after the compendium was written, and the evaluation of that tool is also available: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/955345/comparing-2-predictors-sexual-recidivism.pdf.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans his Department has for the provision of clinical supervision to probation officers.

Rather than offer structured supervision provision for probation staff, we deliver one-to-one ‘Reflective Sessions’. Reflective Sessions, formerly called Structured Professional Support, have been in place for probation staff since 2018. The sessions are delivered by qualified professionals from the incumbent Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provider, provides a safe space to discuss the impact of difficult cases, challenging casework and other impactful aspects of their role.

The sessions are not counselling but a preventative measure that focuses on the impact of work on one’s professional life, assisting to further develop coping strategies for managing stress and mitigating the professional impact of working with offenders. Furthermore, Reflective Sessions assists in considering aspects of probation work that may trigger challenging emotional responses and explore additional strategies for managing these. Furthermore, Reflective Sessions explores and considers the qualities and strengths the employee brings to work, the specific stressors of their work and what strategies are most beneficial to support them.

We have expanded the service to account for the increased staff count following unification of probation and simplified the booking process to make these sessions more easily accessible to all staff.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of staff employed on the Probation Officer Training PQUIPP programme complete that training.

The most recent group to complete the Professional Qualification in Probation (PQiP), commencing June 2020 and ending in September 2021, shows a completion rate of 87.3% nationally.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made to assess the potential success of current rehabilitation programme, Thinking Skills Programme.

The design of our rehabilitation programmes is informed by various evaluations of existing and predecessor programmes, and all programmes are subject to ongoing quality assurance and monitoring. More detailed impact evaluations on reoffending programmes require large samples and study of offenders’ behaviour over time and therefore, it can take several years before there is a sufficient sample to produce such findings.

We expect to carry out evaluations of the Thinking Skills Programme (TSP) delivered in custody in England and Wales, and to conduct studies to assess Horizon and Becoming New Me Plus (BNM+). For Building Better Relationships (BBR), the Department is currently producing a feasibility study to assess the extent to which BBR can be evaluated in a robust way.

The Department published a substantial impact evaluation of the RESOLVE accredited programme in January 2021. This evaluation assessed the programme’s effectiveness as delivered in custody in England and Wales, and can be found by visiting https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/957855/RESOLVE_report.pdf.

A supplementary appendix was also published in October 2021 which provided further insight into the circumstances which affected the impact of the programme. This appendix can be found by visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/justice-data-lab-statistics-october-2021.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent steps he has taken to assess the potential success of rehabilitation programme, Horizen.

The design of our rehabilitation programmes is informed by various evaluations of existing and predecessor programmes, and all programmes are subject to ongoing quality assurance and monitoring. More detailed impact evaluations on reoffending programmes require large samples and study of offenders’ behaviour over time and therefore, it can take several years before there is a sufficient sample to produce such findings.

We expect to carry out evaluations of the Thinking Skills Programme (TSP) delivered in custody in England and Wales, and to conduct studies to assess Horizon and Becoming New Me Plus (BNM+). For Building Better Relationships (BBR), the Department is currently producing a feasibility study to assess the extent to which BBR can be evaluated in a robust way.

The Department published a substantial impact evaluation of the RESOLVE accredited programme in January 2021. This evaluation assessed the programme’s effectiveness as delivered in custody in England and Wales, and can be found by visiting https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/957855/RESOLVE_report.pdf.

A supplementary appendix was also published in October 2021 which provided further insight into the circumstances which affected the impact of the programme. This appendix can be found by visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/justice-data-lab-statistics-october-2021.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent steps he has taken to assess the potential success of current rehabilitation programme, Resolve.

The design of our rehabilitation programmes is informed by various evaluations of existing and predecessor programmes, and all programmes are subject to ongoing quality assurance and monitoring. More detailed impact evaluations on reoffending programmes require large samples and study of offenders’ behaviour over time and therefore, it can take several years before there is a sufficient sample to produce such findings.

We expect to carry out evaluations of the Thinking Skills Programme (TSP) delivered in custody in England and Wales, and to conduct studies to assess Horizon and Becoming New Me Plus (BNM+). For Building Better Relationships (BBR), the Department is currently producing a feasibility study to assess the extent to which BBR can be evaluated in a robust way.

The Department published a substantial impact evaluation of the RESOLVE accredited programme in January 2021. This evaluation assessed the programme’s effectiveness as delivered in custody in England and Wales, and can be found by visiting https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/957855/RESOLVE_report.pdf.

A supplementary appendix was also published in October 2021 which provided further insight into the circumstances which affected the impact of the programme. This appendix can be found by visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/justice-data-lab-statistics-october-2021.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish a breakdown of the costs of the different types of training offered at the Judicial College.

To preserve the independence of the judiciary, the Lord Chief Justice (LCJ), the Senior President of the Tribunals, and the Chief Coroner have statutory responsibility for judicial training, under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, and Coroners and Justice Act 2009 respectively. These responsibilities are exercised through the Judicial College. The judiciary with support of the professional staff, in the Judicial College are responsible for the design, content, and delivery of judicial training.

The Lord Chief Justice is responsible for the provision of judicial training within the resources provided by the Lord Chancellor. The overall budget and details of training activities can be found in the Judicial College Annual Activities Report. This is available publicly, and a copy of the most recent report covering 2020-21 has been placed in the library of the House.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the content is of the training offered by the Judicial College to Courts judicial office holders on serious sexual offences and the July 2020 supplementary training on domestic abuse.

The Lord Chief Justice (LCJ), the Senior President of the Tribunals, and the Chief Coroner have statutory responsibility for judicial training, under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, and Coroners and Justice Act 2009 respectively. These responsibilities are exercised through the Judicial College.

Judicial training in domestic abuse, including domestic violence, is included in family law and criminal courses run by the Judicial College. All judges must complete their induction training before they can hear such cases.

In July 2020, additional digital training was rolled out on domestic abuse for all family judges. This has subsequently been updated, with refreshed digital training packages rolled out for all family judges and magistrates in October 2021. Further, the College is delivering follow-on training family and civil judges in the 22/23 training year, including training on the Domestic Abuse Act.

The training reflects the wide nature of domestic abuse and covers all forms of abuse recognised by the Government, ranging from physical abuse including serious sexual and other assaults, emotional and psychological abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour, including financial coercion and control.

Judges hearing serious sexual offences cases must be specifically authorised to do so, and a condition of that authorisation is that they must meet relevant training commitments. This involves induction training followed by ongoing training. The training covers topics such as cross-examination, vulnerable witnesses, consent and sentencing matters.

The Judicial College is not responsible for training court staff.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Judicial College is taking to train judicial officers and staff to handle cases of domestic abuse with an appropriate level of sensitivity and awareness.

The Lord Chief Justice (LCJ), the Senior President of the Tribunals, and the Chief Coroner have statutory responsibility for judicial training, under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, and Coroners and Justice Act 2009 respectively. These responsibilities are exercised through the Judicial College.

Judicial training in domestic abuse, including domestic violence, is included in family law and criminal courses run by the Judicial College. All judges must complete their induction training before they can hear such cases.

In July 2020, additional digital training was rolled out on domestic abuse for all family judges. This has subsequently been updated, with refreshed digital training packages rolled out for all family judges and magistrates in October 2021. Further, the College is delivering follow-on training family and civil judges in the 22/23 training year, including training on the Domestic Abuse Act.

The training reflects the wide nature of domestic abuse and covers all forms of abuse recognised by the Government, ranging from physical abuse including serious sexual and other assaults, emotional and psychological abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour, including financial coercion and control.

Judges hearing serious sexual offences cases must be specifically authorised to do so, and a condition of that authorisation is that they must meet relevant training commitments. This involves induction training followed by ongoing training. The training covers topics such as cross-examination, vulnerable witnesses, consent and sentencing matters.

The Judicial College is not responsible for training court staff.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, by what date his Department plans to have completed the rollout of section 28 measures; and if he will list the courts that will be included in that rollout.

We successfully rolled out Section 28 (s.28) of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act (YJCEA) for all vulnerable complainants and witnesses, such as children and adults with a physical or mental impairment, in all Crown Courts by November 2020.

S.28 is currently available for complainants of sexual and modern-day slavery offences in seven Crown Courts: Leeds, Liverpool, Kingston upon Thames Harrow, Isleworth, Wood Green, and Durham. We will be extending s.28 for this cohort to all Crown Courts in England and Wales as soon as practicable.

24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many court rooms have been in use on average in each court in England and Wales in each of last 12 months.

Over the time period requested, the number of court and tribunal rooms available for use has increased by over 8%.

We allocated over a quarter of a billion pounds to support recovery in the last financial year, making court buildings safe, rolling out new technology for remote hearings, recruiting additional staff, and opening Nightingale courtrooms, including retaining 32 Crown jury courtrooms until the end of March 2022.

The total number of rooms recorded as available for use in all courthouses and tribunal hearing centres in England & Wales over the past 12 months is as follows:

End of month snapshot

Number of courthouses & tribunal hearing centres

Number of rooms available

28 February 2021

351

2,204

31 March 2021

353

2,211

30 April 2021

357

2,218

31 May 2021

360

2,234

30 June 2021

360

2,239

31 July 2021

358

2,311

31 August 2021

357

2,308

30 September 2021

357

2,334

31 October 2021

355

2,338

30 November 2021

358

2,370

31 December 2021

358

2,384

31 January 2022

358

2,391

Because a number of locations contain multiple jurisdictions (i.e. include both courts and tribunals) and rooms which are used flexibly, it is not possible to provide data for just courtrooms without artificially deflating the number of rooms actually available for court use.

The data includes all permanent and Nightingale rooms but excludes the court and other hearing rooms within the Royal Courts of Justice Group.

24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the cost to the public purse was in 2021 of employing Independent Domestic Violence Advocates, District Judges, Lay Magistrates, and other essential individuals in the administration of Special Domestic Violence Courts.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) does not hold the data requested at the detailed level of Special Domestic Violence Courts.

HMCTS does not hold data on the costs of Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVC) in operation in England and Wales. This is because the principles of Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts (SDACs) are increasingly embedded across all magistrates’ courts in England and Wales. SDACs bring together highly trained personnel and support services for victims. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), together with the police and HMCTS, implemented a Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework for use across all magistrates’ courts. This Framework is the result of a Criminal Justice System (CJS) wide initiative to identify common components from high performing courts. Its aim is to improve the capacity and capability of the whole CJS to respond effectively to reports of domestic abuse.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many women have been released from prison in each of the last three years for which records are available; how many of those prisoners were released to (a) a fixed address, (b) HMPPS bridging accommodation and (c) no fixed address; and how many of those released to no fixed address have (i) reoffended and (ii) reoffended and returned to prison.

The number of female individuals released from prison to no fixed address and subsequently (i) reoffended and (ii) reoffended and returned to prison is provided in the table below:

Number of adult female reoffenders with no fixed address, 2017/18 to 2019/20, England and Wales1, 2, 3

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

Total number of adult female offenders released from prison

5,578

4,916

4,494

Number of female reoffenders with no fixed address3

559

551

511

Number of female reoffenders with no fixed address who returned to prison 4

311

328

269

Notes

  1. A proven reoffence is defined as any offence committed in a one-year follow-up period that leads to a court conviction or caution in the one year follow-up period or within a further six-month waiting period to allow the offence to be proven in court.
  2. The annual average figures have been calculated by taking an average of the four preceding three monthly offender cohorts. This may therefore result in a single offender being included in an annual cohort more than once.
  3. No fixed address includes individuals who identify as sleeping rough; and individuals who identify as homeless but have not been identified as sleeping rough. In some cases, it is not recorded whether an individual that is identified as homeless is rough sleeping. These cases have been included in this category.
  4. Figures are based on the first reoffence for which an offender returned to custody. Each offender will therefore only appear once in this category.

Data relating to settled accommodation, unsettled accommodation and bail/probation accommodation can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/prison-and-probation-trusts-performance-statistics#community-performance-statistics.

We are working together with the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to help prisons leavers find a settled place to live, through access to private rented sector accommodation via DLUHC’s £13m Accommodation for Ex-Offender scheme (AfEO). The scheme is aimed at moving prison leavers into settled accommodation before the expiry of the 12 weeks provided through our temporary accommodation service, by enabling Local Authorities to source private rented sector accommodation via deposits and/or rent in advance.

Our Prisons White Paper sets out our vision that no-one subject to probation supervision is released from prison homeless. By 2024-25 we will spend £200 million a year to reduce reoffending, including improving prison leavers’ access to accommodation.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people are in prison as a place of safety in the (a) women’s and (b) male prison estate.

In January 2021, the Government committed to end the use of prison as a place of safety in the Reforming the Mental Health Act White Paper. There is currently no centralised source of data to record the use of this power. In order to better understand how often and in what circumstances people are sent to prison as a place of safety, we have established a cross-departmental working group. This group will analyse existing data sources to provide a more accurate picture of the use of these powers.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of first aid and medical cover provision across the prison estate.

First aid cover for all staff in the Prison Estate is provided by trained first aiders, and the number of those required in each establishment is achieved via a First Aid Risk Assessment of need. Staff have a duty of care for prisoners. Prisoners also receive first aid/medical cover through on-site healthcare teams or local hospitals when required.

Responsibility for health services rests in statute with the National Health Service, NHS England and NHS Improvement for Prisons in England and the Welsh Government for Prisons in Wales, who are directly accountable for provision equitable to that provided in the community, and subject to the same independent inspectorate and parliamentary scrutiny as other NHS services including through joint inspection with HM Inspectorate of Prisons.

4th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many applications to become a band 3-5 prison officer were received in each year since 2010.

The number of applications to become a band 3-5 prison officer received in each year since 2017, is shown in the table below. Data prior to 2017 is not available as it is not held on the Oleeo Recruitment Database.

Year

Number of Applications - Band 3

Number of Applications - Band 4

Number of Applications - Band 5

Total

2017

138,083

1,569

740

140,392

2018

97,848

1,829

1,426

101,103

2019

62,174

2,076

1,281

65,531

2020

80,305

2,671

974

83,950

2021

73,785

3,292

1,336

78,413

Notes:

  1. This data comes from the Oleeo Recruitment Database.
  2. Oleeo is a live system so figures may be subject to change.
  3. Data was only collected on Oleeo from 2017 and so data is not available for earlier dates.
  4. The majority of prison officer recruitment is at Band 3 and is external to the civil service.
  5. Band 3 to 5 prison officers consists of band 3 prison officers, band 4 officer specialists, band 4 supervising officers, and band 5 custodial managers.
  6. These figures include applications to the “Unlocked Graduate Scheme”, and to Operational Support Grade to Prison Officer / Youth Justice Worker fast track campaigns.
  7. Figures do not include recruitment campaigns managed by external companies.
  8. This data only includes recruitment for Public Sector Prisons.
  9. Youth Justice Worker applications are included in the count of Prison Officer applications.
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been released from prison in each of the last three years for which records are available; how many of those prisoners were released to (a) a fixed address, (b) HMPPS bridging accommodation and (c) no fixed address; and how many of those released to no fixed address have (i) reoffended and (ii) reoffended and returned to prison.

Data on the number of prisoners who have been released is published as part of the Offender Management Statistics Quarterly publication by the Ministry of Justice.

The total number of prisoners who have been released in each of the last three years is given in the following table:

Year

2018

2019

2020

Number released

69,622

62,771

53,253

Data on the accommodation status of prisoners who have been released is published as part of the Prison and Probation statistics publication by the Ministry of Justice.

The attached table shows the numbers of prisoners who were released to (a) a fixed address, (b) HMPPS bridging accommodation and (c) no fixed address from 2018-2020.

The following table provides the number of individuals released from prison to no fixed address and subsequently (i) reoffended and (ii) reoffended and returned to prison is provided in the table below:

Number of adult reoffenders with no fixed address, 2017/18 to 2019/20, England and Wales1, 2, 3

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

Total number of adult offenders released from prison

62,936

58,104

53,777

Number of reoffenders with no fixed address3

5,688

5,343

5,195

Number of reoffenders with no fixed address who returned to prison 4

3,252

3,108

2,973

Notes

  1. A proven reoffence is defined as any offence committed in a one-year follow-up period that leads to a court conviction or caution in the one year follow-up period or within a further six-month waiting period to allow the offence to be proven in court.
  2. The annual average figures have been calculated by taking an average of the four preceding three monthly offender cohorts. This may therefore result in a single offender being included in an annual cohort more than once.
  3. No fixed address includes individuals who identify as sleeping rough; and individuals who identify as homeless but have not been identified as sleeping rough. In some cases, it is not recorded whether an individual that is identified as homeless is rough sleeping. These cases have been included in this category.

Figures are based on the first reoffence for which an offender returned to custody. Each offender will therefore only appear once in this category.

To note the numbers released from prison will differ between each of the tables driven mainly by different time periods and different counting rules.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of current workloads within the Probation Service.

The Probation Service (PS) is committed to providing a quality service in order to achieve its mission of protecting the public, supporting victims and reducing reoffending. While we are working towards a full complement of staff, it is essential that we have appropriate measures in place to ensure resources are available to match the workload demands. We are about to launch a new workload management tool which will provide clarity over how we; understand workload, prioritise work, make decisions that change delivery expectations and optimise the resource.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of new probation officers left the service within two years of joining in each year since 2010.

Table 1 shows the number of qualified probation officers who joined in each financial year. Of those probation officers who joined in that particular year, we have shown the volume and percentage of those who left the service within two years.

Table 1 - Percentage of all Band 4 Probation Officers Joiners who left within two years1,2 - based on date of joining, 2015/16 to 2020/21, and 12 months to September 2021

(headcount)

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

12 months to 30 September 20214

Band 4 Probation Officer1 joiners in each year

86

38

74

115

46

57

50

Of which those who
left within 2 years3

12

9

18

30

15

11

11

Percentage of joiners who left within two years3

14%

24%

24%

26%

33%

19%

22%

Source:

HMPPS - Oracle HRMS and Single Operating Platform

Data quality and scope:

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. Movements due to machinery of Government changes or due to staff transferring to or from the private sector as a result of changes in the management of establishments are not included in these tables.

(p) Figures relating to current financial year are provisional and may be subject to change in future iterations of the HMPPS workforce statistical release.

Notes:

1). Movements due to machinery of Government changes or due to staff transferring to or from the private sector as a result of changes in the management of establishments are not included in these tables. Such movements are: 8,430 FTE staff transferring into HMPPS from Probation Trusts in June 2014 and more than 7,000 staff from private sector Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC) came together with probation staff already in the public sector in the new Probation Service in late June 2021.

2). Length of service in HMPPS calculated from most recent hire date. Where staff have transferred in from another Government Department or have transferred in through HMPPS taking over a function, length of service is calculated from entry to HMPPS.

3). The service of NPS staff in Probation Trusts prior to the creation of the NPS on 1 June 2014 is not included, therefore the earliest full annual data available is from 2015/16. Figures presented here therefore do not represent the full experience of Probation Officers.

4). Data is based on hire date and not the leaving date. For example, if someone joined in 2018/19 but left in 2020/21 then they will be recorded against the year they joined (2018/19 not 2020/21). Please note, this approach is different to how data in published and so this will not match published statistics.

5). Due to the approach outlined, figures for most recent periods will be lower, as 2 years will not have elapsed since time of joining.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many posts are unfilled within the Probation Service.

There was a shortfall of 1,039 full-time equivalent staff in the probation service at 30 September 2021.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of staffing levels in the (a) regional and (b) national probation service teams.

The Probation Service is committed to increasing recruitment to fill Probation Officer vacancies, particularly in regions with significant local employment market challenges. Staffing levels are monitored on an ongoing basis through operational management and plans around recruitment and retention.

In 2020/21, we recruited a record 1,007 trainee probation officers. We are further increasing our recruitment to unprecedented levels, with a target 1500 trainee Probation Officers (PQiPs) being recruited this financial year (2021/2022). A further 1,500 PQiPs to be recruited in financial year 2022/23.

Our Recruitment and Retention Strategy focuses on addressing recruitment and retention challenges within the Probation Service, particularly for those Probation Delivery Units (PDUs) with the highest average Probation Officer vacancy rates over a 12-month period.

We have identified common drivers of attrition across those regions where it is more challenging to recruit and retain probation officers. Work is currently underway to address all drivers of attrition alongside a targeted recruitment campaign to reduce probation officer vacancy rates in regions with high vacancy levels.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his Department's press release of 19 January 2021 on prison leavers, what the evidential basis was for his conclusion that offenders were around 50 per cent more likely to break the law again if released without somewhere to stay.

In January 2021, we announced a £70 million investment to reduce crime and improve public safety by tackling these key drivers of reoffending. We are investing £50 million to enhance the department’s Approved Premises, provide temporary accommodation to prison leavers at risk of homelessness, and enhance resettlement support for prisoners before and after release. A further £20 million of funding has been allocated for the Prison Leavers Project that will test innovative ways to reduce reoffending by addressing the challenges people face when they are leaving prison. Statutory accounts will be submitted in due course.

Accommodation circumstances for offenders are reported annually as official statistics. Data for the period 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 will be published in July 2022 in the Community Performance Annual report. In line with the Code of Practice for Statistics, access to these statistics before their public release is limited to those involved in the production of the statistics and the preparation of the release, and for quality assurance and operational purposes.

The thematic inspection report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation on Accommodation and support for adult offenders showed that prison leavers without stable accommodation are almost 50 per cent more likely to reoffend. The report was released in July 2020 and can be accessed via the following link: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprobation/inspections/accommodationthematic/.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the £70 million announced for prison leaver accommodation on 19 January 2021, how (a) much of this funding has been spent and (b) many prison leavers have been housed.

In January 2021, we announced a £70 million investment to reduce crime and improve public safety by tackling these key drivers of reoffending. We are investing £50 million to enhance the department’s Approved Premises, provide temporary accommodation to prison leavers at risk of homelessness, and enhance resettlement support for prisoners before and after release. A further £20 million of funding has been allocated for the Prison Leavers Project that will test innovative ways to reduce reoffending by addressing the challenges people face when they are leaving prison. Statutory accounts will be submitted in due course.

Accommodation circumstances for offenders are reported annually as official statistics. Data for the period 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 will be published in July 2022 in the Community Performance Annual report. In line with the Code of Practice for Statistics, access to these statistics before their public release is limited to those involved in the production of the statistics and the preparation of the release, and for quality assurance and operational purposes.

The thematic inspection report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation on Accommodation and support for adult offenders showed that prison leavers without stable accommodation are almost 50 per cent more likely to reoffend. The report was released in July 2020 and can be accessed via the following link: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprobation/inspections/accommodationthematic/.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases on average a probation officer should be handling.

The Probation Service Target Operating Model does not indicate an expected caseload for Probation Officers or Probation Service Officers. A recent (March, 2021) HMIP report on caseloads identifies that a “precise target number for caseload cannot be set as there are too many inter-connected variables” (HMIP, 2021, pp4).

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners have been released in each of the last three years.

Data on the number of prisoners who have been released is published as part of the Offender Management Statistics Quarterly publication by the Ministry of Justice.

The total number of prisoners who have been released in each of the last three years is given in the following table:

Year

2018

2019

2020

Number released

69,622

62,771

53,253

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the base salary and salary progression of a probation officer and its impact on officer retention.

In April 2021, we published the first national Recruitment and Retention Strategy for the Probation Service, which identified several key areas of focus. The Strategy aims to address recruitment and retention challenges within the Probation Service.

We have identified common drivers of attrition across those regions where it is more challenging to recruit and retain probation officers.

We remain committed to developing a fair and enduring reward package for all Probation Service staff and hope to do so through agreement of a multi-year deal.

In recent years we have raised starting salaries for many of our workforce, including probation officers, improving our offer for new entrants.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the (a) adequacy of the starting salary of a probation officer and (b) the impact of that salary on recruitment.

In April 2021 we published to all Probation Service staff the first national Recruitment and Retention Strategy for the Probation Service.

We committed to recruiting 1,000 trainee probation officers by the end of 2020/2021. The HM Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS) workforce quarterly statistics update, published on 20 May 2021, confirmed that we reached our target with a total of 1,007 trainees.

We remain committed to developing a fair and enduring reward package for Probation Service staff and hope to do so through agreement of a multi-year pay deal.

In recent years we have raised base salaries for many of our workforce, including probation officers, improving our offer for new entrants.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average training period was for a recruit to qualify as a probation officer in each year since 2010.

Since 2016, the Professional Qualification in Probation has offered two routes to qualification: a 15-month route and a 21-month route. Learners have been split across this route on a consistent 41:59 ratio since 2016.

Prior to 2016 and from 2010 there were three entry points to the Probation Qualification Framework depending on experience and previous qualifications, the longest of which took 27 months.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the annual cost was to train a new probation officer in each year since 2010.

Training costs are variable depending on a number of factors, not limited to; the qualification route the trainee is on, the salary of the trainee, the salary of individual’s supporting the trainee. We would not be able to provide an average annual cost as the information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost and would contain commercially sensitive information relating to partner suppliers at a time when we are tendering the current contracts.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the potential for a Serious Further Offence as a result of staff shortages and caseloads within the Probation Service.

The Probation Service is committed to increasing recruitment to fill probation officer vacancies to maintain acceptable caseload numbers. The risk of an offender under supervision committing a serious further offence can never be entirely eliminated, but the Probation Service has systems and processes in place to mitigate that risk, including identifying those offenders who are high risk and ensuring that they are allocated to experienced probation officers.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases on average a probation officer is currently handling.

96% of Probation staff (Probation Officers and Probation Service Officers) hold less than 50 cases, with an average caseload of 34 (rounded down to nearest full number).

The average caseload for the 4% who hold over 50 cases is 59.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many resignations of probation officers there were in each month of 2010 and each subsequent year to 2021; and what the annual leaving rate was as a proportion of the workforce in those time periods.

The MoJ only holds data on the resignation volume for probation officers and the annual leaving rate of probation officers since the creation of the National Probation service in June 2014.

The resignation volume for probation officers for each month between June 2014 to September 2021 has been provided in a separate excel table.

Table 1 shows the annual leaving rate of probation officers between 2014/15 and 2020/21 (by financial year). The latest published data has also been provided for 12 months to 30 September 2021.

Table 1: Underlying leaving rate of permanent probation officers1, 2014/15 to 2020/21, and 12 months to September 2021

(headcount)

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

12 Months to 30 September 2021

Leaving rate (%)

5.5

5.2

5.7

5.1

6.5

6.3

5.1

6.9

Source:

HMPPS - Oracle HRMS and Single Operating Platform

Data quality and scope:

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. Movements due to machinery of Government changes or due to staff transferring to or from the private sector as a result of changes in the management of establishments are not included in these tables.

(p) Figures relating to current financial year are provisional and may be subject to change in future iterations of the HMPPS workforce statistical release.

Notes:

1). Permanent staff are those with a permanent contract of employment with HMPPS.

2). Movements due to machinery of Government changes or due to staff transferring to or from the private sector as a result of changes in the management of establishments are not included in these tables. Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC) came together with probation staff already in the public sector in the new Probation Service in late June 2021

3). As with all HR databases, extracts are taken at a fixed point in time, to ensure consistency of reporting. However the database itself is dynamic and where updates to the database are made late, subsequent to the taking of the extract, these updates will not be reflected in figures produced by the extract. For this reason, HR data are unlikely to be precisely accurate.

4). Does not include voluntary early departure or redundancy. In past editions of the bulletin, early retirements were also excluded from the calculation of leaving rates. Since the workforce statistics bulletin covering the period to 30 June 2017, these exits have been included in the leaving rate.

5). The service of NPS staff in Probation Trusts prior to the creation of the NPS on 1 June 2014 is not included. Figures presented here therefore do not represent the full experience of Probation Officers.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans his Department has to decommission prison places in the women's prison estate over the next five years.

The Government remains wholly committed to delivering the Female Offender Strategy, which has three overarching priorities of: fewer women coming into the criminal justice system; fewer women in custody, especially on short sentences, with more managed effectively in the community; and better conditions for women in custody. The current project to deliver new facilities on the women’s estate that are gender specific and trauma informed is an important step in taking forward this last aim. If the women’s prison population does not rise then we have committed to using these places to close down existing older, less suitable accommodation in the women’s estate.

21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the National Audit Office report, Improving Outcomes for Women in the Criminal Justice System, what the projected costs and timeframe are for delivering the 500 new prison places for women.

We are consulting with the market, so our current project cost estimate is commercially sensitive until that process has concluded.

Given the likely timeframes for planning and construction, we expect the first women to be in the new facilities in early 2025.

21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the National Audit Office report, Improving Outcomes for Women in the Criminal Justice System, what assessment his Department has made of the Female Offenders Strategy's aim of having fewer women in custody when estimating how many more prison places may be required.

We launched the Female Offender Strategy in 2018 with the aim of steering women away from crime and since then, the number of women entering the criminal justice system has fallen by 30%. We're investing millions of pounds over the next 3 years into community services like women centres, drug rehabilitation and accommodation support so fewer women end up in prison.

The new facilities for women are an important step in taking forward the Female Offender Strategy aim to better conditions for women in custody that support effective rehabilitation. We must ensure that those women who need to be in custody are held in appropriate, decent and safe accommodation. This is why the design of our new accommodation will be trauma-informed and gender-specific, with the expectancy of improved outcomes for women.

The new smaller communities of accommodation are specifically designed to be trauma-informed with visible aspects such as windows without bars, smaller units, better layouts, bigger association spaces being included, whereas dark, narrow corridors, blind corners and communal showers may trigger responses linked to sexual assault or abuse experience.

21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the National Audit Office report, Improving Outcomes for Women in the Criminal Justice System, what steps his Department is taking to achieve the aim set out in the Female Offenders Strategy to reduce the number of women in prison and increase support in the community.

We remain committed to the vision in the Female Offender Strategy, which set out the long-term framework to achieve better outcomes for female offenders that will take some years to deliver.

Since publication in June 2018, the number of women entering the criminal justice system has fallen by 30%. We're investing millions of pounds over the next 3 years into community services like women’s centres, drug rehabilitation and accommodation support so fewer women end up in prison.

We also have several initiatives underway to improve community sentencing options to tackle low-level offending, divert women from custody, and reduce reoffending. This includes several pilots such as the Residential women’s centre pilot, and plans to create a residential women's centre Pre-Sentence Report pilot that is targeting fuller reports for women.

20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how findings on the police and CPS response to prosecuting rape offences from the first phase of Project Soteria, which was announced in the cross-Government end-to-end rape review published in June 2021, will inform the forthcoming Victims Bill.

Protecting women and girls from violence and supporting victims and survivors of sexual violence is a key priority for this Government.

The pathfinder programme, ‘Operation Soteria’, was launched in June 2021 to drive systematic and sustainable transformation in how the police and CPS handle investigations into rape and sexual offences.

The Victims’ Bill will put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system, and seek to ensure victims feel supported to engage in the criminal justice process. Any findings from Operation Soteria that relate to what victims should expect from criminal justice agencies, how their voices can be amplified, and how they can be better supported will be carefully considered as the Bill is developed.

19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the ability of Independent Domestic Violence Advocates and other specialist staff to be with victims in court during periods of the covid-19 outbreak when restrictions were in place.

Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) and other specialist support staff play a crucial role in supporting victims of domestic abuse to rebuild, recover and engage with the criminal justice system. We are currently consulting on a Victims’ Bill, which includes reviewing what more can be done to strengthen victim advocate roles such as IDVAs, including how they engage with criminal justice agencies.

We have allowed court supporters, including IDVAs, access to court and tribunal buildings throughout the pandemic, and have conducted regular local risk assessments and put mitigations in place to keep people safe.

Since the start of the pandemic we have also stayed engaged with stakeholders and frontline practitioners, including through the Ministry of Justice led Silver Command Forum which was created to help them overcome challenges and additional pressures created by Covid-19 and subsequent restrictions.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the sufficiency of specialist staff and judges who can deal with domestic violence cases in courts.

The majority of domestic abuse offences conclude in the magistrates’ courts. Since January 2019, all magistrates’ courts across England and Wales are required to follow a Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework which introduced consistent expectations upon those working on domestic abuse across different agencies and an expectation that they work together to enhance the service, support and experience of those involved in domestic abuse cases. One of the main planks of the Best Practice Framework ensures staff are trained and consistently deployed across all agencies.

Across all court jurisdictions, staff are trained to provide practical protections, for example, protective screens, video links, and access to separate waiting rooms and separate entrances where appropriate.

We are also continuing work to deliver our commitments made in response to the Expert Panel on Harm in the Family Courts report, including working with colleagues across the family justice system to improve training on domestic abuse, to address gaps where appropriate, and to provide professionals with the tools to effectively support vulnerable parties.

MoJ makes no assessment of the sufficiency of specialist judges as responsibility for the judiciary sits with the Lord Chief Justice, the Senior President of the Tribunals, and the Chief Coroner.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the number of safe spaces at courts for victims of crime to be with their advisor, legal team and family.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) reviews its facilities to make sure if fulfils its commitment to provide victims attending court with a different entrance to the defendant and a separate waiting area before and after a case is heard where possible, in accordance with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime in England and Wales and the Witness Charter. If a victim has any concerns about attending court, or about the facilities at the court, then they can discuss these with the witness care officer ahead of the trial. Advice, pre-trial support and information is also available for victims and witnesses from Victim Support and the Citizens Advice Witness Service.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what funding was made available for specialist domestic violence courts in each year from 2015 to 2021.

Since January 2019 all magistrates’ courts across England and Wales have been required to use the Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework. This introduced an expectation that cross-agency specialists should work together to enhance the service and support provided to, and experience of, those involved in domestic abuse cases. The framework was developed by identifying common components from high performing courts and aims to improve the capacity and capability of the criminal justice system to respond effectively to reports of domestic abuse offending. The framework includes:

  • A clear multiagency/community approach which addresses risk management and safeguarding procedures;
  • Independent Domestic Violence Advocate support;
  • Trained and consistently deployed staff across all agencies; and
  • In court services including proactive witness services, pre-trial familiarisation visits, and use of special measures. In some areas they have considered fast tracking or expedited trial systems.

Since 2019 all magistrates’ courts are expected to operate in accordance with the Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework. Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) does not hold data on how many Specialist Domestic Violence Courts sat between 2015 to 2021.

HMCTS does not provide dedicated funding for Specialist Domestic Violence Courts.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many days specialist domestic violence courts sat in each year from 2015 to 2021.

Since January 2019 all magistrates’ courts across England and Wales have been required to use the Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework. This introduced an expectation that cross-agency specialists should work together to enhance the service and support provided to, and experience of, those involved in domestic abuse cases. The framework was developed by identifying common components from high performing courts and aims to improve the capacity and capability of the criminal justice system to respond effectively to reports of domestic abuse offending. The framework includes:

  • A clear multiagency/community approach which addresses risk management and safeguarding procedures;
  • Independent Domestic Violence Advocate support;
  • Trained and consistently deployed staff across all agencies; and
  • In court services including proactive witness services, pre-trial familiarisation visits, and use of special measures. In some areas they have considered fast tracking or expedited trial systems.

Since 2019 all magistrates’ courts are expected to operate in accordance with the Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework. Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) does not hold data on how many Specialist Domestic Violence Courts sat between 2015 to 2021.

HMCTS does not provide dedicated funding for Specialist Domestic Violence Courts.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made on the current availability of specialist domestic violence courts.

Since January 2019 all magistrates’ courts across England and Wales have been required to use the Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework. This introduced an expectation that cross-agency specialists should work together to enhance the service and support provided to, and experience of, those involved in domestic abuse cases. The framework was developed by identifying common components from high performing courts and aims to improve the capacity and capability of the criminal justice system to respond effectively to reports of domestic abuse offending. The framework includes:

  • A clear multiagency/community approach which addresses risk management and safeguarding procedures;
  • Independent Domestic Violence Advocate support;
  • Trained and consistently deployed staff across all agencies; and
  • In court services including proactive witness services, pre-trial familiarisation visits, and use of special measures. In some areas they have considered fast tracking or expedited trial systems.

Since 2019 all magistrates’ courts are expected to operate in accordance with the Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework. Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) does not hold data on how many Specialist Domestic Violence Courts sat between 2015 to 2021.

HMCTS does not provide dedicated funding for Specialist Domestic Violence Courts.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure the availability of specialist domestic violence courts as part of tackling the backlog of cases in courts.

Since January 2019, all magistrates’ courts across England and Wales are required to follow a Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework which introduced consistent expectations on all cross-agency specialists and a requirement that they work together to enhance the service, support and experience of those involved in domestic abuse cases.

Our action to reduce the backlog across magistrates more broadly will ensure that domestic violence cases will continue to be heard in a consistent and supported way. As part of the Spending Review, we announced that we will be investing £477 million in the Criminal Justice System over the next three years to help reduce the backlog and deliver the swift access to justice that victims deserve.

We invested a quarter of a billion pounds to support court recovery across all jurisdictions in the last financial year (20/21), opening Nightingale Courts, lifting restrictions on sitting days and increasing the roll-out of remote hearings where suitable. This investment will benefit users throughout the court system.

This year (21/22) we have provided over £150 million for support services for victims and witnesses, rising to over £185 million by 2024/25. This will fund more than 1,000 Independent Sexual and Domestic Violence Advisors and 24/7 crisis helplines and is an 85% increase on funding in 2019/20.

We are seeing the positive impact of this investment in reducing the court backlog; the caseload in the Crown Court has reduced from around 61,000 cases in June 2021 to around 58,700 cases at the end of November 2021.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the base salary and salary progression of a prison officer and its impact on officer retention.

Pay and progression for prison officers is determined annually through the Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB) process.

HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) is currently considering proposals for inclusion in the Government’s evidence submission to the PSPRB for the 2022/23 pay round. The adequacy of prison officer salary and progression and its impact on recruitment and retention is factored into those considerations.

The Government’s evidence will be published and submitted to the PSPRB in due course.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the (a) adequacy of the starting salary of a prison officer and (b) the impact of that salary on recruitment.

Pay and progression for prison officers is determined annually through the Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB) process.

HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) is currently considering proposals for inclusion in the Government’s evidence submission to the PSPRB for the 2022/23 pay round. The adequacy of prison officer salary and progression and its impact on recruitment and retention is factored into those considerations.

The Government’s evidence will be published and submitted to the PSPRB in due course.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, which of the five new build prisons will be public sector prisons.

In addition to HMP Five Wells in Wellingborough, which is due to open shortly and is privately operated, there are five new build prisons to follow.

The new prison at Glen Parva in Leicestershire will be privately operated, with an operator expected to be announced early this year.

The following four prisons, consisting of a new prison next to the existing HMP Full Sutton and three others, will be a mixture of private and public operation. At least one of the four new prisons will be publicly operated which reaffirms our commitment to a balanced approach to custodial services which includes a mix of public, voluntary and private sector involvement.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the annual cost was to train a new prison officer in each year since 2010.

The current estimated cost to recruit and train a new Band 3 Prison Officer is approximately £13,000 as published in the Prison Service Pay Review Body report. Further information can be found on page 55 at: Prison Service Pay Review Body - Twentieth Report on England and Wales 2021 (publishing.service.gov.uk) (opens in a new tab).

Please be aware that the figures contained in the document are subject to regular change due to a number of variables and assumptions used to calculate the figures.

We are not able to provide an annual cost to train a new prison officer for each of the previous years to 2010 as this information is not centrally held and would be at disproportionate cost to obtain.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many resignations of prison officers there were in each month of 2010 and each subsequent year to 2021; and what the annual leaving rate was as a proportion of the workforce in those time periods.

The resignation volume for prison officers for each month between January 2010 to September 2021 has been provided in a separate excel table.

Table 1 shows the annual leaving rate of prison officers between 2009/10 and 2020/21 (by financial year). The latest published data has also been provided for 12 months to 30 September 2021.

Table 1: Underlying leaving rate of band 3-5 permanent prison officers1, 2009/10 to 2020/21, and 12 months to September 2021

(Headcount)

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

12 Months to 30 September 2021

Leaving rate

3.4%

3.7%

4.2%

4.8%

4.9%

7.1%

7.8%

9.7%

10.3%

11.5%

12.2%

9.1%

11.1%

Source:

HMPPS - Oracle HRMS and Single Operating Platform

Data quality and scope:

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. Movements due to machinery of Government changes or due to staff transferring to or from the private sector as a result of changes in the management of establishments are not included in these tables.

Notes:

1). Prison officers include includes Band 3-4 / Prison Officers (incl specialists), Band 4 / Supervising Officers, and Band 5 / Custodial Managers.

2). Movements due to machinery of Government changes or due to staff transferring to or from the private sector as a result of changes in the management of establishments are not included in these tables.

3). Staff with a permanent contract of employment with HMPPS.

4). As with all HR databases, extracts are taken at a fixed point in time, to ensure consistency of reporting. However, the database itself is dynamic and where updates to the database are made late, subsequent to the taking of the extract, these updates will not be reflected in figures produced by the extract. For this reason, HR data are unlikely to be precisely accurate.

5). Does not include voluntary early departure or redundancy. In past editions of the HMPPS workforce statistical release, early retirements were also excluded from the calculation of leaving rates. Since the workforce statistics bulletin covering the period to 30 June 2017, these exits have been included in the leaving rate.

(p) Figures relating to current financial year are provisional and may be subject to change in future iterations of the HMPPS workforce statistical release.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of new prison officers left the service within two years of joining in each year since 2010.

Table 1 shows the number of band 3-5 prison officers who joined in each financial year. Of those officers who joined in that particular year, we have shown the volume and percentage of those who left the service within two years.

Table 1: Percentage of all band 3-5 prison officer1 joiners who left within two years2 - based on date of joining, 2009/10 to 2020/21, and 12 months to September 2021

(Headcount)

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

12 months to 30 September 20214

Band 3-5 Prison Officer1 joiners in each year

323

617

163

171

45

1,259

1,802

2,077

4,933

4,745

2,317

2,410

3,332

Of which those who left within 2 years3

64

116

45

60

31

398

492

568

1,462

1,484

727

569

454

Percentage of joiners who left within two years3

20%

19%

28%

35%

69%

32%

27%

27%

30%

31%

31%

24%

14%

Source:

HMPPS - Oracle HRMS and Single Operating Platform

Data quality and scope:

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. Movements due to machinery of Government changes or due to staff transferring to or from the private sector as a result of changes in the management of establishments are not included in these tables.

(p) Figures relating to current financial year are provisional and may be subject to change in future iterations of the HMPPS workforce statistical release.

Notes:

1. Includes Bands 3-4 / Prison Officer (incl specialists), Band 4 / Supervising Officer and Band 5 / Custodial Managers.

2. Length of service in HMPPS calculated from most recent hire date. Where staff have transferred in from another Government Department or have transferred in through HMPPS taking over a function, length of service is calculated from entry to HMPPS.

3. Data is based on hire date and not the leaving date. For example, if someone joined in 2018/19 but left in 2020/21 then they will be recorded against the year they joined (2018/19 not 2020/21). Please note, this approach is different to how data in published and so will not match published statistics.

4. Due to the approach outlined, figures for most recent periods will be lower, as 2 years will not have elapsed since time of joining.

5. The 2013/14 rate is higher than other years due to a low number of new joiners, and the percentage rate is worked out against joiners compared to leavers.

14th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 94513 on Prison Officers: Coronavirus, whether private prisons are covered by the national framework to provide support from outside of region.

Each privately managed prison has a full-time contract management team that is employed by HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and report to the HMPPS Head of Privately Managed Prisons. They are accountable for providing assurance that the contracts for each prison are delivered in accordance with agreed contractual delivery indicators, and that the prison provides safe, decent and secure services.

Privately managed prisons can seek staffing support via the HMPPS Head of Privately Managed Prisons if required and, if deemed necessary, by other prison operators.

All privately managed prisons have regime contingency plans in place, which are agreed with the Head of Privately Managed Prisons. They also participate in regular Covid-19 calls, which are chaired by the Head of Privately Managed Prisons.

Privately managed prisons can request support from HMPPS although this is not under the same framework as public sector prisons due to the contractual processes that need to be considered.

14th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 94513, on Prison Officers: Coronavirus, whether private prisons have regime contingency plans in place to respond to significant staff shortages; and whether those plans are agreed with HMPPS.

Each privately managed prison has a full-time contract management team that is employed by HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and report to the HMPPS Head of Privately Managed Prisons. They are accountable for providing assurance that the contracts for each prison are delivered in accordance with agreed contractual delivery indicators, and that the prison provides safe, decent and secure services.

Privately managed prisons can seek staffing support via the HMPPS Head of Privately Managed Prisons if required and, if deemed necessary, by other prison operators.

All privately managed prisons have regime contingency plans in place, which are agreed with the Head of Privately Managed Prisons. They also participate in regular Covid-19 calls, which are chaired by the Head of Privately Managed Prisons.

Privately managed prisons can request support from HMPPS although this is not under the same framework as public sector prisons due to the contractual processes that need to be considered.

14th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 94513 on Prison Officers: Coronavirus, whether private prisons participate in a twice weekly covid-19 call with their relevant PDG office to provide updates and support.

Each privately managed prison has a full-time contract management team that is employed by HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and report to the HMPPS Head of Privately Managed Prisons. They are accountable for providing assurance that the contracts for each prison are delivered in accordance with agreed contractual delivery indicators, and that the prison provides safe, decent and secure services.

Privately managed prisons can seek staffing support via the HMPPS Head of Privately Managed Prisons if required and, if deemed necessary, by other prison operators.

All privately managed prisons have regime contingency plans in place, which are agreed with the Head of Privately Managed Prisons. They also participate in regular Covid-19 calls, which are chaired by the Head of Privately Managed Prisons.

Privately managed prisons can request support from HMPPS although this is not under the same framework as public sector prisons due to the contractual processes that need to be considered.

14th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 94513 on Prison Officers: Coronavirus, whether private prisons can seek staffing support via the Prison Group Director’s Office.

Each privately managed prison has a full-time contract management team that is employed by HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and report to the HMPPS Head of Privately Managed Prisons. They are accountable for providing assurance that the contracts for each prison are delivered in accordance with agreed contractual delivery indicators, and that the prison provides safe, decent and secure services.

Privately managed prisons can seek staffing support via the HMPPS Head of Privately Managed Prisons if required and, if deemed necessary, by other prison operators.

All privately managed prisons have regime contingency plans in place, which are agreed with the Head of Privately Managed Prisons. They also participate in regular Covid-19 calls, which are chaired by the Head of Privately Managed Prisons.

Privately managed prisons can request support from HMPPS although this is not under the same framework as public sector prisons due to the contractual processes that need to be considered.

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of promoting and supporting chess clubs throughout the prison estate.

We are supportive of all programmes that could potentially improve outcomes for offenders, including chess. Our association with the English Chess Federation (ECF) and other chess charities, has successfully promoted the game of chess in prisons, provided books and equipment for prisoners to use as well as establishing chess clubs in prisons to help prisoners participate in chess at all levels. In October 2021, a team from HMP Wandsworth and HMP Hollesley Bay, trained by the charity “Chess in Schools and Communities” participated in the Intercontinental Online Championship for Prisoners - that featured teams from 31 countries – HMP Wandsworth reached the final stages of the competition.

In terms of further expansion, prison governors remain best placed to make decisions on the right mix of sport and recreational activities that are offered in their establishments to meet the needs of their population.

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what safety metrics are used in (a) private and (b) public prison key performance indicators; and what definition of serious assault is used for key performance indicators in (i) private and (ii) public prisons.

The Department publishes statistics on deaths, self-harm and assaults in prison custody in England and Wales in the quarterly Safety in Custody statistics at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/safety-in-custody-statistics.

Overall rates of prisoner-on-prisoner assaults and assaults on staff have also featured in recent years as metrics in the prison performance framework, alongside scores from HMIP Healthy Prison Tests, Measuring the Quality of Prisoner Life (MQPL) surveys and HMPPS risk management audits in relation to safety. These metrics apply to both public sector and contracted establishments.

The prison performance framework provides a balanced suite of metrics covering all areas of prison operations. The framework is reviewed annually to ensure it continues to meet HMPPS priorities. It is used as part of the formal performance assessment to derive overall prison performance ratings that are published annually. Because of COVID-19, the ratings were last published in July 2020 covering the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/prison-performance-ratings-2019-to-2020.

HMPPS statistics cover both public sector and contracted establishments and the same definitions apply to all. An assault is defined as serious if:

  • it is a sexual assault;
  • it results in detention in outside hospital as an in-patient;
  • it requires medical treatment for concussion or internal injuries; and/or
  • the victim incurs any of the following injuries: a fracture, scald or burn; stabbing; crushing; extensive or multiple bruising; black eye; broken nose; lost or broken tooth; cuts requiring suturing; bites; and temporary or permanent blindness.

When an assault results in one of these types of injury, it is classified as serious even if the actual harm was superficial.

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if his Department will publish information on the profits made by private prisons for the years 2010 - 2021.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold any data on contractor profit within the privately managed prison estate. Contractors for the privately managed prisons are paid a unitary rate per prisoner place per day which is set out for the full contract term and is commercially confidential.

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many offender courses are taking place in private prisons; and what proportion of prisoners are enrolled on those courses, in the latest period for which data is available.

Staffing is the responsibility of private prison operators as they are responsible for the daily operational running of individual prison establishments. They have their own contingencies that allows movement across the different prisons that they operate and from their wider business. In addition, we have contingences and contractual mechanisms that allow operators to request support from HM Prison Service, if any prison is not able to operate safely. These arrangements have been reviewed and updated to reflect Covid-19 challenges that have affected all prisons. We do not publish our contingency plans with privately managed prisons as these form part of the commercial contracts that we have with them.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold information centrally on the number of courses presently taking place, or the proportion enrolled at privately managed prisons. Data is, however, held about the overall course completion at each site.

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether contingency plans for staffing in private prisons includes moving staff across different prisons to fill any gaps; and if he will publish his Department's contingency plans for staffing in private prisons.

Staffing is the responsibility of private prison operators as they are responsible for the daily operational running of individual prison establishments. They have their own contingencies that allows movement across the different prisons that they operate and from their wider business. In addition, we have contingences and contractual mechanisms that allow operators to request support from HM Prison Service, if any prison is not able to operate safely. These arrangements have been reviewed and updated to reflect Covid-19 challenges that have affected all prisons. We do not publish our contingency plans with privately managed prisons as these form part of the commercial contracts that we have with them.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold information centrally on the number of courses presently taking place, or the proportion enrolled at privately managed prisons. Data is, however, held about the overall course completion at each site.

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish information on bonuses received by prison officer staff in the (a) private and (b) public sector in (i) 2020 and (ii) 2021.

(a) All staffing matters in privately managed prisons, including bonuses, are the responsibility of individual contractors. The Ministry of Justice does not hold this information


(b) Information relating to non-consolidated performance bonuses received by public sector staff working within HMPPS during 2020 and 2021 will be released in due course.

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether there are guidelines on minimum staffing levels for private prisons.

All staffing matters in privately managed prisons, including bonuses, are the responsibility of individual contractors. There is no requirement in the contracts to agree such matters with the Ministry of Justice.

Private providers play an important role in the prison estate and we continue to monitor them to ensure they maintain safe, decent and secure prisons.

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether private sector prison staff will receive bonuses equivalent to the bonuses public sector prison staff have received throughout the covid-19 outbreak.

All staffing matters in privately managed prisons, including bonuses, are the responsibility of individual contractors. There is no requirement in the contracts to agree such matters with the Ministry of Justice.

Private providers play an important role in the prison estate and we continue to monitor them to ensure they maintain safe, decent and secure prisons.

7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many staff in women’s prisons have tested positive for covid-19 each month from March 2020 to December 2021.

A total of 1,096 prisoners in women’s prisons have tested positive for COVID-19 from March 2020 to November 2021. Data on the number of prisoners who tested positive for COVID-19 was published in the November edition of the HM Prison and Probation Service COVID-19 statistics monthly series. The data for December 2021 is due to be published on 14 January 2022.

The total number of prisoners in women’s prisons who have tested positive for COVID-19 each month between March 2020 and November 2021 is given in the following table.

Table 1: Number of prisoners tested positive for COVID-19 in the women's estate each month from March 2020 to November 2021.

Mar 2020

Apr 2020

May 2020

Jun 2020

Jul 2020

Aug 2020

Sep 2020

Oct 2020

Nov 2020

Dec 2020

Women Prisoners

(c)

31

18

0

0

0

0

59

107

169

Jan 2021

Feb 2021

Mar 2021

Apr 2021

May 2021

Jun 2021

Jul 2021

Aug 2021

Sep 2021

Oct Nov 2021 2021

Women Prisoners

192

146

40

3

(c)

3

44

39

12

15 215

Data Quality

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. Much of the data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic has been done at pace, with recording practices evolving as we understand more about the requirements and conditions we are facing. In order to present the timeliest information, the data presented in this report have not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics.

Notes:

1). The data for the latest month are provisional due to the time lag between taking the test and recording of the results on the central data collection.

2). Values (c) are confidential to prevent disclosure of individuals.

The number of staff in women’s prisons who have tested positive for covid-19 each month between March 2020 and October 2021 is given in the following table.

Table 2: COVID-19 Positive test results for staff1,2 working in Women's prisons, by directly/non-directly employed, March 2020 to October 20213

Mar 2020

Apr 2020

May 2020

Jun 2020

Jul 2020

Aug 2020

Sep 2020

Oct 2020

Nov 2020

Dec 2020

Directly employed

~

~

~

0

~

0

9

66

77

133

Non-directly employed

~

~

~

~

~

~

5

20

22

27

Total

4

37

5

~

4

~

14

86

99

160

Jan 2021

Feb 2021

Mar 2021

Apr 2021

May 2021

Jun 2021

Jul 2021

Aug 2021

Sep 2021

Oct 2021

Total

Directly employed

178

81

18

~

3

11

43

37

30

38

770

Non-directly employed

49

19

10

0

0

4

14

13

11

12

214

Total

227

100

28

~

3

15

57

50

41

50

984

Source: MoJ/HMPPS administrative systems and data collections

Data Quality: Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. Much of the data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic has been done at pace, with recording practices evolving as we understand more about the requirements and conditions we are facing.

Notes:

1). Counts the distinct staff who have tested positive for COVID-19. These are self-reported.

2). Where staff have multiple positive tests within a 90-day period, they are now assumed to be from the same infection and are therefore only counted once. This has resulted in a small number of positive tests being removed from the published figures.

3). October 2021 is the latest published data. The next set of data for the period to 30 January 2022 is due to be published in the Workforce Statistics Report on 17 February 2022.

~ denotes suppressed values of 2 or fewer, or other values (including zeroes) which would allow values of 2 or fewer to be derived by subtraction. Low numbers are suppressed to prevent disclosure in accordance with the Data Protection Act, 2018.

7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners in women’s prisons have tested positive for covid-19 each month from March 2020 to December 2021.

A total of 1,096 prisoners in women’s prisons have tested positive for COVID-19 from March 2020 to November 2021. Data on the number of prisoners who tested positive for COVID-19 was published in the November edition of the HM Prison and Probation Service COVID-19 statistics monthly series. The data for December 2021 is due to be published on 14 January 2022.

The total number of prisoners in women’s prisons who have tested positive for COVID-19 each month between March 2020 and November 2021 is given in the following table.

Table 1: Number of prisoners tested positive for COVID-19 in the women's estate each month from March 2020 to November 2021.

Mar 2020

Apr 2020

May 2020

Jun 2020

Jul 2020

Aug 2020

Sep 2020

Oct 2020

Nov 2020

Dec 2020

Women Prisoners

(c)

31

18

0

0

0

0

59

107

169

Jan 2021

Feb 2021

Mar 2021

Apr 2021

May 2021

Jun 2021

Jul 2021

Aug 2021

Sep 2021

Oct Nov 2021 2021

Women Prisoners

192

146

40

3

(c)

3

44

39

12

15 215

Data Quality

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. Much of the data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic has been done at pace, with recording practices evolving as we understand more about the requirements and conditions we are facing. In order to present the timeliest information, the data presented in this report have not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics.

Notes:

1). The data for the latest month are provisional due to the time lag between taking the test and recording of the results on the central data collection.

2). Values (c) are confidential to prevent disclosure of individuals.

The number of staff in women’s prisons who have tested positive for covid-19 each month between March 2020 and October 2021 is given in the following table.

Table 2: COVID-19 Positive test results for staff1,2 working in Women's prisons, by directly/non-directly employed, March 2020 to October 20213

Mar 2020

Apr 2020

May 2020

Jun 2020

Jul 2020

Aug 2020

Sep 2020

Oct 2020

Nov 2020

Dec 2020

Directly employed

~

~

~

0

~

0

9

66

77

133

Non-directly employed

~

~

~

~

~

~

5

20

22

27

Total

4

37

5

~

4

~

14

86

99

160

Jan 2021

Feb 2021

Mar 2021

Apr 2021

May 2021

Jun 2021

Jul 2021

Aug 2021

Sep 2021

Oct 2021

Total

Directly employed

178

81

18

~

3

11

43

37

30

38

770

Non-directly employed

49

19

10

0

0

4

14

13

11

12

214

Total

227

100

28

~

3

15

57

50

41

50

984

Source: MoJ/HMPPS administrative systems and data collections

Data Quality: Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. Much of the data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic has been done at pace, with recording practices evolving as we understand more about the requirements and conditions we are facing.

Notes:

1). Counts the distinct staff who have tested positive for COVID-19. These are self-reported.

2). Where staff have multiple positive tests within a 90-day period, they are now assumed to be from the same infection and are therefore only counted once. This has resulted in a small number of positive tests being removed from the published figures.

3). October 2021 is the latest published data. The next set of data for the period to 30 January 2022 is due to be published in the Workforce Statistics Report on 17 February 2022.

~ denotes suppressed values of 2 or fewer, or other values (including zeroes) which would allow values of 2 or fewer to be derived by subtraction. Low numbers are suppressed to prevent disclosure in accordance with the Data Protection Act, 2018.

5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 15 December 2021 to Question 90879, of those convicted offenders released in error from (a) courts and (b) prisons since 2010, how many have (i) not returned to prison and (ii) returned to prison; and for those returned, what duration of time elapsed before their return to prison.

A prisoner is released in error if they are released earlier than their correct release date, they will be unlawfully at large until and unless they are subsequently released correctly or returned to custody. If the person so released is not aware of the error and makes no attempt to evade arrest, then they have committed no offence and, in that sense, they may not be at fault.

Releases in error are monitored closely to analyse the frequency across the estate and identify any trends nationally, while taking into consideration the management of risk to the public.

Between 2010 and March 2021, 678 releases in error took place. I have asked officials to review methods of measuring rates of return, owing to the complexity of such data gathering. For example, if the prisoner was released one or two days early, they would not be recalled to prison, however, would be counted as still at large.

This data is not currently held, and information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of collecting data on protected characteristics within the Criminal Justice System recorded adult rape offences scorecards; and whether he has plans to collect that data.

We recognise the importance of the Criminal Justice System serving all communities and individuals in England and Wales. For it to do this, we need to understand the diverse make up of those it is serving.

The scorecard is a transformation in the way we will manage and improve future performance in the Criminal Justice System and, as our guiding principles, we are using the best data available to us. This means we do not currently have victim metrics which are broken down by protected characteristics.

26th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the (a) total and (b) per application cost to the public purse of processing exceptional case funding applications for immigration matters has been in (i) cash and (ii) real terms in England and Wales in each year since 2012.

The information requested is not held centrally. The unit cost of processing an application is not specifically tracked or recorded by the Legal Aid Agency, nor is the administrative spend on Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) recorded separately to general legal aid administrative spend.

Details about volumes of ECF applications, broken down by category, for every year since 2013 can be found in legal aid statistics published by the Ministry of Justice: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/legal-aid-statistics (available up to and including June 2021).

26th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the (a) total and (b) per application cost to the public purse of processing exceptional case funding applications across all areas of law that are out of scope for legal aid has been in (i) cash and (ii) real terms in England and Wales in each year since 2012.

The information requested is not held centrally. The unit cost of processing an application is not specifically tracked or recorded by the Legal Aid Agency, nor is the administrative spend on Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) recorded separately to general legal aid administrative spend.

Details about volumes of ECF applications, broken down by category, for every year since 2013 can be found in legal aid statistics published by the Ministry of Justice: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/legal-aid-statistics (available up to and including June 2021).

29th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been (a) charged, (b) prosecuted and (c) convicted for offences under the Offences against The Person Act 1861, section 23, and section 24 in each year since 2010.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on prosecutions and convictions under the Offences against the Person Act 1861 in England and Wales, from 2013 to 2020, in the ‘Principal offence proceedings and outcomes by Home Office offence code’ data tool, available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/987731/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2020.xlsx

The Ministry of Justice does not hold information on initial charges brought.

Data showing the number of defendants prosecuted and convicted under section 23 and 24 of this Act, in England and Wales from 2010 to 2020 (latest available) can be found in the attached table.

The data supplied is a subset of published information from the Courts Proceedings database.

19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been sentenced for street flashing as part of the statistics for exposure and voyeurism for each year since 2010.

Information on exposure offences held by the Ministry of Justice does not identify whether an offence involved ‘street flashing’, specifically.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on sentences for exposure offences, up to December 2020, available in the ‘Principal offence proceedings and outcomes by Home Office offence code data tool’, available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/987731/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2020.xlsx

Use the ‘Offence code’ filter in the above data tool to select the following offence:

  • 088/09 – Exposure (Contrary to section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003)

Figures for the number of individuals sentenced will display in Row 34.

19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, to how many and what proportion of magistrates courts the domestic abuse best practice framework applies; and how many courts have dedicated sitting days for domestic abuse, broken down by region.

The domestic abuse best practice framework applies to all magistrates’ courts. The domestic abuse work in some HMCTS regions is listed together where possible into courts to make sure that the specialist provision envisaged by the framework is in place.

The information on how many courts have dedicated sitting days is not held centrally as each court has different processes for recording the use of court time.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the impact of the backlog of cases in the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service on vulnerable children and families.

The protection of children, particularly those who are most vulnerable, is a priority for this government. We recognise the additional pressures that the family justice system has faced since the Covid-19 pandemic, and the impact this has had on children and families who use the family courts. Since the start of the pandemic the number of new cases issued to Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) has exceeded the number of cases closed for Cafcass. As at 1 September, Cafcass caseload is 20% higher than March 2020.

The Ministry of Justice has worked closely with Cafcass to manage these pressures and mitigate the impact on its services. Earlier this year £6million in additional funding was agreed to enable Cafcass to increase staff capacity to meet the increased open caseload.

Cafcass has also put in place a protocol to, where necessary, prioritise cases in local service areas so it can continue to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children and families. The approach involves courts working with Cafcass to triage and allocate cases in private law proceedings on the basis of risk and capacity. The Ministry of Justice has agreed an additional £491k to support this work until the end of this financial year.

Cafcass’ prioritisation protocol only applies to private law applications. All public law work continues to be allocated in the normal way and within established timescales. Urgent public law children cases are still being prioritised by the courts, to help safeguard the welfare of the most vulnerable children.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the level of the backlog of cases in the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service as at 22 September 2021; and what steps he is taking to tackle that backlog.

The protection of children, particularly those who are most vulnerable, is a priority for this government. We recognise the additional pressures that the family justice system has faced since the Covid-19 pandemic, and the impact this has had on children and families who use the family courts. Since the start of the pandemic the number of new cases issued to Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) has exceeded the number of cases closed for Cafcass. As at 1 September, Cafcass caseload is 20% higher than March 2020.

The Ministry of Justice has worked closely with Cafcass to manage these pressures and mitigate the impact on its services. Earlier this year £6million in additional funding was agreed to enable Cafcass to increase staff capacity to meet the increased open caseload.

Cafcass has also put in place a protocol to, where necessary, prioritise cases in local service areas so it can continue to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children and families. The approach involves courts working with Cafcass to triage and allocate cases in private law proceedings on the basis of risk and capacity. The Ministry of Justice has agreed an additional £491k to support this work until the end of this financial year.

Cafcass’ prioritisation protocol only applies to private law applications. All public law work continues to be allocated in the normal way and within established timescales. Urgent public law children cases are still being prioritised by the courts, to help safeguard the welfare of the most vulnerable children.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the impact of the public sector pay freeze on the recruitment and retention of staff in the (a) probation service and (b) family courts.

My Department is currently engaging with our recognised Trade Unions on the 2021 pay award for the Probation Service. The pay award will comply with the temporary pause on pay rises for most public sector workforces in 2021/22, including the Civil Service.

Staff in family courts are covered by the temporary pay pause.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to adjust pay levels to assist with the recruitment and retention of staff in (a) probation services and (b) family courts.

My Department is committed to ensuring a fair and enduring reward package for all staff in the Probation Service, building on previous pay reform work to ensure we can recruit and retain necessary levels of staff.

Staff in family courts are covered by the recently agreed MOJ pay deal.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he is taking steps to (a) create and (b) implement a tool to measure the workload of staff in the probation service.

The Probation Service uses a Workload Measurement Tool (WMT) which monitors the workloads of case holding Probation Practitioners. We are also building an in-house WMT which will eventually replace the existing one and by using internal digital capability, we will be able to swiftly make necessary changes, iterations to improve it and have the potential to include a capacity measure for other roles and functions in the service.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the impact of the implementation of the new ViSOR database on the workload of staff in the probation service.

ViSOR is a multi-agency database used for storing and sharing risk related information and intelligence for Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangement (MAPPA) qualifying offenders and some other high-risk groups. It has been used by Police since 2005, and the Probation and Prison Service since 2007. Having access to ViSOR on probation service devices means that offender managers can access up-to-date information and essential risk related intelligence directly. Prior to having direct access to ViSOR, Offender Managers would have to contact colleagues in other agencies for this information which led to delays in accessing the relevant intelligence. The direct access we are now offering Probation Offender Managers will improve the quality and effectiveness of our risk management plans and the speed in which they are constructed.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what funding is being provided to the probation service to help ensure that those services can be stabilised while the Unified Model is being implemented.

The unification of the Probation Service has been supported by an additional £155m of funding this year (2021-22) and last year (2020-21), which represents a 17% uplift on 2019-20. This additional resource will in itself support the stabilisation and improvement of how probation services are delivered, for example by increasing the number of probation officers and funding the 110 contracts awarded for Commissioned Rehabilitation Services.

In addition, a further £30m in funding has been made available for 2021-22, to assist in meeting transition costs that arise from bringing together previous probation providers into one unified Probation Service.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) men and (b) women were recalled to prison for 14 days or less more than once in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020 and (iii) 2021 to date.

The figures requested are set out below. These figures refer to the number of individuals recalled, so the figures may differ from published recall numbers which refer to instances of recall.

It should be noted that the figures for 2021 reflect the published statistics and refer only to the first quarter of the year and cannot therefore be compared to those provided for 2019 and 2020.

Total number of offenders recalled to prison for 14 days or less

Year

Female

Male

2019

655

3,515

2020

407

2,709

2021 (Qtr1)

87

583

Total number of offenders recalled to prison for 14 days or less more than once

Year

Female

Male

2019

183

821

2020

95

596

2021 (Qtr1)

10

71

Public protection is our priority. Offenders on licence are subject to strict licence conditions and supervision.

Where offenders are eligible for a fixed-term recall, they may be recalled to prison on a fixed-term basis, where that is a necessary and proportionate response to a breach of licence conditions. If not, they will receive a standard recall, which is the only type of recall available for those offenders ineligible for a fixed-term recall (such as those on a life licence). Where they receive a standard recall, they are liable to serve the rest of their sentence in prison, unless the Parole Board, or the Secretary of State using executive powers, decide to re-releases them.

Recall information is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/offender-management-statistics-quarterly

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) men and (b) women were recalled to prison for 14 days or less in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020 and (iii) 2021 to date.

The figures requested are set out below. These figures refer to the number of individuals recalled, so the figures may differ from published recall numbers which refer to instances of recall.

It should be noted that the figures for 2021 reflect the published statistics and refer only to the first quarter of the year and cannot therefore be compared to those provided for 2019 and 2020.

Total number of offenders recalled to prison for 14 days or less

Year

Female

Male

2019

655

3,515

2020

407

2,709

2021 (Qtr1)

87

583

Total number of offenders recalled to prison for 14 days or less more than once

Year

Female

Male

2019

183

821

2020

95

596

2021 (Qtr1)

10

71

Public protection is our priority. Offenders on licence are subject to strict licence conditions and supervision.

Where offenders are eligible for a fixed-term recall, they may be recalled to prison on a fixed-term basis, where that is a necessary and proportionate response to a breach of licence conditions. If not, they will receive a standard recall, which is the only type of recall available for those offenders ineligible for a fixed-term recall (such as those on a life licence). Where they receive a standard recall, they are liable to serve the rest of their sentence in prison, unless the Parole Board, or the Secretary of State using executive powers, decide to re-releases them.

Recall information is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/offender-management-statistics-quarterly

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the announcement of 26 November 2020 that £315 million will be allocated to enhance the condition of the existing prison estate, whether that includes spending on the announced 500 prison places for women in the existing estate.

No, the programme to deliver up to 500 new places in women’s prisons is being funded out of the MoJ’s 3-year capital allocation for additional prison capacity. The £315m in capital funding for 2021/22 announced last November is being invested in refurbishment and renewal of the existing prison estate, including temporary accommodation to replace a number of units recently taken out of use that no longer meet current fire safety standards. We expect to spend over £21m of the £315m on works to improve conditions in women’s prisons.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to tackle the disproportionality of women of ethnic minorities in prisons.

We want people to have confidence in a justice system that is fair and open – one where no person suffers discrimination of any sort.

The over-representation of ethnic minority women in prisons, and in the justice system more widely, is a real concern and we continue to prioritise understanding and tackling disparities they may face.

The Female Offender Strategy (FOS), a comprehensive programme of work to improve outcomes for women at all points of the CJS, included a clear commitment to look at how the distinct needs of ethnic minority women can be better addressed, and work is underway to deliver this commitment.

We have established a specific Female Offender Minority Ethnic (FOME) Working Group to better understand the issues faced by ethnic minority women in the CJS. This brings together policy and operational leads with expert voluntary sector colleagues with experience of supporting this cohort of women.

Work includes developing specific staff training centred on the needs of ethnic minority women, user-centred research focusing on the earlier experiences ethnic minority women face in understanding the legal processes they face up to the pre-sentencing stage, supporting those voluntary sector organisations who work with this cohort, and taking forward the recommendations of Lord Farmer’s Review.

More generally, the Department has published two updates to our work on tackling racial disparities detailing the full range of activities to address race disparity in the CJS including specific sections focused on work relevant to the disparity faced by ethnic minority women.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what support is being offered to female offenders to reduce the number of women in prisons.

The Female Offender Strategy emphasises both the importance of diversion and community solutions and the need to provide support for offenders who are in or have left prison.

Since publication of the strategy in June 2018, we have invested £7 million of Strategy funding in women’s community sector services across England and Wales to sustain and enhance current services and provide properties for new women’s centres which provide an important route to diversion from prison.

Under the probation dynamic framework, we have also awarded almost £46 million to charities to deliver wraparound support to women in the criminal justice system over the next three years.

This year we are also boosting funding to steer more women away from crime and prison. £2.5 million will be awarded to community services which tackle root causes of offending and cut crime.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of limited visitations on the (a) welfare and (b) health of women in prisons.

We recognise the importance of positive family contact for all prisoners in custody. When regime restrictions were introduced in prisons to control the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, we acted quickly to ensure that prisoners could maintain family contact despite the exceptional circumstances.

Visits in exceptional circumstances and visits to children in custody continued throughout. Women’s prisons were prioritised for the roll-out of secure video calling, and additional access to video calls and phone credit were provided to promote communication with family, especially children. Closed women’s prisons were also prioritised in the roll out of in-cell telephony.

We produced tailored guidance for supporting specific groups of people in prison whose wellbeing may be more impacted by Covid-19 measures, including women. We also produced a range of products to support Governors in devising and implementing local safety and welfare plans.

From March 2021, prisons resumed social visits where it was safe to do so, as they moved to Stage 3 of the National Framework for Prison Regimes and Services. All prisons are currently offering in-person prison visits and we continue to maximise the use of video calling to support positive family ties.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of covid-19 restrictions on the (a) physical and (b) mental health of prisoners.

The Government takes the health and wellbeing of prisoners very seriously. Maintaining the safety and wellbeing of prisoners has remained a priority throughout the pandemic.

When regime restrictions were introduced in prisons to control the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, we recognised that these measures could exacerbate the mental health needs of those in our care.

To address anxiety and boredom, we have made available distraction packs, in cell activities and a range of self-help materials, including a Wellbeing Plan, created with input from mental health charity Mind. We also gave staff resources for assisting prisoners who might be struggling, such as guidance for understanding and supporting someone who is self-harming and wellbeing checks for vulnerable and priority groups of prisoners. The Samaritans phone service has remained available and we are working with them to ensure their Listener scheme continues to facilitate peer support between prisoners.

We have also acted quickly to ensure that prisoners could stay in touch with their loved ones, rolling-out secure mobile handsets, providing every prisoner with £5 PIN credit per week and introducing secure video calls.

The National Framework for Prison Regimes and Services sets out how we will take decisions about easing Covid-19 restrictions, and the different Regime Stages prisons will operate at. Prisons continue to progress wherever safe to do so; the majority of prisons are now operating at Stage 2 of the Framework and the first prisons have reached Stage 1, which involves the lowest degree of restrictions.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has a roadmap for the easing of covid-19 restrictions for inmates in prisons.

Our plan for easing restrictions in prisons (and re-introducing them where necessary) will be guided by public health advice alongside an operational assessment of what can be safely implemented, whilst ensuring we can keep staff and prisoners safe. The National Framework for prison regimes, which sets out in detail how we will take decisions about easing coronavirus-related restrictions in prisons, was published on GOV.UK on 2 June 2020 and updated 18 August 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-national-framework-for-prison-regimes-and-services

We had to suspend routine social visits to adults in prisons over the winter, due to the risks from Covid-19, although visits in exceptional circumstances and visits to children in custody continued. From March 2021, prisons resumed social visits where it was safe to do so, as they moved to Stage 3 of the Framework. All prisons are currently offering in-person prison visits, with physical contact allowed for all people aged under 11, to reflect public health advice on the lower transmission risks for that age group and particular needs of children. In addition, two adults from two different households are now able to visit together, making it easier for prisoners to see more people.

We are also conducting a national rollout allowing visitors to Stage 2 prisons to produce a negative rapid test result in order to have physical contact with the person they are visiting and access to refreshment facilities. Social distancing measures will remain in place at this time for those aged over 11 who cannot provide a negative test result.

We continue to maximise the use of video calling to support positive family ties.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what his planned timetable is for recommencing in-person prison visits; and for what reason he has decided upon that timetable.

Our plan for easing restrictions in prisons (and re-introducing them where necessary) will be guided by public health advice alongside an operational assessment of what can be safely implemented, whilst ensuring we can keep staff and prisoners safe. The National Framework for prison regimes, which sets out in detail how we will take decisions about easing coronavirus-related restrictions in prisons, was published on GOV.UK on 2 June 2020 and updated 18 August 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-national-framework-for-prison-regimes-and-services

We had to suspend routine social visits to adults in prisons over the winter, due to the risks from Covid-19, although visits in exceptional circumstances and visits to children in custody continued. From March 2021, prisons resumed social visits where it was safe to do so, as they moved to Stage 3 of the Framework. All prisons are currently offering in-person prison visits, with physical contact allowed for all people aged under 11, to reflect public health advice on the lower transmission risks for that age group and particular needs of children. In addition, two adults from two different households are now able to visit together, making it easier for prisoners to see more people.

We are also conducting a national rollout allowing visitors to Stage 2 prisons to produce a negative rapid test result in order to have physical contact with the person they are visiting and access to refreshment facilities. Social distancing measures will remain in place at this time for those aged over 11 who cannot provide a negative test result.

We continue to maximise the use of video calling to support positive family ties.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to increase the availability of grants for charities that are participating in the Transforming Rehabilitation partnership programme.

Voluntary sector organisations are a key partner for the Probation Service. We are committed to increasing their role in rehabilitating offenders as part of the new unified model for probation. In doing so, we have sought to learn lessons from the approach taken under the previous Transforming Rehabilitation model for probation (which ceased on 25 June). The procurement process for the new Dynamic Framework for commissioning rehabilitative services has been designed to make it easier for charities and other third-sector organisations to access funding from Government.

An initial £195 million has been awarded to 26 organisations across England and Wales over the next three to four years, to provide vital support services that help reduce reoffending, such as employment and housing advice; and this includes over £45m awarded to organisations providing services tailored to female offenders to address their specific needs and the underlying causes of their crimes as part of the Government’s pledge to see fewer women go to prison.

Around two-thirds of the funding for the 110 contracts awarded so far has been awarded to registered charities or voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. These are fixed price contracts with a volume cap (with volume bands applying only in larger contracts) to mitigate financial risk to suppliers as a result of volume movement. In addition, many lead organisations are using the specialist skills of smaller organisations to help deliver services, with another 50 organisations, mostly in the voluntary sector, named in their supply chains.

In addition, we commissioned Richard Oldfield to carry out an independent review of the Dynamic Framework. His report recognised the enormous effort that has gone into establishing the Dynamic Framework to enable the unified service to deliver Commissioned Rehabilitative Services and the success of awarding all 110 contracts for day one of our new unified Probation Service with around two-thirds of contracts going to charities and VCSEs. The report made various recommendations to further simplify the process for potential providers and to facilitate the participation of smaller charities in particular, including wider use of grants.

We accept this recommendation and want to promote greater use of grants. We have committed to provide the Probation Service’s regional commissioning teams with clear guidance to help make grants the presumptive choice for funding commissioning intentions that meet specified criteria. We are currently developing the criteria but anticipate it will be a combination of award value, as recommended in the report, and type of requirement / service.

We will continuously review our processes to identify ways to improve future commissioning and procurement.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to tackle the challenges faced by charities when participating in the Transforming Rehabilitation procurement process.

Voluntary sector organisations are a key partner for the Probation Service. We are committed to increasing their role in rehabilitating offenders as part of the new unified model for probation. In doing so, we have sought to learn lessons from the approach taken under the previous Transforming Rehabilitation model for probation (which ceased on 25 June). The procurement process for the new Dynamic Framework for commissioning rehabilitative services has been designed to make it easier for charities and other third-sector organisations to access funding from Government.

An initial £195 million has been awarded to 26 organisations across England and Wales over the next three to four years, to provide vital support services that help reduce reoffending, such as employment and housing advice; and this includes over £45m awarded to organisations providing services tailored to female offenders to address their specific needs and the underlying causes of their crimes as part of the Government’s pledge to see fewer women go to prison.

Around two-thirds of the funding for the 110 contracts awarded so far has been awarded to registered charities or voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. These are fixed price contracts with a volume cap (with volume bands applying only in larger contracts) to mitigate financial risk to suppliers as a result of volume movement. In addition, many lead organisations are using the specialist skills of smaller organisations to help deliver services, with another 50 organisations, mostly in the voluntary sector, named in their supply chains.

In addition, we commissioned Richard Oldfield to carry out an independent review of the Dynamic Framework. His report recognised the enormous effort that has gone into establishing the Dynamic Framework to enable the unified service to deliver Commissioned Rehabilitative Services and the success of awarding all 110 contracts for day one of our new unified Probation Service with around two-thirds of contracts going to charities and VCSEs. The report made various recommendations to further simplify the process for potential providers and to facilitate the participation of smaller charities in particular, including wider use of grants.

We accept this recommendation and want to promote greater use of grants. We have committed to provide the Probation Service’s regional commissioning teams with clear guidance to help make grants the presumptive choice for funding commissioning intentions that meet specified criteria. We are currently developing the criteria but anticipate it will be a combination of award value, as recommended in the report, and type of requirement / service.

We will continuously review our processes to identify ways to improve future commissioning and procurement.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the suitability of housing arrangements for inmates who do not have housing upon leaving prisons.

Having stable accommodation can prevent offenders committing further crimes. To ensure offenders are not homeless upon release, HMPPS has developed a Community Accommodation Service (CAS) so that people leaving prison can access suitable accommodation. CAS brings Approved Premises (AP), Bail Accommodation and Support Service (BASS), and a new provision of transitional accommodation together under the auspices of one accommodation system.

As a whole system, CAS enables accommodation to be provided that is suitable to an offender’s risk level and circumstances. AP house high-risk offenders with a strict curfew and CCTV inside and out to monitor behaviour. BASS provides accommodation to those released on bail or Home Detention Curfew without otherwise suitable accommodation. These combine with the new provision of temporary accommodation and support for those leaving prison at risk of homelessness, introduced in July. Initially launched in five probation areas in England, the service will support around 3,000 offenders in its first year and will provide up to 12 weeks of temporary accommodation and will be supported into long-term settled accommodation before the end of that 12-week period.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his Department's announcement of 23 January 2021, which sites have been identified for the building of 500 new prison places for women.

In response to 19655, A total of 112 temporary accommodation cells have been installed and are available for use in the women’s estate at HMP & YOI Drake Hall, HMP & YOI East Sutton Park, HMP Foston Hall and HMP & YOI Askham Grange to limit the spread of covid-19 in the women’s prison estate.

In response to 19656, the expansion of the women’s prison estate is still at a relatively early feasibility investigation stage. However, the initial sites under consideration are: HMP Drake Hall, HMP Eastwood Park, HMP Foston Hall, HMP Send and HMP Styal. Final decisions will only be taken on each site once surveys and investigations have been completed, and after the established local consultation and planning application processes have been concluded. All sites are existing women's prisons and there are currently no plans to expand places for women anywhere else as part of this project.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many temporary cells were installed in women's prisons since April 2020 to limit the spread of covid-19 in prisons.

In response to 19655, A total of 112 temporary accommodation cells have been installed and are available for use in the women’s estate at HMP & YOI Drake Hall, HMP & YOI East Sutton Park, HMP Foston Hall and HMP & YOI Askham Grange to limit the spread of covid-19 in the women’s prison estate.

In response to 19656, the expansion of the women’s prison estate is still at a relatively early feasibility investigation stage. However, the initial sites under consideration are: HMP Drake Hall, HMP Eastwood Park, HMP Foston Hall, HMP Send and HMP Styal. Final decisions will only be taken on each site once surveys and investigations have been completed, and after the established local consultation and planning application processes have been concluded. All sites are existing women's prisons and there are currently no plans to expand places for women anywhere else as part of this project.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much funding was allocated to the (a) women’s services lot and (b) accommodation services lot in the Dynamic Purchasing Framework for probation services.

A total of around £54 million has been allocated to women’s services to address their specific needs and the underlying causes of their crimes as part of the Government’s pledge to see fewer women go to prison. Contracts worth over £45 million have already been awarded with women’s services procured at Police and Crime Commissioner level in 10 of the 12 probation regions. This significant investment provides long-term support to women’s centres and other dedicated services for women serving community sentences or leaving prison.

A total of around £41 million has been allocated to accommodation services with over £33 million allocated in 11 of the 12 probation regions. These have been awarded at a regional level except in Wales where they have been procured at Police and Crime Commissioner level.

For the first time, the Probation Service is jointly commissioning the full range of rehabilitative services in Greater Manchester with the region’s Combined Authority from July 2021.

In London, women’s services will be commissioned jointly with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) by providing funding to MOPAC’s existing providers for an extension and expansion of the current service. A new commissioning process will be undertaken for services from 2022.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average length of time spent in prison by women has been since March 2020.

The table below shows for each quarter the average (mean) number of months, women who were released in that quarter, served in prison including on remand.

Quarter

Jan-March 2020

April-June 2020

July-September 2020

October-December 2020

Mean time served including remand in months

6.6

8.3

9.1

8.1

Source: Prison releases October to December 2020, Table 3.2i.

The Female Offender Strategy (2018) committed to working towards fewer women serving short custodial sentences with a greater proportion managed successfully in the community. Our Strategy commitment to pilot residential women’s centres, with the first to be located in south Wales, is a key part of this work. We are piloting a Problem-Solving Court approach in up to five locations for certain community and suspended sentence orders. The aim of this is to support offenders who could be both prolific and vulnerable to complete their sentences in the community. Female offenders will be one area of focus given the high proportion who receive short prison sentences, building on the promising outcomes of Manchester’s women’s Problem-Solving Court.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on how many occasions facilities enabling women and their children to spend time together overnight at (a) HMP Drake Hall, (b) HMP Styal and (c) HMP Askham Grange operated at full capacity in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019 and (iii) 2020.

There are six Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) across the women’s prison estate located at HMP Askham Grange, HMP Bronzefield, HMP Eastwood Park, HMP New Hall, HMP Peterborough and HMP Styal. MBUs are a national resource and enable mothers to maintain a bond with their children during an important period in their development and aim to reduce the negative impact imprisonment can have on young children, if evidence suggests it is in their best interests to remain with their mother.

The MBU also allows for children from the community to come and join their mothers in an MBU up to the age of 18 months. The environment is safe and nurturing for children, with development opportunities you would see in other nurseries, including toys and trips into the community. There is a national capacity of 64 mothers and 70 babies (to allow for multiple births). The national capacity has not been exceeded.

In addition to the existing MBUs, HMP Drake Hall and HMP Askham Grange offer overnight facilities that enable mothers and their children to spend time together. These facilities are available to all children up to the age of 18 years old. There is no additional overnight accommodation available at HMP Styal however, HMP Eastwood Park have enhanced the use of their MBU to provide an opportunity for risk assessed women to spend an overnight stay with one child, up to 12 years of age in the specifically arranged family room.

In regard to capacity, the HMP Askham Grange unit has five double bedrooms to accommodate large families, however only one mother can use the facility at one time. Although information is not held in the time periods requested, the facility was used 144 times in 2018-19 and 98 times in 2019-20.

HMP Drake Hall has two separate units that can accommodate one mother, up to three children aged toddler to 18 years of age, and one baby in a travel cot. For larger families, the two suites can be combined to provide facilities for up to 6 children, which is assessed on a case by case basis. Full information relating to the number of occasions this facility was used is not held however, the suite has not been used during 2020 due to COVID restrictions.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) women and (b) children can access overnight accommodation in HMP (i) Drake Hall, (ii) Styal and (iii) Askham Grange.

There are six Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) across the women’s prison estate located at HMP Askham Grange, HMP Bronzefield, HMP Eastwood Park, HMP New Hall, HMP Peterborough and HMP Styal. MBUs are a national resource and enable mothers to maintain a bond with their children during an important period in their development and aim to reduce the negative impact imprisonment can have on young children, if evidence suggests it is in their best interests to remain with their mother.

The MBU also allows for children from the community to come and join their mothers in an MBU up to the age of 18 months. The environment is safe and nurturing for children, with development opportunities you would see in other nurseries, including toys and trips into the community. There is a national capacity of 64 mothers and 70 babies (to allow for multiple births). The national capacity has not been exceeded.

In addition to the existing MBUs, HMP Drake Hall and HMP Askham Grange offer overnight facilities that enable mothers and their children to spend time together. These facilities are available to all children up to the age of 18 years old. There is no additional overnight accommodation available at HMP Styal however, HMP Eastwood Park have enhanced the use of their MBU to provide an opportunity for risk assessed women to spend an overnight stay with one child, up to 12 years of age in the specifically arranged family room.

In regard to capacity, the HMP Askham Grange unit has five double bedrooms to accommodate large families, however only one mother can use the facility at one time. Although information is not held in the time periods requested, the facility was used 144 times in 2018-19 and 98 times in 2019-20.

HMP Drake Hall has two separate units that can accommodate one mother, up to three children aged toddler to 18 years of age, and one baby in a travel cot. For larger families, the two suites can be combined to provide facilities for up to 6 children, which is assessed on a case by case basis. Full information relating to the number of occasions this facility was used is not held however, the suite has not been used during 2020 due to COVID restrictions.

21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, which women’s prisons provide facilities for women and their children to spend time together overnight.

There are six Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) across the women’s prison estate located at HMP Askham Grange, HMP Bronzefield, HMP Eastwood Park, HMP New Hall, HMP Peterborough and HMP Styal. MBUs are a national resource and enable mothers to maintain a bond with their children during an important period in their development and aim to reduce the negative impact imprisonment can have on young children, if evidence suggests it is in their best interests to remain with their mother.

The MBU also allows for children from the community to come and join their mothers in an MBU up to the age of 18 months. The environment is safe and nurturing for children, with development opportunities you would see in other nurseries, including toys and trips into the community. There is a national capacity of 64 mothers and 70 babies (to allow for multiple births). The national capacity has not been exceeded.

In addition to the existing MBUs, HMP Drake Hall and HMP Askham Grange offer overnight facilities that enable mothers and their children to spend time together. These facilities are available to all children up to the age of 18 years old. There is no additional overnight accommodation available at HMP Styal however, HMP Eastwood Park have enhanced the use of their MBU to provide an opportunity for risk assessed women to spend an overnight stay with one child, up to 12 years of age in the specifically arranged family room.

In regard to capacity, the HMP Askham Grange unit has five double bedrooms to accommodate large families, however only one mother can use the facility at one time. Although information is not held in the time periods requested, the facility was used 144 times in 2018-19 and 98 times in 2019-20.

HMP Drake Hall has two separate units that can accommodate one mother, up to three children aged toddler to 18 years of age, and one baby in a travel cot. For larger families, the two suites can be combined to provide facilities for up to 6 children, which is assessed on a case by case basis. Full information relating to the number of occasions this facility was used is not held however, the suite has not been used during 2020 due to COVID restrictions.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the rollout of section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, how many cases have applied or used section 28 used since its rollout, by (a) court and (b) month.

HMCTS does not hold data on how many times the provisions of a section 28 special measure have been applied or used by (a) court and (b) month.

The information requested is not held centrally and can only be obtained at a disproportionate cost.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many Nightingale Courts are being used for criminal trials.

HMCTS has opened 27 Nightingale courts comprising 54 courtrooms. Of these courtrooms, 30 are directly hearing Crown and Magistrates’ Court work with the rest being used to free up capacity for crime hearings within the existing HMCTS estate.

Crime recovery work is moving at pace – our focus is on increasing capacity and maximising use of the capacity we already have. The Criminal Courts Recovery Plan can be accessed on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus. This provides a comprehensive update on recovery plans and includes details about Nightingale courts.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cracked trials there were in each of the last six months.

We have different data sources for the number of cracked trials in the Crown Courts and magistrates’ courts.

The table below shows the latest published data on the number of cracked trials in the Crown Courts. This data can be found on the HMCTS management information page.

Cracked trials in the Crown Courts

August 20

September 20

October 20

November 20

December 20

January 21

177

168

271

386

267

349

The latest published data we have on the number of cracked trials in the magistrates’ courts is set out in the table below. This data can be found on our quarterly national statistics page.

Cracked trials in the magistrates’ courts

Jan-March 20

April – June 20

July – Sept 20

8,807

615

4,315

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of whether social distancing will be required in courts after June 2021.

The access to justice provided by courts and tribunals is of critical importance. It is of the top priority of HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to ensure that essential public service is delivered safely.

We will keep this under careful review in light of PHE guidance at the time we will reform Courts to normal operation as quickly and safely as possible.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of HM Courts and Tribunals staff are agency staff.

The proportion of HMCTS Courts and Tribunal Full-time Equivalent staff that are agency staff as at the end of Jan 21 is 15%. This is based on an overall FTE figure of 17,439.39 which includes all HMCTS staff and agency staff.

FTE

HMCTS

14878.52

85%

Agency

2560.87

15%

Total

17439.39

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of whether additional funding is required to support prison leavers at risk of homelessness in the region of London compared with (a) East of England, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber, (c) Greater Manchester, (d) Kent Surrey and Sussex and (e) the North West as part of the selection of areas for the new pilot of temporary accommodation for prison leavers.

We recognise the significant problem of homelessness faced by a number of our service users in London and are working to prevent homelessness amongst prison leavers, by continuing the successful probation Homelessness Prevention Team in the region, which has supported many homeless prison leavers during the COVID emergency period, and by working in partnership with other organisations to develop new initiatives.

HMP Wandsworth has been selected as a prison to introduce and test a new accommodation role. The Housing Specialist will work to strengthen links between prisons, through the gate teams and local authorities to improve accommodation outcomes for those at risk of homelessness. The post holder will also work to drive forward our Homelessness Reduction Act and Duty to Refer pilot with several key London local authorities.

London was not chosen as one of the probation regions for the delivery of the Tier 3 – Community Accommodation Service for the next financial year, due to the need to prioritise the work on the transition of probation services in the capital.

It is our intention to roll out the Tier 3 accommodation provision nationally, pending the Spending Review later this year.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether new dedicated staff set to act as brokers for prisoners to secure quicker access to accommodation and services on release in eleven prisons will receive training on gender specific accommodation challenges for women prison leavers.

We are introducing and testing the Housing Specialist role across a number of prisons, including HMP Newhall in the female estate. The specific challenges women prison leavers face accessing accommodation and services on release have been considered as part of the design of the role and project as a whole. Candidates who do not already have an understanding of these challenges will be given support to develop this, working alongside colleagues who understand the challenges, in order to maximise the opportunities on release.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the Departmental modelling that led to the announcement of up to 500 new prison cells in women’s prisons; and what assessment his Department has made of the effect of those new cells on (a) women’s health and (b) child dependants.

Our prison population projections, published in November last year, show that the female prison population is projected to rise by around two-fifths by 2026 (1,300 women), with most of that rise coming in the next two years. Our projections took in to consideration the impact of the planned recruitment of a further 23,400 police officers.

Our projections further assumed the future gender composition of the prison population will be broadly consistent with the pre-COVID composition; however, there is a fair degree of uncertainty in this respect, not least because of the additional police recruitment. As such we modelled a total of four scenarios which included a 20% higher/lower throughput from the police and a fast court recovery scenario. Table 2.1 and 4.1 taken from our prison population projections, illustrate this below:

Table 2.1 below shows the two extra scenarios of a lower and a higher impact police scenario for both men and women.

Central

Lower Police Scenario

Higher Police Scenario

Fast Court Recovery

September 2020

79,235

79,235

79,235

79,235

September 2021

83,200

83,000

83,500

85,900

September 2022

88,100

87,200

89,100

88,600

September 2023

93,000

91,300

94,700

91,900

September 2024

96,000

93,800

98,300

94,900

September 2025

97,700

95,000

100,300

97,000

September 2026

98,700

95,900

101,600

98,400

All figures are rounded to the nearest hundred. Components may not sum due to rounding.

Table 4.1 below shows the projections separately for children, females over 18 years and males over 18.

Total

Children

Female 18+

Male 18+

September 2020

79,235

395

3,217

75,623

September 2021

83,200

600

3,800

78,900

September 2022

88,100

600

4,100

83,500

September 2023

93,000

700

4,300

88,100

September 2024

96,000

700

4,400

90,900

September 2025

97,700

700

4,500

92,500

September 2026

98,700

700

4,500

93,500

All figures are rounded to the nearest hundred. Components may not sum due to rounding.

Both tables are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/prison-population-projections-2020-to-2026

Custody should remain the last resort for women. However, it would be wrong to not build these places in response to the projected population forecast as outlined above and would further not align with the requirements of our Female Offender Strategy. The expansion of the women’s estate will provide better conditions for those women who do require custody. It is our responsibility to ensure that those women in our custody are held in appropriate, decent and safe accommodation. The expansion of the female estate will be developed alongside parallel investment in community provision and services for women.

The changes in the Women’s Estate will increase the resettlement opportunities for women by providing greater access to open conditions and also provide valuable modern, purpose-built accommodation within the closed estate which will improve the custodial experience for women who are not assessed as suitable for open conditions. This will provide improved rehabilitation and better outcomes for women.

At the heart of our project is a gender-informed and trauma aware evidence base which recognises that family ties are particularly important for women in custody who are more likely to be primary carers. We intend to reduce the distance from home for some women, making it easier for family visits and access work opportunities relevant to the area in which they may be released/eventually reside. Both of these opportunities are proven to assist in reducing recidivism rates. Our design principles include requirements around ensuring suitable visiting spaces are provided in both open and closed developments, such as the potential inclusion of rooms to support overnight visits for mothers and their children.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many courts the Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework was rolled out to in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021; and when he plans to publish the results of the effect of that framework on those courts.

The Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework was implemented across all magistrates’ courts in England and Wales in January 2019. Some regions went a step further and took the opportunity to corrall the Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts (SDAC) into one venue to enable them to provide a stronger, more efficient support service resource as opposed to hearing a small number of cases in nearby centres. All SDACs adopted the 5 core requirements within the Domestic Abuse Framework to ensure the optimum services were provided to all parties. Each region established joint boards to drive forward improvements locally and to review performance which was then monitored by a National DABPF board, where best practice was shared or provide support as and when required.

Domestic Abuse cases are given priority and are heard as soon as possible, but always before a trained bench and staff who are trained in this field.

The Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework is now embedded in all magistrates’ courts.

The COVID19 pandemic has reduced our court room capacity, however domestic abuse courts remained a priority and were priority listings.

An audit was undertaken in Summer 2020 by the newly formed DABPF national board (membership from CPS, HMCTS, NPCC, MOJ, Home Office, the DA Commissioner, officials from the Office of the Senior Presiding Judge, Women’s Aid, Refuge, Savelives, and Witness Support) which identified that the regions continued to operate Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts, albeit some with remote third sector support due to the COVID pandemic. The reduction of court room capacity and the extra burdens that lockdowns and social distancing placed on courts in terms of service provision for the third sector reduced the ability for most of the Regions to make any meaningful progress towards further improvements. However, all regions have reflected that the relationships they had developed and the structures in place for multiagency new ways of working allowed then to continue to provide access to special domestic abuse services. The guidance and 5 key priorities that the framework provided gave all involved a firm basis to continue to effectively hear Domestic Abuse work despite the pandemic.

The newly formed National DABF board provides a robust governance structure to escalate issues to the National Oversight Group (chaired by the Home Secretary) or the National Criminal Justice Board and can identify and cascade best practice. To explore why referrals have been falling, and to drive up performance, a suite of work will be undertaken within the Framework governance with the NPCC leads, HMICFRS and the third sector.

18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the guidance that HMCTS has received from Public Health England during the covid-19 outbreak.

The HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) approach to risk assessment is set out in our Organisational Risk Assessment (available on gov.uk),and is implemented on the ground by site-specific assessments carried out and kept under regular and frequent review. We work closely with Public Health officials to ensure our approach is entirely in line with prevailing standards and best practice.

Public Health experts have confirmed to HMCTS that our arrangements are strong enough to deal with the challenges provided by the new variants of the virus. In the first week of January we sought and received confirmation from Public Health experts that the policies we have in place to mitigate against the risks of transmission continue to be satisfactory. Public Health experts have confirmed that they are.

Public Health bodies consider scientific advice (including that on the new variant) when making their recommendations on Covid-secure arrangements for all workplaces. HMCTS and PHE officials work alongside one another to produce the documentation already published.

HMCTS’s guidance is published on Gov.uk and can found by using the web address below.

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation

PHE agreed statement on the matter is published at the link below:

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation#public-health-experts-confirm-court-and-tribunal-covid-secure-arrangements-appropriate

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many jury trials were completed in each of the last six months.

HMCTS publishes quarterly official statistics for the criminal courts here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-court-statistics-quarterly-april-to-june-2020/criminal-court-statistics-quarterly-april-to-june-2020.

HMCTS also publishes weekly Management Information for all jurisdictions, including the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court and Employment Tribunal here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/hmcts-weekly-management-information-during-coronavirus-march-to-september-2020.

These weekly MI figures reflect the data held on the relevant case management systems and hence have some definitional and timing differences from any official statistics.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) receipts and (b) disposals there were in (a) magistrates courts, (b) Crown courts and (c) employment tribunals in each of the last 12 months.

HMCTS publishes quarterly official statistics for the criminal courts here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-court-statistics-quarterly-april-to-june-2020/criminal-court-statistics-quarterly-april-to-june-2020.

HMCTS also publishes weekly Management Information for all jurisdictions, including the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court and Employment Tribunal here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/hmcts-weekly-management-information-during-coronavirus-march-to-september-2020.

These weekly MI figures reflect the data held on the relevant case management systems and hence have some definitional and timing differences from any official statistics.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how long he plans to keep in place covid-19 flexible operating hours in courts and tribunals in England and Wales.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has led the way internationally in continuing justice, restarting jury trials ahead of all other comparable systems.

We continue to make significant progress on Criminal Courts Recovery. Since August, magistrates’ courts have been consistently completing more cases than they are receiving, dealing with over 21,000 cases each week and tackling the backlog.

In the Crown Court, we are listing over 150 jury trials and conducting thousands of other hearings each week.

As part of the Criminal Courts Recovery we have considered adopting different operating hours to maximise HMCTS’ own estate. Magistrates’ courts are already responding flexibly at a local level, and a number of Crown Court buildings are now testing and refining a blended COVID Operating Hours model. It is important to note that COVID Operating Hours would be a time-limited measure and whilst they would mean that our buildings will be open for longer, no one party would be required to attend court for longer.

We identified seven Crown Court locations to test and refine the COVID Operating Hours model. We are monitoring the pilots and will assess them all by the end of November before a decision on further implementation is taken.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the covid-19 flexible operating hours pilots.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has led the way internationally in continuing justice, restarting jury trials ahead of all other comparable systems.

We continue to make significant progress on Criminal Courts Recovery. Since August, magistrates’ courts have been consistently completing more cases than they are receiving, dealing with over 21,000 cases each week and tackling the backlog.

In the Crown Court, we are listing over 150 jury trials and conducting thousands of other hearings each week.

As part of the Criminal Courts Recovery we have considered adopting different operating hours to maximise HMCTS’ own estate. Magistrates’ courts are already responding flexibly at a local level, and a number of Crown Court buildings are now testing and refining a blended COVID Operating Hours model. It is important to note that COVID Operating Hours would be a time-limited measure and whilst they would mean that our buildings will be open for longer, no one party would be required to attend court for longer.

We identified seven Crown Court locations to test and refine the COVID Operating Hours model. We are monitoring the pilots and will assess them all by the end of November before a decision on further implementation is taken.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the announcement of 21 September 2020 entitled Eight more Nightingale Courts to deliver justice, when those courts will be operating at full capacity; if he will publish the ongoing costs for each of those locations; and when more nightingale courts will be operational.

The dates on which the additional eight Nightingale courts will be open are as follows:

Nightingale court

Opening dates

Salford – Lowry Theatre

28/09/20

York – Hilton Hotel

29/09/20

Middlesbrough – Jury’s Inn

30/09/20

Bristol

w/c 12/10/20

Chester

w/c 19/10/20

Liverpool

w/c 19/10/20

Winchester

w/c 26/10/20

Cirencester

To be confirmed

These additional hearing venues are being rapidly set up to alleviate the pressure on courts and tribunals resulting from the pandemic and as such we are aiming to list cases to the maximum capacity.

The Nightingale courts announced to date will have an overall cost at the end of the financial year of £10m, excluding judicial costs. This covers both set up cost – including the cost of IT and video equipment, furniture, porterage, enabling works to prepare a site, and other costs such as security equipment - as well as ongoing running costs at each venue which reflect local commercial agreements. We are assessing further potential Nightingale court sites and announcements will be made in due course.

HMCTS has published an update on their response to covid-19 in the criminal courts in England and Wales (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus). This provides a comprehensive update on recovery plans and includes details about Nightingale courts.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the announcement of 21 September 2020 entitled Eight more Nightingale Courts to deliver justice, how many of those nightingale courts can hold criminal court cases; and how many criminal court trials have been held at nightingale courts since March 2020.

Five of the additional eight Nightingale courts announced on the 21 September 2020 will hear criminal court cases. All Nightingale courts help free up more room in existing courts to hear other cases, including custodial jury trials, which require cells and secure dock facilities to keep the public, victims and witnesses safe.

Information requested on criminal court trials is a subset of data that will be used to produce future National Statistics publications. Statistics on criminal court trials from the period Nightingale courts were operational (Q3 2020 Jul-Sept) are scheduled to be published on 17 December 2020 and I am therefore unable to provide these figures at this time.

HMCTS has published an update on their response to covid-19 in the criminal courts in England and Wales (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus). This provides a comprehensive update on recovery plans and includes details about Nightingale courts.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 1 September 2020 to Question 78820 on Nightingale courts, how many cases have been heard at each of the active nightingale court locations; if he will publish the ongoing running costs for each of those locations; and when the final remaining nightingale court locations will be operational.

HMCTS has published an update on their response to covid-19 in the criminal courts in England and Wales (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus). This provides a comprehensive update on recovery plans and includes details about Nightingale courts and our plans to open additional locations.

HMCTS has been tracking the utilisation of each of the Nightingale courts for the first weeks of operation and this is shown in the table below. Utilisation gives a better view of how much the courts are used than figures on cases heard – where courts are deliberately designed to hear longer cases, ‘cases heard’ might be low despite the court being in constant use. These estimates have been compiled from local records and compared very favourably with the utilisation of permanent courts prior to Covid-19.

Location

Date opened

Utilisation

Prospero House, London

03/08/2020

81%

Former Telford County Court

17/08/2020

100%

Former Fleetwood Magistrates Court

24/08/2020

70%

*Hertfordshire Development Centre

17/08/2020

80%

Swansea Civic Centre

17/08/2020

87%

Cloth Hall Court, Leeds

28/08/2020

85%

Middlesbrough Town Hall

18/08/2020

95%

East Pallant House, Chichester

20/07/2020

83%

Petty France, London

24/08/2020

70%

Peterborough Cathedral

01/09/2020

80%**

*The venue in Hertfordshire was hired for a specific period to meet a targeted operational need. This site is now closed.

** Estimated utilisation based on forward listing.

The first 18 Nightingale courts will have an overall cost at the end of the financial year of £10m, excluding judicial costs.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his Department's press release entitled, 10 Nightingale Courts unveiled, published on 19 July 2020, how much each of the the 10 temporary courts listed will cost to establish.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service announced ten locations to provide additional capacity for the courts and tribunals estate on a temporary basis. These sites are located across England and Wales and are intended to hear civil, family and tribunals work as well as non-custodial crime cases, and thereby free up room in existing courts to hear other cases, including custodial jury trials.

Establishment costs are provided below (excluding ongoing running costs):

Pilot Site

Set-up Costs*

Prospero House, London

297,190

(the former) Telford County Court

251,421

(the former) Fleetwood Magistrates’ Court

150,312

Hertfordshire Development Centre

1,350

Swansea Civic Centre

27,579

Cloth Hall Court, Leeds

16,656

Middlesbrough Town Hall

10,163

East Pallant House, Chichester

1,350

Petty France, London

23,428

Peterborough Cathedral

56,256

Total

835,705

*these include the cost of IT and video equipment, furniture, porterage, enabling works to prepare a site, and other costs such as security equipment.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases were heard in (a) family courts, (b) civil courts, (c) magistrates courts, (d) crown courts and (e) tribunals in the most recent period for which figures are available; and (i) how many and (ii) what type of cases are outstanding in each of those courts as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Official published national statistics detailing the type and volume of cases disposed from January 2020 to March 2020 for (a) family courts, (b) civil courts, (c) criminal courts and (d) tribunals can be viewed at the following links.

a) Family - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/family-court-statistics-quarterly

b) Civil - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/civil-justice-statistics-quarterly

c) Criminal - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/criminal-court-statistics

d) Tribunals - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics

The volume of cases outstanding in the crown and magistrates’ courts from January 2020 to March 2020 are also included in the criminal court published statistics. Published national statistics on the number of outstanding cases in the family and civil courts are not available.

The latest HMCTS weekly management information during coronavirus, detailing the type and volume of cases disposed and outstanding up to 26 July 2020, can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/hmcts-weekly-management-information-during-coronavirus-march-to-july-2020. This management information is subject to the data quality issues associated with large administrative systems, including the late reporting of cases and regular updating of case details, which can lead to the figures being revised. It excludes figures relating to outstanding work in the civil courts - these are not currently collated because a large proportion of cases that begin are subsequently settled out of court or discontinued without HMCTS being notified.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the cost to the public purse was of (a) closing and selling Telford county court in 2017, (b) reopening that court in 2020, (c) closing and selling Fl