Ministry of Justice

All 100 Written Questions max 100 shown

Date Title Questioner
5 Nov 2019, 5:07 p.m. Ministry of Justice: Honours Seema Malhotra

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of staff in his Department in receipt of each category of Honour in (a) December 2018 and (b) June 2019 were (i) from ethnic minority backgrounds and (ii) female aged (A) under 30, (B) 31 to 40, (C) 41 to 50 and (D) aged over 50.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The Government is committed to ensuring that the honours system is fully representative of UK society. The proportion of women and people from ethnic minorities receiving recognition on each honours list is available on GOV.UK as is a breakdown of ethnicities of recipients is published on the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/honours-recipients-by-ethnicity

Information on ages is not correlated with other diversity factors. We also publish the proportion of honours by independent committee on GOV.UK. The numbers of honours recipients in the Ministry of Justice are very small and vary from year to year. Releasing the requested data would identify the individuals and they have given permission for their data to be used for statistical purposes only.

28 Oct 2019, 5:31 p.m. Witnesses Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many witnesses have received support from the court-based witness service in each year since 2010.

Answer (Wendy Morton)

This Government is committed to ensuring that both prosecution and defence witnesses receive timely and effective emotional and practical support to help them give their best evidence in criminal courts in England and Wales.

The number of witnesses who have received support from the Ministry of Justice grant funded court based Witness Service since 2010 (data available pre-2013 is rounded data) as reported by the provider is set out in the table below.:

Year

Number of witnesses supported

Provider

2010/11

268,000

Victim Support

2011/12

240,000

Victim Support

2012/13

204,000

Victim Support

2013/14

198,872

Victim Support

2014/15

193,048

Victim Support

2015/16

178,320

Citizens Advice

2016/17

156,407

Citizens Advice

2017/18

148,592

Citizens Advice

2018/19

125,124

Citizens Advice

28 Oct 2019, 5:24 p.m. Prisons: Private Sector Mr Bob Seely

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of ending private sector involvement in the prison system.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

We remain committed to a role for the private sector in operating custodial services. I have not made any assessment of the cost associated with the ending of private sector involvement in the prison system.

The Government believes that the private sector has an important role to play in delivering custodial services in England and Wales, and currently runs some high-performing prisons, in the delivery of an estate which is both decent and secure.

We believe that competition can deliver improvements to service quality, encourage innovation, secure capital investment, and achieve value for money.

28 Oct 2019, 5:23 p.m. Prisons: Overcrowding Steve McCabe

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of overcrowding in prisons on rates of recidivism.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

We are committed to ensuring offenders leaving prison have the tools they need to turn their backs on crime - reducing reoffending and ultimately keeping the public safe.

There is currently little evidence of a direct link between overcrowding and recidivism.

Evidence on what works to reduce reoffending suggests that having a job and a home on release from prison are key factors, among others. There is a concerted cross-government effort to reduce reoffending. We recently announced a National Partnership Agreement with DWP, which sets out how the departments will jointly drive rehabilitation and reduce reoffending. We also continue to work closely with our health and justice partners, and are collaborating with MHCLG and local authorities on our offender accommodation pilots. One year ago, we also published our Education and Employment strategy, which set out how we will transform our approach to ensure prisoners develop the skills they need to secure employment on release.

More examples of criminogenic needs that influence reoffending can be found at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/305319/transforming-rehabilitation-evidence-summary-2nd-edition.pdf

8 Oct 2019, 4:28 p.m. Reoffenders Stephen McPartland

Question to the Ministry of Justice

What plans he has to help reduce reoffending.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

This Government is committed to reducing reoffending by ensuring that all offenders have the tools they need to turn their backs on crime.

That is why we are focusing our efforts on supporting offenders to address any health and wellbeing issues; raise their levels of educations attainment and skills; get a job; and rebuild or reinforce their relationships.

We also know that a concerted cross-government effort is required to address reoffending. For example we recently entered into a National Partnership Agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions, to set out how departments will work together to improve offenders’ chances of securing work and integrate into the community on release from prison.

We know that in 39% of violent incidents victims believed alcohol was a factor. We are introducing an Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement, giving courts the power to impose a ban on drinking alcohol as part of a community order where alcohol was a factor in the offending.

8 Oct 2019, 4:28 p.m. Members: Juries Bill Wiggin

Question to the Ministry of Justice

What plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that hon. Members are not prevented from participating in business in the House due to jury service responsibilities.

Answer (Chris Philp)

Trial by jury is fundamental to our world leading justice system and serving as a juror is one of the most important civic duties that anyone can be asked to perform.

The Jury Manual identifies that MPs who seek excusal on the grounds of parliamentary duties should be deferred in the first instance. This allows them to identify a more convenient time and strikes a sensible balance, ensuring that MPs are able to carry out their crucial role in this place.

If an MP feels that it is inappropriate to serve in his own constituency, he or she should be allowed to serve elsewhere.

Any individual requests for jury service to be deferred would be a matter for our independent judiciary

8 Oct 2019, 4:27 p.m. Prison Accommodation John Lamont

Question to the Ministry of Justice

What steps his Department is taking to increase prison capacity.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The Prime Minister has made clear his focus on tackling crime and announced in August an investment of up to £2.5 billion to transform the prison estate and provide 10,000 additional prison places.

Our recent Spending Round settlement provides the funding for MoJ to begin delivering this commitment and outline planning permission has been approved for a new prison at Full Sutton.

The 10,000 places are additional to the 3,500 places, which we have begun at Wellingborough; that we will start building at Glen Parva next year, and; that we have already built at HMP Stocken.

8 Oct 2019, 4:25 p.m. Prisons: Drugs Paula Sherriff

Question to the Ministry of Justice

What recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of drugs being smuggled into prisons.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

One of the first things the Lord Chancellor did was to visit HMP Leeds with the Prime Minister where they set out our focus on tackling crime, investing up to £2.5 billion transforming the prison estate and providing 10,000 additional prison places.

At HMP Leeds there is an X-ray body scanner installed there to identify items internally concealed on prisoners. HMP Wakefield also has an X-ray body scanner. At HMP New Hall in our women’s estate, the drug threat is different and staff there have worked hard to respond to the inspection report published in April. They have put in place an updated local drug strategy, do more suspicion-led drug testing and store medications in line with clinical guidelines.

We have previously invested £70 million to improve safety, security and decency in prisons. We use body, property, cell and area searches across the estate, aided by dedicated search teams and drug detection dogs.

As announced in August, we will be spending a further £100 million on prison security. Airport-style security, including X-ray scanners, will be put into prisons across the estate to help stop contraband such as drugs from getting in.

8 Oct 2019, 4:21 p.m. Rule of Law Mr Gavin Shuker

Question to the Ministry of Justice

What recent discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on the rule of law.

Answer (Chris Philp)

The Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor meet regularly and discuss a range of matters. The Lord Chancellor has sworn an oath to respect the rule of law and to defend the judiciary. It is an oath he takes very seriously. The government will always abide by the law.

8 Oct 2019, 4:20 p.m. Reoffenders: Prison Sentences Jeff Smith

Question to the Ministry of Justice

What assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of sentences of less than six months in reducing reoffending.

Answer (Chris Philp)

Sentencing must match the severity of the crime. Whilst there is evidence that short sentences do not help some offenders turn their backs on crime, protecting the public will always be our priority.

As part of our recent review, we have considered changes to sentencing for prolific offenders which could help break the cycle of reoffending.

We know that these offenders generally have multiple and complex needs which are linked to their offending behaviour, in particular drugs, alcohol and mental health needs. Solutions will often lie in effective community sentences.

We intend to bring forward a comprehensive package of reforms, including to community penalties to ensure they both punish and tackle the underlying drivers of offending.

8 Oct 2019, 3:45 p.m. Prisons: Discipline Mrs Madeleine Moon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will detail the definitions of (a) concerted indiscipline and (b) violent incident required to be used at (i) HMP Parc and (ii) HMP Cardiff; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The definitions of concerted indiscipline and assaults are:

Concerted indiscipline: the number of incidents in which two or more prisoners act together in defiance of a lawful instruction or against the requirements of the regime of the establishment. The act of indiscipline can be active or passive (i.e. involving aggression and violence or not) and the protagonists do not necessarily need to be acting in a common cause.

Assaults: refer to unwanted physical contact between two or more individuals, excluding lawful use of force by staff (but including where staff are assaulted during use of force) or anything of a purely verbal or threatening nature.

Assaults in prison custody cover a wide range of violent incidents including fights between prisoners.

Serious assaults are those which involve one or more of the following: a sexual assault, results in detention in outside hospital as an in-patient, requires medical treatment for concussion or internal injuries. It also includes incurring 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, temporary or permanent blindness.

We do not tolerate violence or disruptive behaviour in our prisons. We’ve recruited 4,366 additional officers and are spending an extra £100m, introducing tough airport-style security, x-ray scanners and phone-blocking technology. We are also committed to ensuring our prison officers have the tools they need to do the job safely with body worn cameras, ‘police-style’ handcuffs and restraints, and PAVA incapacitant spray.

8 Oct 2019, 3:43 p.m. Prisons: Ethnic Groups Mrs Madeleine Moon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many BAME prisoners were held at (a) HMP Parc and (b) HMP Cardiff prison under (i) remand and (ii) sentence following decisions by courts outside of Wales in each year since 2015; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The below table indicates non white (includes prisoners with ‘not stated’ and ‘not recorded’ ethnicities) prisoners in HMPs Cardiff and Parc with an associated court outside of Wales (includes prisoners with ‘Court not recorded’).

30/06/2015

30/06/2016

30/06/2017

30/06/2018

30/06/2019

Total

75

60

105

71

87

Of which:

Remand

11

7

15

5

7

Sentenced

62

46

85

60

74

Non-Criminal

2

7

5

6

6

8 Oct 2019, 3:40 p.m. Prisoners: Pregnancy Catherine West

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what support his Department provides to pregnant female prisoners.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

Information relating to births and pregnancy is recorded locally, and is not collected centrally. Work is currently underway to look at what information related to pregnancy and birth can be collected centrally.

Births in prison are extremely rare. Every effort is made to ensure women are in the appropriate hospital setting in order to give birth, however this is not always possible due to the unpredictability of labour.

All pregnant women in custody have an individual care and management plan that is communicated to all staff and all pregnant women are seen by a mid-wife at least fortnightly or as required. Women can expect to have access to the same range of services as they would in the community. Healthcare in prisons is provided by trained medics and nurses, but we have also made training on dealing with pregnant women available to all prison officers.

A Prison Service Instruction sets out the current policy on Mother and Baby Units (MBUs), and the Policy Guidance adjoining the Women’s Policy Framework 2018 contains comprehensive operational guidance on perinatal support to women in custody. A review of the MBU policy is currently underway.

8 Oct 2019, 3:40 p.m. Prisoners: Childbirth Catherine West

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many children were born in prisons in the last year.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

Information relating to births and pregnancy is recorded locally, and is not collected centrally. Work is currently underway to look at what information related to pregnancy and birth can be collected centrally.

Births in prison are extremely rare. Every effort is made to ensure women are in the appropriate hospital setting in order to give birth, however this is not always possible due to the unpredictability of labour.

All pregnant women in custody have an individual care and management plan that is communicated to all staff and all pregnant women are seen by a mid-wife at least fortnightly or as required. Women can expect to have access to the same range of services as they would in the community. Healthcare in prisons is provided by trained medics and nurses, but we have also made training on dealing with pregnant women available to all prison officers.

A Prison Service Instruction sets out the current policy on Mother and Baby Units (MBUs), and the Policy Guidance adjoining the Women’s Policy Framework 2018 contains comprehensive operational guidance on perinatal support to women in custody. A review of the MBU policy is currently underway.

8 Oct 2019, 3:29 p.m. Offenders: Employment Mr Jonathan Lord

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that offenders find employment on release.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

Since we launched our Education and Employment Strategy in May 2018, we have overhauled the prison education system, allowing governors to commission skills-based training and education that meets the needs of the local labour market.

We have also introduced the New Futures Network, a specialist part of the Prison Service which brokers partnerships between prisons and employers in England and Wales. New Futures Network is now operating in 14 out of 15 geographical prison group areas and more than 360 businesses have registered an interest in working with prisons to provide work and training opportunities.

Additionally, we established new rules to allow governors to get offenders our to work earlier on temporary licence. This will increase the opportunities available for prisoners to secure jobs on release and reduce their chances of reoffending.

8 Oct 2019, 3:22 p.m. Reoffenders: Sentencing Mr Jonathan Lord

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department plans to review sentencing policy for prolific offenders.

Answer (Chris Philp)

Protecting the public will always be our priority. One of the first acts by this Prime Minister was to order an urgent review of sentencing. The focus of the review has been on the sentencing for the most serious violent and sexual offenders and the rules governing when and how those offenders are released. As part of the review, we have also considered changes to sentencing for prolific offenders which could help break the cycle of reoffending.

Based on the findings of the review, we will be bringing forward proposals shortly for a comprehensive package of legislative reform. This will include amending the automatic release point for the most serious sexual and violent offenders (where the offence carries a maximum life sentence) from the half-way point to two thirds of the sentence.

As part of this package of reform, we also plan to bring forward proposals for community penalties that offer an appropriate level of punishment, while tackling the underlying drivers of offending. We know that prolific offenders generally have multiple and complex needs which are linked to their offending behaviour, in particular drugs, alcohol and mental health needs. If we are to break the cycle of reoffending, solutions will often lie in community sentences, including those which address offenders’ behaviour, answer their mental health and alcohol or drug misuse needs, or provide reparation for the benefit of the wider community. On 1 October we announced that we would be introducing Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirements (AAMR) across England and Wales, starting in 2020.

8 Oct 2019, 3:16 p.m. Knives: Prosecutions Mr Jonathan Lord

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking with the Attorney General to ensure that people who carry knives are prosecuted.

Answer (Chris Philp)

We work closely with the Attorney General and Home Office Ministers to ensure the Criminal Justice System commands public confidence and tackles crime effectively.

To address this and other serious crimes we’re recruiting 20,000 new police officers, investing £85 million in the CPS and building 10,000 additional prison places, together with the work of PCCs setting up Violence Reduction Units.

7 Oct 2019, 3:29 p.m. Debt Collection: Enforcement Rachel Reeves

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what his timescale is for responding to his Department's Review of enforcement agent (bailiff) reforms: call for evidence, published in November 2018.

Answer (Chris Philp)

As set out in the Secretary of State for Justice’s Written Statement on bailiff reform made on 22 July, we’ve been continuing to engage with stakeholders before finalising our response. We will respond in full to the call for evidence as soon as possible.

9 Sep 2019, 11:34 a.m. Remand in Custody: Long Term Unemployed People Jim Shannon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of placements for people on short-term remand that have been in long-term unemployment.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

Prisoners on remand are permitted to work while in prison. However, we do not collect data centrally relating to the number of prisoners remanded in custody who are in employment while in prison, or who were unemployed prior to being imprisoned. Sentenced prisoners can be released on temporary licence to attend places of work, provided they meet certain criteria.

Prisons must be places of rehabilitation, which will ultimately reduce reoffending. Our Education and Employment strategy sets out how we will transform our approach to ensure prisoners develop the skills they need to secure employment on release. We are engaging with employers to take on ex-prisoners via the New Futures Network (NFN) and have consulted on proposals to increase the opportunities available to prisoners to gain experience in real workplaces through Release on Temporary Licence.

5 Sep 2019, 3:50 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Appeals Gordon Henderson

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for personal independence payment appeals to be decided at HM Courts & Tribunals Service Ashford.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The Ministry of Justice expects appeal hearings to take place as quickly as possible and is carrying out a series of initiatives to increase capacity which will help reduce waiting times for appellants in Ashford. Since September 2018, three additional judges have been allocated to Ashford as their primary venue and three further judges have been allocated to Ashford as their secondary venue. Furthermore, from November this year the capacity at the Ashford venue will increase from three hearing rooms to four on a daily basis and from August 2019, appeals to be heard at the Ashford venue can now be heard at a new venue in Hastings, depending on the appellant’s postcode.

5 Sep 2019, 2:21 p.m. Translation Services Yasmin Qureshi

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2019 to Question 275723 on translation services, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the increase in expenditure between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years.

Answer (Wendy Morton)

Spend on language services increased in October 2016 as a result of an intentional move by the Ministry of Justice to increase the quality of the services. A new set of contracts commenced in 2016 which included various improvements based on independent recommendations made about the previous contract. These changes included a more robust performance management regime, improved data and the implementation of a new quality assurance service.

Spend on Language Services is expected to fluctuate due to the nature of the contracts being demand led.

5 Sep 2019, 1:44 p.m. Marriage Andrea Jenkyns

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much is allocated to be spent from the public purse on conducting the Law Commission's review of the law on how and where people can marry in England and Wales.

Answer (Wendy Morton)

The cost of the project to review the law on weddings and provide recommendations for a simple, fair and consistent system which gives couples choice in to marry in a way that is meaningful to them will be approximately £400,000.

This cost is for the resource for two years of a project team made up of one full-time lawyer, one full-time research assistant, a proportion of the time of a team manager and some travel, publication and translation costs (totalling approximately £150,000 per year) plus the cost of engaging a specialist academic (£50,000 per year).

3 Sep 2019, 2:54 p.m. Prisons: Radicalism Mr Jim Cunningham

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for the Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the system for collating statistics on extremist behaviours in prisons.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

Extremist behaviours in prison are identified and monitored through a robust case management process reviewing Terrorism Act (TACT) and TACT-related prisoners throughout their sentence. Information and statistics relating to extremist behaviours are routinely collected at local, regional and national levels. Related statistics for persons in custody and released from custody are routinely provide as part of Home Office Official Counter Terrorism statistics, published quarterly as statistical bulletins [see link below]. These statistics present details regarding the number of persons in custody for terrorism-related offences in Great Britain, including details of ethnicity, nationality, ideology and religion.

The latest statistics can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/counter-terrorism-statistics

3 Sep 2019, 2:25 p.m. Eastwood Park Prison Dr David Drew

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports that conditions for prisoners at Eastwood Park have declined; and for how many hours each day prisoners in that prison are confined to their cells.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

HM Inspectorate of Prisons’ recent report on HMP/YOI Eastwood Park was published on 28 August 2019. We take all recommendations made by the Chief Inspector seriously and the prison is taking action to address the Chief Inspector’s findings.

A detailed action plan has been produced to address all the recommendations in the report. The action plan has been published on the prison finder website at: https://www.justice.gov.uk/contacts/prison-finder/eastwood-park

The regime at HMP/YOI Eastwood Park is structured so that prisoners who are engaging with the prison regime are ‘out of cell’ for 9.5 hours a day Monday to Friday and 7.75 hours at weekends. Prisoners located on an enhanced wing have access to the prison grounds for 12.45 hours during the week and 11.75 hours during the weekend.

29 Jul 2019, 3:43 p.m. Prison Officers: Criminal Injuries Compensation Andrew Griffiths

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prison officers were awarded compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in each year since 2010.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The information requested is not available.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority does not ask an applicant to provide their occupation when applying for compensation.

29 Jul 2019, 3:43 p.m. Prison Officers: Criminal Injuries Compensation Andrew Griffiths

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prison officers have made applications under the criminal injury compensation scheme in each year since 2010.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The information requested is not available.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority does not ask an applicant to provide their occupation when applying for compensation.

23 Jul 2019, 4:20 p.m. Universal Credit: Disability Mr Jim Cunningham

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the average waiting time for an appeal for universal credit by a tribunal for people with a disability in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Waiting times for appeals against decisions made about Universal Credit (UC) are published at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics

The specific information requested is not held: Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service does not record whether UC appeals have been made by people with a disability.

23 Jul 2019, 11:37 a.m. Prisoners: Employment Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many hours of purposeful activity per prisoner were recorded on average in (a) each prison rated in the 2017-18 performance rating as performance is of serious concern and (b) each prisons that was rated as exceptional performance.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Department does not currently collect data on the amount of time prisoners spend out of cell. We are examining the feasibility of developing such a measure and are exploring how this might be done, including working with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons to understand the methodology it uses in its inspections.

Data are published on GOV.UK on the number of prisoners who have completed accredited programmes in custody, the number of hours worked in prison industries, and the number of prisoners released from prison on a temporary licence.

The introduction of Offender Management in Custody, and the associated staffing, mean that prisons will be better equipped to run fuller regimes with more opportunities for purposeful activity. Our Education and Employment strategy launched last year will create a system where prisoners are on a path to employment, through increased opportunities to gain experience of work in communities while released on temporary licence.

23 Jul 2019, 11:34 a.m. Prisons: Education Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2019 to Question 273816 on Prisons: Education, which providers have been awarded Dynamic Purchasing System contracts to date.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

A total of 92 contracts have been awarded to 46 Suppliers under the Prison Education Dynamic Purchasing System as at 19/07/2019.

Contracts have been awarded to the following organisations:

5 Step Startup School Ltd

x2

Acorn Training Ltd

x2

Advanced Personnel Management Group (UK) Limited

x1

Adviza Partnership

x2

Age UK Nottingham & Nottinghamshire

x1

Astara Trianing Ltd

x1

Beating Time (also known as "Choirs Beating Time")

x1

Bedfordshire and Luton Education Business Partnership (Trading as Develop)

x2

Career Connect - Duplicate registration

x1

Cathedral Training Ltd

x1

Changing Lives

x1

Chichester College Group

x5

Community Arts Projects UK

x1

Cronin Music Ltd

x1

CXK Limited

x1

First Point Training

x1

Fusion21 Ltd

x1

Geese Theatre Company

x3

GLA Group

x1

Good Vibrations

x1

Hillsbridge Services limited

x1

InHouse Records

x1

Karen Mackey Consultants

x2

Life Cycle UK

x1

Lincoln College Group

x1

LTE Group (Trading as Novus)

x12

Magistra Ltd

x1

Mainstream Training

x2

Milton Keynes College

x8

mybe awards Ltd

x1

n-ergy Group Limited

x4

N-Gaged Training & Recruitment Ltd

x2

Prospects Services

x5

RiseUp CiC

x2

RMF Construction Training Academy Ltd.

x2

Seetec Business Technology Cente Limited

x1

SevenThreeOne

x1

Sharon Hardy IAG and Employment Services Adviser

x1

St Giles Trust

x1

Standguide Ltd

x3

The Forward Trust

x2

The Growth Company Ltd

x1

The Junction 42 Foundation

x1

TKO "Training, Knowledge & Opportunities" Limited

x2

User Voice

x1

Weston College

x3

We have overhauled the prison education system and implemented a new Prison Education Framework. Under the new system, governors control their budget, including the power to choose providers and deliver learning that will best support their prisoners.

Our Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), an innovation that brings in bespoke and short-term provision, is already proving popular, with over 230 providers signed up and over 20 contracts already awarded by governors.

23 Jul 2019, 11:28 a.m. Prisons: Education Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2019 to Question 273816 on Prisons: Education, what the value by lot is of Dynamic Purchasing System contracts awarded to date.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The 17 Lots in the Prison Education Framework (PEF) have awarded the following cumulative values of contracts under the Prison Education Dynamic Purchasing System (PEDPS) as at 19/07/2019.

  • Lot 01 - Avon & South Dorset - £519,011.08
  • Lot 02 - Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Norfolk - £429,911.68
  • Lot 03 - Cumbria & Lancashire - £334,311.67
  • Lot 04 - Devon & North Dorset – No contracts awarded currently
  • Lot 05 - East Midlands & Morton Hall - £291,421.86
  • Lot 06 - Gt Manchester, Merseyside & Cheshire - £786,416.84
  • Lot 07 - Hertfordshire, Essex & Suffolk - £ 543,250.00
  • Lot 08 - Kent, Surrey & Sussex - £1,625,170.20
  • Lot 09 – London - £19,100.00
  • Lot 10 - Long Term High Security North - £311,744.91
  • Lot 11 - Long Term High Security South - £242,380.99
  • Lot 12 - North Midlands - £6,840.00
  • Lot 13 - South Central - £311,959.91
  • Lot 14 - Tees & Wear - £1,322,253.00
  • Lot 15 - West Midlands - £76,315.00
  • Lot 16 - Women’s Estate North - £203,702.00
  • Lot 17 – Yorkshire - £630,991.15

We have overhauled the prison education system and implemented a new Prison Education Framework. Under the new system, governors control their budget, including the power to choose providers and deliver learning that will best support their prisoners.

Our Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), an innovation that brings in bespoke and short-term provision, is already proving popular, with over 230 providers signed up and over 20 contracts already awarded by governors.

23 Jul 2019, 11:24 a.m. Segregation of Prisoners Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners have spent time in segregation by prison in each year since 2010.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

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

18 Jul 2019, 1:42 p.m. Youth Custody Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of children in custody were held in (a) Secure Children's Homes, (b) Secure Training Centres and (c) Young Offenders Institutions in each year since 2010.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The table below shows the average monthly youth custody population (under 18-year olds) by sector for the years ending 31 March 2010 to 31 March 2018, and the proportion of the total under 18 custodial population represented by each sector.

Population by sector

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Secure Children's Homes

167

165

166

142

129

101

108

107

106

Secure Training Centres

253

264

280

253

262

223

196

131

166

Young Offender Institutions

1,998

1,610

1,517

1,149

825

714

656

630

623

Total

2,418

2,040

1,963

1,544

1,216

1,037

960

868

894

Share of population by sector

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Secure Children's Homes

7%

8%

8%

9%

11%

10%

11%

12%

12%

Secure Training Centres

10%

13%

14%

16%

22%

21%

20%

15%

19%

Young Offender Institutions

83%

79%

77%

74%

68%

69%

68%

73%

70%

Total

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

18 Jul 2019, 10:42 a.m. Prisoners: Training Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 11 July 2019 to Question 273806 on Prisoners: Training, what courses are listed on that HMPPS Management Information System for each prison.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The HMPPS Management Information System was introduced alongside the new education contracts in April this year, and its use is still being embedded across the prison estate. I will write to the Hon Member in Autumn with the information requested once a verified list of courses can be provided, and will place a copy of my letter in the Library.

18 Jul 2019, 9:23 a.m. Probate: Fees and Charges Priti Patel

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an assessment of the effect on the application-processing performance of the Probate Service of changes to the fees structure in 2019; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Full consideration has been given to the effect of the proposed fees structure for grant of probate applications on receipts and subsequently on processing performance. We would expect an increase in the number of applications received prior to the introduction of the new fees, which would be partly offset by a decline in receipts post-introduction.

In March 2019 there was a significant increase of probate applications ahead of the anticipated implementation of the new fee structure but, as the fees were not introduced as planned, the high volume of receipts continued into April.

Urgent action has been taken to address the delays which have been experienced in the probate service. Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service is increasing staffing levels and further improving the digital service to help reduce waiting times.

18 Jul 2019, 9:21 a.m. Probate Priti Patel

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he is taking steps to reduce the time taken to process applications for probate; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Official statistics are not published on the average length of time from receipt of the application to the issue of a grant of probate. Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) internal management information, which is not subject to the rigorous quality assurance processes of official statistics, has been used to show the following average times from receipt of an application to a grant being issued:

Month and year

Average Weeks to grant issued

July 2017

3

August 2017

3

September 2017

3

October 2017

3

November 2017

3

December 2017

3

January 2018

3

February 2018

3

March 2018

3

April 2018

3

May 2018

3

June 2018

3

July 2018

3

August 2018

3

September 2018

3

October 2018

3

November 2018

3

December 2018

3

January 2019

2

February 2019

2

March 2019

3

April 2019

2

May 2019

6

June 2019

9

These figures do not include cases which are waiting for a grant to be issued. The data from April 2019 to June 2019 have been extracted from the HMCTS Reform Core Case Data system, which is a new system in active development, and may not be directly comparable with figures for earlier periods. All figures, especially those for April 2019 to June 2019, are provisional and subject to revision.

Some grants are experiencing delays of between four and six weeks outside of our targets as a result of significant increases in work during March and April and some technology issues which have now been resolved. We have recruited more staff and are now issuing in excess of 1,000 grants a day, which is bringing waiting times down further.

Urgent action has been taken to address the delays which have been experienced in the probate service. Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service is increasing staffing levels and further improving the digital service to help reduce waiting times.

18 Jul 2019, 9:21 a.m. Probate Priti Patel

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the performance of the Probate Service in processing applications for probate in 2019; how he measures that performance; and how long it took on average to process a probate application in each of the last 24 months.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Official statistics are not published on the average length of time from receipt of the application to the issue of a grant of probate. Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) internal management information, which is not subject to the rigorous quality assurance processes of official statistics, has been used to show the following average times from receipt of an application to a grant being issued:

Month and year

Average Weeks to grant issued

July 2017

3

August 2017

3

September 2017

3

October 2017

3

November 2017

3

December 2017

3

January 2018

3

February 2018

3

March 2018

3

April 2018

3

May 2018

3

June 2018

3

July 2018

3

August 2018

3

September 2018

3

October 2018

3

November 2018

3

December 2018

3

January 2019

2

February 2019

2

March 2019

3

April 2019

2

May 2019

6

June 2019

9

These figures do not include cases which are waiting for a grant to be issued. The data from April 2019 to June 2019 have been extracted from the HMCTS Reform Core Case Data system, which is a new system in active development, and may not be directly comparable with figures for earlier periods. All figures, especially those for April 2019 to June 2019, are provisional and subject to revision.

Some grants are experiencing delays of between four and six weeks outside of our targets as a result of significant increases in work during March and April and some technology issues which have now been resolved. We have recruited more staff and are now issuing in excess of 1,000 grants a day, which is bringing waiting times down further.

Urgent action has been taken to address the delays which have been experienced in the probate service. Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service is increasing staffing levels and further improving the digital service to help reduce waiting times.

17 Jul 2019, 5:30 p.m. Prisoners' Release: Children Bambos Charalambous

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many children under the age of 18 have been released from custody without accommodation in the last 12 months.

Answer (Edward Argar)

This information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost, as there would be a need to check individual records of young people released from custody in 2018/19.

The first step to reducing reoffending is making sure everyone leaving prison has access to secure and stable accommodation, and we work closely with local authorities to support offenders with their resettlement on release.

17 Jul 2019, 4:52 p.m. Youth Offending Teams: Grants Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 5 June 2019 to Question 252658 on Youth Offending Teams: Grants and with reference to allocation of funding for 2019-20, what the value was of youth justice grants allocated to each local authority to fund Youth Offending Teams in 2010-11.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The value of youth justice grants allocated to each local authority to fund Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) in 2010-2011, is set out in the attached table.

17 Jul 2019, 4:52 p.m. Youth Offending Teams: Grants Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 5 June 2019 to Question 252658 on Youth Offending Teams: Grants, what the value was of youth justice grants allocated to each local authority to fund Youth Offending Teams in 2010-11.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The value of youth justice grants allocated to each local authority to fund Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) in 2010-2011, is set out in the attached table.

17 Jul 2019, 3:50 p.m. Legal Aid Scheme Mr Jim Cunningham

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of not-for-profit legal aid providers that have closed in each year for the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The LAA does not hold data on Not For Profit (NfP) organisation closures, only whether they hold a contract to deliver legal aid services. Under the LAA’s contracting regime, an organisation may be contracted to deliver services from one or multiple offices. Contracts may be ended by either party; providers may choose to withdraw from the whole contract, an office or a category of law or the LAA may take action should a provider breach its contract obligations. All contracted providers make their own commercial decisions and withdrawal from a legal aid contract may not be as a result of a closure. For example, NfPs may withdraw from a legal aid contract but continue to operate reliant on other funding, or may choose to consolidate offices but continue to deliver larger volumes of work across a wider area. The table below shows the number of NfP providers (at office level) holding a legal aid contract in any given year. While NfP organisations play a role in helping people access justice, they are not the sole means. We have 1,439 organisations delivering legal aid contracts across the England and Wales – 1,356 of which are with legal firms rather than the not-for-profit sector which includes law centres. We spent £1.6 billion on legal aid last year and in addition to the Civil Legal Advice Telephone service, we are investing £5m in innovative technologies to help people access legal support wherever they are.

Financial Year

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019 September

2019/20

596

495

456

395

397

320

311

295

285

233

213

17 Jul 2019, 3:49 p.m. Trials: Sexual Offences Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average waiting time was for a not guilty plea trial for an alleged sexual offence in each court in (a) 2011 and (b) 2018.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The information requested about Crown Court waiting times can be found in the attached excel document. However, due to small numbers of defendants pleading not guilty to sexual offences at magistrates’ court, we are unable to supply the average time between first listing and trial start date – basing an average on such small numbers can skew the mean and result in the figures being unrepresentative.

The overall median waiting time in Crown Courts for defendants in sexual offence cases tends to be higher than that for other offences due to a lower guilty plea rate for these cases. However, from a peak of 25.9 weeks in Quarter three 2018, the average waiting time has fallen by 12% to 22.7 weeks in Quarter one 2019.

Performance, demand and waiting times in the courts are constantly reviewed to balance sitting days with waiting times, disposals and receipts. Resources are adjusted when required. Demand has been falling in recent years and sitting days have been reduced accordingly. Waiting times for trials in the Crown Court for 2018 have been the lowest since 2014, despite the challenge of increasingly complex cases.

17 Jul 2019, 3:19 p.m. Prisons: Staff Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on how many occasions prison staff in each prison had their pay deducted for not being able to complete a shift as a result of an assault in 2018.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

HMPPS does not deduct pay if an employee is sent home as a result of sickness or if they have been assaulted at work.

HMPPS is committed to safeguarding the safety and wellbeing of its staff. A comprehensive occupational health service and employee assistance programme is available to all staff and systems are in place to deal with perpetrators of violence against staff quickly and robustly. Safety remains a top priority and we recently changed the law to double sentences for those that attack our hardworking staff. Additionally, we introduced body-worn cameras and are rolling out PAVA incapacitant spray to keep officers safe.

16 Jul 2019, 11:06 a.m. Probate Service: Length of Service Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average length of service for a member of staff at the Probate Service was in each of the last four quarters.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Q1 (JUL18-SEP18) (in years)

Q2 (OCT18-DEC18) (in years)

Q3 (JAN19-MAR19) (in years)

Q4 (APR19-JUN19) (in years)

BIRMINGHAM

16

16

16

16

BRIGHTON

8.2

7.7

7.4

6.2

CARDIFF/BRISTOL

13.65

13.65

13.65

14

LEEDS

18

18

16

16

LIVERPOOL

18.4

17

17

17

LONDON

20.6

18.1

18.1

18.1

MANCHESTER

20

20

20

21.8

NEWCASTLE/IPSWICH

15.4

15.4

15.25

15.25

OXFORD

13

10

10

10

WINCHESTER

21

22

22

22

total

164.25

157.85

155.4

156.35

average

16.425

15.785

15.54

15.635

16 Jul 2019, 10:22 a.m. Probate Service: Agency Workers Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many agency staff have been employed by the Probate Service in each of the last six months.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Jan-19

Feb-19

Mar-19

Apr-19

May-19

Jun-19

AGENCY STAFF RESOURCE (Full Time Equivalent)

29.4

27.4

26.4

29

29

29

Our new online service is making probate simpler and more convenient for bereaved people.

Some grants are experiencing delays of between four and six weeks as a result of problems in April but we are now issuing in excess of 1,000 grants a day that is bringing waiting times down further.

16 Jul 2019, 10:18 a.m. Probate Service: Redundancy Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many members of staff have left the Probate Service in each of the last six months.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

6 members of staff have left the Probate Service in the last 6 months.

Our new online service is making probate simpler and more convenient for bereaved people. Staffing is making increased and the digital service further improves to help reduce waiting times.

16 Jul 2019, 10:06 a.m. Employment Tribunals Service: Fees and Charges Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2019 to Question 272279, how many people (a) are entitled to be and (b) have been reimbursed for employment tribunal fees.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The number of people (a) entitled to an employment tribunal fee refund is 64,426 and (b) the number that have been reimbursed is 33,787.

16 Jul 2019, 9:58 a.m. Probate Service: Staff Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many full-time equivalent staff were employed by the Probate Service in each of the last six months.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Jan-19

Feb-19

Mar-19

Apr-19

May-19

Jun-19

AGENCY STAFF RESOURCE

29.4

27.4

26.4

26.4

26.4

26.4

FTE STAFF RESOURCE

124.49

122.94

120.94

120.9

120.9

118

Further to these totals we have arrange additional help from HMCTS and other government departments, these are:

HMRC SURGE TEAM

0

0

0

0

0

21

BRADFORD DSCS

0

0

0

0

0

3

HMCTS LEGAL ADVISERS

0

0

0

0

0

2.5

ADDITIONAL HMCTS RESOURCE

0

0

0

0

5

9

TOTALS (FTE)

153.89

150.34

147.34

147.3

147.3

179.9

In addition to these we also now have 35 staff in the Courts and Tribunals Service Centre who are trained in probate.

15 Jul 2019, 4:26 p.m. Criminal Proceedings: Legal Aid Scheme Jo Stevens

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the financial impact on defendants of the introduction of an upper limit on disposable income for people claiming legal aid for Crown Court representation.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

On 7 February 2019, the Government published the Post Implementation Review (PIR) of Part 1 of The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which included an assessment of the impact of the £37,500 disposable income threshold introduced at the Crown Court: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/post-implementation-review-of-part-1-of-laspo

Alongside the PIR, the Government also published its Legal Support Action Plan in which it announced a comprehensive review of the wider legal aid eligibility regime; this will include the Crown Court thresholds. The review is expected to conclude by Summer 2020 after which we will publish a full consultation paper setting out our future policy proposals in this area. We will seek to implement any final recommendations as soon as practicable following public consultation.

15 Jul 2019, 4:17 p.m. Translation Services Yasmin Qureshi

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much HM Courts and Tribunals Service has spent on (a) courts translation services and (b) Capita Translation Services in each of the last 10 financial years.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

HMCTS was created on the 1 April 2011. We are unable to provide information for financial years prior to that date. This question has been interpreted to mean costs for all language services, both translators, and interpreters provided in a court setting, and for printed materials available in HMCTS buildings.

The contract with Capita commenced on 30th January 2012, and ended on 30th October 2016. The new Language Services Contracts commenced on the 31st October 2016, with services provided by thebigword Group Limited, Clarion Interpreting and The Language Shop.

The spend by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service on courts translations services was as follows, by financial year:

Year

Total Cost (£)

Capita Charges (£)

2011-12 (Commenced from 30th January 2012)

7,080,332

1,440

2012-13

4,955,510

1,083,181

2013-14

7,305,324

6,501,870

2014-15

7,431,045

7,182,866

2015-16

7,111,949

6,548,023

2016-17

9,683,794

4,264,196

Our most recent statistics show language service requests are at their highest since the new contract was introduced in 2016 the clear majority – 97% - were fulfilled. It is vital that victims, witnesses and defendants understand what is happening in court to ensure justice is done, and we will always take steps to ensure a qualified interpreter is provided when needed.

15 Jul 2019, 4:06 p.m. Legal Aid Scheme: Housing Mr Jim Cunningham

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of local authority areas that do not have a housing legal aid provider in England and Wales.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The LAA commissions services on a ‘Procurement Area’ basis. Procurement Areas align to one or a number of combined local authority areas and have been developed based on various local factors.

Individuals are not limited to accessing legal advice providers in the Procurement Area where they live and may access services from providers located in neighbouring local authorities, or at other contracted legal advice providers located locally.

The LAA has recently tendered for new face-to-face housing contracts across the 134 housing and debt procurement areas across England and Wales. As of 30 June 2019, there is at least one provider offering housing and debt services in all but 4 procurement areas, and the LAA is considering how to secure provision in these areas and will set out next steps shortly.

Legal advice is still available in these areas through the Civil Legal Advice telephone service and irrespective of a client’s location in England and Wales, legal advice for housing remains available through a telephone service as well.

The following table shows the number of providers in each of the locations enquired about, and the number of procurement areas which fall within each.

The Legal Aid Agency keeps availability of legal support under constant review and takes urgent action whenever it has concerns.

Geographical Location

# of Procurement Areas

# of Providers

London

30

235

Wales

8

35

Other

96

212

This government spent £1.6 billion on legal aid last year and in addition to the Civil Legal Advice Telephone service, we are investing £5m in innovative technologies to help people access legal support wherever they are.

15 Jul 2019, 4:01 p.m. Legal Aid Scheme: Solicitors Jo Stevens

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the reform of legal aid on average annual earnings of legal aid solicitors.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

On 7 February 2019, the Government published the Post Implementation Review (PIR) of Part 1 of The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/post-implementation-review-of-part-1-of-laspo

The review did not look at the earnings of individual solicitors, but reported instead on the impact on legal aid providers, including solicitors firms and individual barristers.

15 Jul 2019, 11:02 a.m. Young Offenders: Restraint Techniques Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on what date he (a) received and (b) plans to publish Charlie Taylor’s report on the use of pain-inducing restraint on children.

Answer (Edward Argar)

Charlie Taylor undertook to submit his findings and recommendations on the use of pain-inducing techniques in the restraint of children in the secure estate by the Summer, and I expect to receive his report shortly.

The Department will of course need to consider Charlie Taylor’s findings and recommendations carefully and we will publish both the report and the Government response as soon as we have done so.

10 Jul 2019, 4:50 p.m. HM Courts and Tribunals Service: Staff Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 1 July 2019 to Question 269807 on HM Courts and Tribunals Service: Staff, if he will publish the information for March 2019.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The number of agency staff in HMCTS was 2,623 as of March 2019, which was 14.15%. The earliest held comparable data is from 2016 and shows 1,569, which was 8.5% of the staffing numbers. This is an increase of 1,054 over this period (or 5.65% of total staffing numbers). However, this is a 0.45 percentage point decrease from the previous year (March 2018). The following tables show a breakdown by grade as requested.

Mar-16

Employee type

Agency

Agency proportion

SCS

0

0.0%

Band A

0

0.0%

Band B

0

0.0%

Band C

7

0.9%

Band D

19

0.7%

Band E

1247

12.2%

Band F

296

10.5%

Total

1,569

8.5%

Mar-18

Employee type

Agency

Agency proportion

SCS

0

0.0%

Band A

0

0.0%

Band B

2

0.1%

Band C

7

0.8%

Band D

32

1.2%

Band E

2380

22.1%

Band F

316

12.8%

Total

2,737

14.6%

Mar-19

Employee type

Agency

Agency proportion

SCS

0

0.00%

Band A

0

0.00%

Band B

2

0.13%

Band C

6

0.60%

Band D

18

0.70%

Band E

2358

22.34%

Band F

239

10.63%

Total

2,623

14.15%

We were unable to provide data from 2010 as HMCTS did not exist in its current form until 2011. Prior to this there were multiple business units that held their own people data. We are unable to obtain agency data from HR systems prior to 2016. As with any large data system, there are also likely to be some inaccuracies.

Over the period of Reform, we expect the shape and size of the organisation to change. As part of this we are reducing our staffing levels and expect the future skills of our people to change. The HMCTS workforce strategy during this period is to increase the capability of our staff, whilst simultaneously increasing our workforce flexibility through the increased usage of contingent labour. This is in order to reduce redundancy costs and protect the jobs of longer serving, permanent staff. The required staffing level needed across each of our HMCTS sites is monitored closely, and proactive recruitment undertaken to ensure these levels are maintained.

10 Jul 2019, 4:30 p.m. Employment Tribunals Service Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average number of outstanding employment tribunal cases was by employment tribunal office in each year since 2010.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

HM Courts & Tribunals Service can only provide data for the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2019.

The number of outstanding employment tribunal cases is a snapshot of data taken at a specific point in time and cannot be re-run retrospectively. While data at a national level can be found in the published statistics retrospective reporting at office level in line with the published statistics are not available prior to 2013.

The number of outstanding employment tribunal cases by employment tribunal office since 2013 are outlined in the table below.

ALL CASES1,2

OFFICE

As at 31 March 2013

As at 31 March 2014

As at 31 March 2015

As at 31 March 2016

As at 31 March 2017

As at 31 March 2018

As at 31 March 2019

Birmingham

44910

48996

39792

38727

37682

39157

38900

Nottingham

4399

5678

4663

4404

3981

4742

4660

Leeds

13302

14090

10260

6679

3101

5332

6830

Manchester

23293

17070

17117

15650

17314

39642

48507

Newcastle

29331

24945

17594

11495

7556

5189

4895

Aberdeen

2954

3112

2958

3396

3046

2890

2524

Dundee

6749

6098

6367

6626

4697

3947

3430

Edinburgh

6063

2273

3302

2993

3055

2905

2599

Glasgow

63651

56561

66814

64128

56176

58236

75053

London Central

12448

13539

13720

22369

30152

36758

39036

London South

349709

259614

13126

4872

5940

7600

9546

East London

4666

3386

2965

3364

3551

3140

3864

Watford

3485

3191

3763

28922

74175

108293

144008

Bristol

1927

3453

5018

14396

14452

14911

15199

Wales

14517

10991

6860

4278

3593

3593

3725

HMCTS has been working with the tribunal's judiciary to support additional judges to increase the capacity and performance of the tribunal. 58 (or 51.5 full time equivalents) salaried employment judges took up positions from April 2019.

1 Single claims are made by a sole employee/worker, relating to alleged breaches of employment rights.

2 Multiple claims are where two or more people bring proceedings arising out of the same facts, usually against a common employer.

All data were taken from the employment tribunal’s central database and as such is management information that is provisional and subject to change.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the data, the details are subject to inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, and are the best data available at the time of publication.

10 Jul 2019, 4:30 p.m. Coroners: Legal Aid Scheme Gloria De Piero

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the proportion of inquests for which legal aid was provided in each year since 2010.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

This information would only be available at disproportionate cost.

Legal aid funding is provided when the requisite eligibility criteria are met. Following consideration of claims for payment from the lawyers involved, all payments are made from a central legal aid budget, which is not demarcated according to any particular category of law.

10 Jul 2019, 4:27 p.m. Legal Representation Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the timeframe is for the testing period of the Litigant in Person portal.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government is working closely with its key delivery partner (the Motor Insurers’ Bureau) and a broad group of expert stakeholders from across the personal injury sector to develop a new accessible IT Service. This will enable both represented and unrepresented claimants to progress Road Traffic Accident related personal injury claims under £5,000.

Public testing of the IT Service is planned to begin in November 2019 and, in light of user’s experience, the Government will consider making some further modifications to the service before it goes live in April 2020, so that it is easy to understand and navigate.

In addition, the service will provide a significant amount of management information. The Government is committed to reviewing this management information and how the new service is operating to identify any required changes and improvements approximately eighteen months from implementation. This will include a full evaluation of all relevant data relating to the overall customer experience of claimants using the service.

10 Jul 2019, 4:27 p.m. Legal Representation Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse to date and; the full cost of introduction of the Litigant in Person portal.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Government is working in partnership with its key delivery partner, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, in designing and developing a new IT Service to enable injured claimants to progress their own Road Traffic Accident related personal injury claims under the new £5,000 small claims track limit.

The costs associated with this new service will be funded by the insurance industry. As such, there are no costs to the public purse arising from the design, build and annual operation of the new service.

10 Jul 2019, 4:24 p.m. Employment Tribunals Service Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average time taken was to complete a single employment tribunal claim by employment tribunal office in each year since 2010.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) can only provide data for the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2019. Data below the level of published statistics are not available prior to 1 April 2014 due to a data reconciliation exercise.

The average time taken (in weeks) to complete a single employment tribunal claim by the employment tribunal in each office since 2014 is outlined in the table below.

Employment Tribunal Office

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Aberdeen

39

24

24

31

29

Birmingham

28

25

21

24

29

Bristol

48

33

29

23

25

Cardiff

29

25

25

31

33

Dundee

56

43

25

25

23

Edinburgh

156

33

34

27

25

Glasgow

37

40

30

29

29

Leeds

47

26

23

22

21

London Central

33

29

28

27

33

London South

35

31

32

35

42

Manchester

51

33

28

24

31

Newcastle

28

22

21

17

23

Nottingham

34

27

26

29

32

Stratford

42

34

34

30

31

Watford

27

27

29

32

37

HMCTS has been working with the tribunal’s judiciary to appoint additional judges to increase the capacity and performance of the tribunal. 58 (or 51.5 full time equivalent) salaried employment judges took up positions from April 2019.

10 Jul 2019, 4:21 p.m. Coroners: Legal Aid Scheme Gloria De Piero

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the total value of legal aid granted to inquests in each year since 2010 is.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

This information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

10 Jul 2019, 4:21 p.m. Coroners: Legal Aid Scheme Gloria De Piero

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, for how many inquests was legal aid provided in each year since 2012.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

This information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

10 Jul 2019, 3:39 p.m. Fines: Surcharges Gloria De Piero

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2019 to Question 252552, for what reasons the Government is not contributing the full amount raised from the victims surcharge to the victim and witness budget.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The Victim and Witness Budget, which is used to fund support service for victims and witnesses, is set each year and includes funding from a number of different sources. This includes a forecasted contribution from the revenue raised by the Victim Surcharge.

The Victim and Witness Budget for funding victim support services increased to £96m in 2018/19 and has near-doubled funding for victim support services since 2013.

Between 2015/16 and 2017/18 the revenue raised from the Surcharge surpassed the forecasted contribution, so the excess was put towards compensating victims of violent crime through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. However, we have now changed our procedures so that from this financial year, all revenue raised will be included in the Surcharge contribution to Victim and Witness Budget.

10 Jul 2019, 3:39 p.m. Fines: Surcharges Gloria De Piero

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, purusuant to the Answer of to Question 252552, where the difference between the Victims Surcharge collected and the Victims Surcharge contribution to the Victim and Witness Budget is allocated.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The Victim and Witness Budget, which is used to fund support service for victims and witnesses, is set each year and includes funding from a number of different sources. This includes a forecasted contribution from the revenue raised by the Victim Surcharge.

The Victim and Witness Budget for funding victim support services increased to £96m in 2018/19 and has near-doubled funding for victim support services since 2013.

Between 2015/16 and 2017/18 the revenue raised from the Surcharge surpassed the forecasted contribution, so the excess was put towards compensating victims of violent crime through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. However, we have now changed our procedures so that from this financial year, all revenue raised will be included in the Surcharge contribution to Victim and Witness Budget.

9 Jul 2019, 4:21 p.m. Courts: Sales Yasmin Qureshi

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the sale price was of each (a) magistrates' court building, (b) youth court and (c) Crown court sold in the last two years.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Sales of Magistrates’, Youth and Crown court buildings from the 2017/18 financial year onwards are as follows

Property

Receipt (£)

Reform/Pre-reform

Abergavenny Magistrates Court

499,809

Reform

Barnstaple Magistrates' & County Court

95,000

Reform

Bolton Magistrates' Court

750,000

Reform

Brecon Law Court

575,000

Reform

Caerphilly Magistrates Court

445,000

Reform

Chester-le-Street Magistrates Court

100,000

Reform

Cirencester Magistrates' Court

450,000

Pre-reform

Dolgellau Mags & Crown Court

67,509

Reform

Dorking Magistrates' Court

2,125,000

Pre-reform

Greenwich Magistrates Court

12,005,000

Reform

Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court

43,000,000

Reform

Holyhead Magistrates Court (North Anglsey),

112,500

Reform

Keighley (Bingley) Magistrates' Court

254,310

Pre-reform

Liverpool, Dale Street Magistrates

1,000,000

Reform

Lyndhurst Magistrates' Court

900,000

Pre-reform

Northallerton Magistrates' Court

450,000

Reform

Oswestry Magistrates' Court

110,602

Pre-reform

Richmond Upon Thames Magistrates Court

9,850,000

Reform

Solihull Magistrates Court

4,300,000

Reform

Tottenham (Enfield) Magistrates Court

4,570,000

Reform

Towcester Magistrates' Court

50,000

Pre-reform

Waltham Forest Magistrates Court

3,471,040

Reform

Watford Magistrates Court

3,836,000

Reform

The table above excludes transfers of surplus properties to other government departments (such as Homes England) as these are not categorised as a sale transaction, but as an internal transfer within government.

The closure of any court is not taken lightly – it only happens following full public consultation and when communities have reasonable access to alternative courts.

Since the start of the Reform Programme, money raised from the sale of surplus buildings has been reinvested in the reform of HM Courts & Tribunals Service. The table above identifies pre-reform buildings where this is not the case.

9 Jul 2019, 4:19 p.m. Legal Aid Scheme: Canterbury Rosie Duffield

Question to the Ministry of Justice

What steps his Department is taking to improve provision of legal aid for housing cases in Canterbury.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

After the latest LAA civil tender the number of offices providing legal aid services has increased by 7% in housing and debt. The LAA reviews the access to services on a regular basis and takes any necessary action to maintain access to those services.

As a result of the 2018 civil contract procurement activity access to providers offering Housing advice in Kent, and specifically the Kent Coast procurement area in which Canterbury falls, has increased.

Following an extensive and open programme of engagement, we recently published our review of LASPO. We announced that we are launching a series of pilots offering early legal advice for an area of social welfare such as housing. These pilots will help us determine the most effective solutions going forward.

9 Jul 2019, 4:19 p.m. Probate: Standards Dr Sarah Wollaston

Question to the Ministry of Justice

What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the probate system.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Waiting times in the probate service have recently increased. However, following urgent action by the courts service, they are now starting to improve.

The temporary delays were the result of more work coming into the system and the impact of the initial move to a new IT system for managing probate work.

Now that move is complete, and the unusually high workload has been dealt with, we expect waiting times to continue to improve – and be back to normal levels in the coming weeks.

9 Jul 2019, 4:17 p.m. Ministry of Justice: Serco Jo Stevens

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many contracts his Department has awarded to Serco since July 2013; and what the value is of those contracts.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Ministry of Justice has awarded no contracts to Serco since July 2013.

Serco has however been successful in its bid to be a supplier on the Prison Operator Services Framework which was executed on the 4th July 2019. There is no financial value nor commitment of work to the Framework itself. The first competition on this Framework will be for the contract to provide custodial services at HMP Wellingborough. Serco will be entitled to bid for this contract.

9 Jul 2019, 4:04 p.m. Prison Officers: Training Stephen Metcalfe

Question to the Ministry of Justice

What progress the Government has made on improving training and support for prison officers.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

A delivery review of the Prison Officer Entry Level training (POELT) course has culminated in the development of a Level 3 Custody and Detention Officer Apprenticeship. New learning methodologies will have greater focus on practice of the knowledge, skills and behaviours relevant to the Prison Officer role whilst also recognising the need for continuous training outside of the classroom. Two checkpoints will be included during this time where Apprentices will return to an L&D centre for further learning.

This will give new prison officers the confidence to carry out their role safely. The Apprenticeship will be launched in early adopter sites from October 2019. All training is reviewed regularly to ensure it reflects current organisational policies and practices. New courses are developed based on requests from Stakeholders within the organisation.

9 Jul 2019, 4:03 p.m. Reoffenders: Sentencing Neil O'Brien

Question to the Ministry of Justice

If he will review sentencing policy for prolific offenders.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

We are looking to take forward reform of short custodial sentences. We know that offenders serving short sentences often have long offending histories, as well as multiple and complex needs. In cases of the most persistent offenders, the evidence shows they are 36% more likely to re-offend where they have received a short custodial sentence rather than a court order. Community penalties can address underlying behaviour, answer mental health and alcohol or drug misuse needs and provide reparation for the benefit of the wider community.

9 Jul 2019, 4:01 p.m. Youth Offending Teams: Finance Alex Cunningham

Question to the Ministry of Justice

Whether he plans to allocate additional funding to youth offending teams.

Answer (Edward Argar)

We value the vital work Youth Offending Teams do with children who have offended, and the work they do to prevent offending. The Youth Justice Board’s total funding this year for frontline services including Youth Offending Teams is £72.2m. This is greater than last year’s funding, which was £71.6m.

Of the £72.2m, £70.7m has been allocated to the core grant for Youth Offending Teams and £1.5m to frontline service improvement.

9 Jul 2019, 4 p.m. Bristol Prison: Safety Thangam Debbonaire

Question to the Ministry of Justice

What steps he is taking to help ensure a safe regime for (a) staff and (b) prisoners in Horfield prison in Bristol.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

An Urgent Notification was invoked at HMP Bristol on 13th June 2019. There has been some progress at HMP Bristol under Special Measures to bolster staff to a sufficient level, reduce illicit drug use and improve living conditions by refurbishing a wing and a number of the showers. However, we know more support is needed. The Secretary of State will publish his response and an initial action plan within 28 calendar days (on 11th July) in response to the most serious and urgent concerns raised.

Immediate action has been taken to ensure prisoners can speak to Samaritans on their in-cell phones. In addition, action has been taken to address issues raised regarding the safer custody hotline and prevent issues from recurring, so prisoners’ family and friends can report any concerns about a prisoner’s welfare directly to the prison.

9 Jul 2019, 3:58 p.m. Camp Hill Prison Mr Bob Seely

Question to the Ministry of Justice

What progress he has made on the sale of the Camp Hill prison site to Isle of Wight Council.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

We have commissioned a demolition survey of the former prison results should hopefully be available, in late July.

The Camp Hill element of HM Prison Isle of Wight closed on 31 March 2013. In summer 2014, the then Secretary of State decided that the former prison sites at Camp Hill, Reading and Wellingborough would be retained in case they offered a useful contingency option to deal with population pressures. The site was released for disposal on 10 January 2017.

9 Jul 2019, 2:07 p.m. Offenders: Veterans Gareth Thomas

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 27 June 2019 to Question 267162, whether he has made additional funding available to support new alliances with military charities to help offenders who are veterans of the armed forces.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The Government has committed £5.7 million to support programmes targeted at former service personnel in the criminal justice system.

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service advertise grant opportunities for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations for innovative projects and pilots, that reflect priorities of the agency. All grant funding to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, including those wishing to support former members of the Armed Forces, is competed openly and these opportunities are published on the Government contract finder website.

The Ministry of Justice is committed to ensuring that those who have served in the Armed Forces and who find themselves in the Criminal Justice System are able to access support in custody and the community

9 Jul 2019, 11:28 a.m. Legal Aid Scheme Peter Kyle

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the timescale is for the review of the financial eligibility thresholds for people seeking legal aid.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The comprehensive review of the legal aid eligibility regime is expected to conclude by Summer 2020 after which we will publish a full consultation paper setting out our future policy proposals in this area. We will seek to implement any final recommendations as soon as practicable following public consultation.

9 Jul 2019, 11:26 a.m. Employment Tribunals Service Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average time to complete a single employment tribunal claim was in each year since 2010.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

HM Courts & Tribunals Service can only provide data for the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2019. Data below the level of published statistics are not available prior to 1 April 2014 due to a data reconciliation exercise.

The average time taken to complete a single Employment Tribunal claim is published in the Tribunal Quarterly Statistics which can be found in Table T_1 of the Main Tables using the following link: www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics. The information is also included below:

2014/15 – 41 weeks

2015/16 – 29 weeks

2016/17 – 28 weeks

2017/18 – 27 weeks

2018/19 – 30 weeks

9 Jul 2019, 11:24 a.m. Family Justice Panel: Public Appointments Tim Loughton

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what criteria was used to appoint the members of the Family Justice panel; and what gender balance requirements were applied.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The members of the panel established to gather evidence on the protections provided by the family courts in cases involving domestic abuse and other serious offences were appointed for their expertise on the issue. The panel includes pre-eminent academics; senior judiciary; Women’s Aid to represent victims; the Chief Social Worker and the Association of Children’s Lawyers to represent practitioners. The panel will launch a public call for evidence open to all individuals and organisations, and is considering other mechanisms for gathering the full range of views on the issues.

8 Jul 2019, 4:45 p.m. Females: Prisoners Mr Jim Cunningham

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of training for prison officers working with women with a mental health need.

Answer (Edward Argar)

All Prison Officers complete the Prison Officer Entry Level Training which includes sessions on mental heallth, self-harm and suicide and personality disorder. There has very recently been the development of a new course specifically for the female estate called POWER – Positive Outcomes for Women: Empowerment & Rehabilition. This is a two-day programme and is due to be rolled out shortly across the estate. One of the modules specifically refers to mental health in the female estate, with an aim to ensure delegates gain an overview of the mental health needs of female offenders and how this impacts on offending – including understanding the main disorders found in women in prison; the challenges caused by psychosis and schizophrenia; and explores the personality disorder pathway and personality disorder services.

8 Jul 2019, 3:41 p.m. Ministry of Justice: G4S Jo Stevens

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many contracts his Department has awarded to G4S since July 2013; and what the value was of each of those contracts.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The information requested is included in the attached annex.

8 Jul 2019, 3:36 p.m. Employment Tribunals Service: Fees and Charges Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, by what year will each person entitled to an employment tribunal fee refund have received one.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The MoJ is committed to allowing every person who is entitled to a refund to apply for one.

We are unable to predict the year in which all of the refunds will have been made. This is because it is dependent on those eligible coming forward to claim a refund.

We have taken a wide range of proactive steps to publicise the refund scheme, including through the gov.uk website, letters to parliamentarians, and information disseminated through partners such as trades unions, the Law Society and the Citizens Advice. From April 2018, we wrote to everyone entitled to a refund and who had not yet applied, as well as interested MPs, to ensure they were aware of the scheme and how to apply. We will continue to monitor the progress of the refund scheme going forward.

4 Jul 2019, 4:32 p.m. Knives: Crime Rosie Cooper

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the penalties incurred for knife crime.

Answer (Edward Argar)

For possession or threatening with an offensive weapon or possession of an article with a blade or point offences, offenders are now more likely to receive an immediate custodial sentence for a knife and offensive weapon offence and to go to prison for longer than at any point over the past 10 years. In the year ending March 2019 over a third (37%) of offences resulted in immediate custody, compared to 22% in the year ending March 2009. The average length of immediate custodial sentences has increased from 5.5 months in the year ending March 2009 to 8.1 months in the year ending March 2019. This is the highest since the series began.

There are a range of offences available to prosecute knife crime and Parliament has set penalties that are proportionate to the nature of these serious offences.

Unlawful possession of a knife or offensive weapon in public is a serious criminal offence with a maximum penalty of four years’ imprisonment. Since 2015, adults convicted of threatening with a knife in public, or for second or subsequent knife possession face a minimum sentence of 6 months’ imprisonment and young people aged 16 or 17 face a minimum sentence of a 4 month Detention and Training Order. Courts can only depart from minimum sentencing if the court considers would be unjust in all the circumstances to impose these terms.

Where someone is physically injured by a knife or offensive weapon there are a range of other offences, such as causing grievous bodily harm, that the person may be charged with. These can result in lengthy determinate sentences or life imprisonment. In England and Wales, all murder convictions for adults must result in a life sentence, and the Criminal Justice Act 2003 sets out a starting point of a minimum term in prison of 25 years for offenders aged 18 and over who bring a knife or another weapon to the scene of a murder with the intention of using it.

It is already the case that for offences where the possession or use of a knife or offensive weapon is not inherent to the offence or charged separately, possession will be treated as an aggravating factor, which increases the seriousness of the offence. This is outlined in several sentencing guidelines produced by the independent Sentencing Council.

4 Jul 2019, 2:49 p.m. Courts: Translation Services Yasmin Qureshi

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the (a) number of court cases rescheduled due to problems with interpreting or translating services and (b) additional cost incurred from that rescheduling in each of the last three years.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Ministry does not hold central data for all jurisdictions and hearing types in which interpreters are used and to manually review each case would incur disproportionate costs. However, central information does exist on the number of trials listed in the criminal courts which were adjourned as a result of interpreters being unavailable. This data is published in Criminal Court Statistics.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/criminal-court-statistics

A table detailing such occurrences over the last three years for which data is available is copied below.

Crown Courts

Magistrates’ Courts

Year

Number of trials

Adjourned due to interpreter availability

% of trials adjourned due to interpreter availability

Number of trials

Adjourned due to interpreter availability

% of trials adjourned due to interpreter availability

2016

37,339

30

0.1%

149,423

495

0.3%

2017

34,579

29

0.1%

136,962

423

0.3%

2018

29,583

17

0.1%

123,023

495

0.4%

As the associated costs for HMCTS of rescheduling trial cases will vary, depending on whether other work was able to be heard in that courtroom, this information is not held centrally.

The department continues to monitor its language service contracts closely and work with the suppliers to drive improvements and reduce the cost on the taxpayer. The Language Service contract has achieved a fulfilment rate of 97% over the first quarter of 2019.

4 Jul 2019, 1:58 p.m. Assaults On Police and Prison Officers: Sentencing Neil O'Brien

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people received a (a) custodial and (b) non-custodial sentence for assault of a (i) police officer and (ii) prison officer in each year since 2007, and what the average custodial sentence was for those offences.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The number of people who received a) custodial and b) non-custodial sentences for assault on a police officer or prison officer in each year since 2007, and the average custodial sentence lengths for these offences can be found in the accompanying table.

4 Jul 2019, 1:50 p.m. Sentencing Neil O'Brien

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people sentenced to an immediate custodial sentence for (a) possession of a blade or point, (b) possession of an offensive weapon, (c) common assault, (d) assaulting a police officer, (e) sexual assault, (f) public order, (g) theft, (h) robbery, (i) burglary, (j) drugs, (k) criminal damage, (l) breach of and anti-social behaviour order, (m) fraud, (n) vehicle taking in each year since 2007 had (i) no, (ii) between one and four, (iii) between five and nine, (iv) between 10 and 15, (v) between 16 and 25, (vi) between 26 and 50, (vii) between 51 and 75, (viii) between 76 and 100 and (ix) 101 or more convictions and cautions for an offence.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The information requested is provided in the tables attached with this answer. These tables include data, covering the period 2007 – 2018, on:

  • The average number of previous convictions and cautions of offenders who were sentenced to immediate custody for specified offence types.
  • The number of offenders with a specified number of previous cautions and convictions who were sentenced to immediate custody for a specified offence.
4 Jul 2019, 1:50 p.m. Reoffenders: Sentencing Neil O'Brien

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average number of previous (a) cautions and (b) convictions offenders had in each year since 2007 before being sentenced to an immediate custodial sentence for (i) possession of a blade or point, (ii) possession of an offensive weapon, (iii) common assault, (iv) assaulting a police officer, (v) sexual assault, (vi) public order, (vii) theft, (viii) robbery, (ix) burglary, (x) drugs, (xi) criminal damage, (xii) breach of anti social behaviour order, (xiii) fraud and (xiv) vehicle taking.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The information requested is provided in the tables attached with this answer. These tables include data, covering the period 2007 – 2018, on:

  • The average number of previous convictions and cautions of offenders who were sentenced to immediate custody for specified offence types.
  • The number of offenders with a specified number of previous cautions and convictions who were sentenced to immediate custody for a specified offence.
4 Jul 2019, 1:48 p.m. Offensive Weapons: Sentencing Neil O'Brien

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were given an immediate custodial sentence for possession of an offensive weapon in each year since 2007; and of those people how many had (a) no, (b) one to four, (c) five to 10 and (d) 11 or more previous cautions or sentences for carrying an offensive weapon.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The information requested is provided in the table below.

Please note that 2007 data has not been included as the time series data on the number of possession of offensive weapon offences used in the knife possession bulletin is only available from quarter 4 in 2007, so a full year’s data is not available.

Number of offenders1 given immediate custody for a possession of an offensive weapon offence by year and number of previous2,3 convictions or cautions for the same offence, England and Wales4, 2008 to 2018.

Number of offenders

Year

Number of previous convictions and cautions

Total

0

1 to 4

5 to 10

11 or more

2008

1,660

533

1

0

2,194

2009

1,715

509

5

0

2,229

2010

1,460

421

3

0

1,884

2011

1,552

480

2

0

2,034

2012

1,340

454

2

0

1,796

2013

1,195

349

3

0

1,547

2014

1,193

362

2

0

1,557

2015

1,286

391

1

0

1,678

2016

1,490

478

2

0

1,970

2017

1,543

534

2

0

2,079

2018

1,416

505

0

0

1,921

Source: Ministry of Justice extract of the Police National Computer.

Notes:

1) Each offender is counted only once in each year they were given an immediate custodial sentence for possession of an offensive weapon, but may appear in multiple years.

2) Previous occasions on which the offences for which the offender was cautioned or convicted included possession of an offensive weapon, as counted on the last occasion in each year that the offender was given an immediate custodial sentence for offences including possession of an offensive weapon.

3) Previous sentencing occasions may have resulted in an immediate custodial sentence.

4) England and Wales includes all 43 police force areas plus the British Transport Police.

3 Jul 2019, 4:57 p.m. Prison Officers: Vaccination Rosie Cooper

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has plans in place to ensure the urgent availability of immunisation against Hepatitis for all prison personnel; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA), all employers must provide (so far as is reasonably practicable) a safe place of work and safe systems of work. This includes HM Prison and Probation Service for public sector prisons, and G4S/Sodexo/Serco for privately managed prisons.HM Prison and Probation Service offers and provides Hepatitis B vaccinations, followed by all required vaccination courses and/or blood tests, to ensure staff are protected at work. These are administered by our Occupational Health supplier, Optima Health, for Prison Officers, First Aid Officers and Operational Support grade staff across public sector prisons in England and Wales. The majority of public sector prisons have received Hepatitis B immunisation clinics in 2019. The remaining establishments will receive their clinics in the next few months. Human resources arrangements in privately managed prisons, including offering and providing Hepatitis B vaccinations, are the responsibility of providers. There is no preventative vaccine to protect against Hepatitis C. Therefore, post exposure management such as immediate first aid followed by appropriate risk assessment, is essential. Staff in public sector prisons receive education and training on safe systems of work, universal precautions, hand hygiene and use of personal protective equipment in relation to dealing with body fluids at work. Use of blood spillage kits are used by trained individuals only.

Occupational health (OH) intervention in HMPPS includes provision of immediate and clinical advice by specialist nurses following suspected and actual blood to blood exposure incidents for staff at all levels via a HMPPS 24/7 telephone advice line.

3 Jul 2019, 4:41 p.m. HM Courts and Tribunals Service: Finance Rushanara Ali

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2019 to Question 266835, HM Courts and Tribunals Service: Finance, why the Department for Work and Pensions contributes to the cost of administering the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security & Child Support) for appeals on attendance allowance, disability living allowance and personal independence payments, but is not required to contribute towards the cost of administering appeals against the disallowance of employment support allowance.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

Prime responsibility for the funding of the operation of what is now the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security & Child Support) transferred, along with funding from what is now the Department for Work and Pensions to what is now the Ministry of Justice on the creation of the Tribunals Service on 1 April 2006.

The contribution that the Department for Work and Pensions currently makes towards the costs of the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security & Child Support) covers the additional costs of that tribunal as a consequence of the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment benefit, which has led to an increase both in the number of appeals to the tribunal and, due to the increased complexity of the tests involved, their length and cost.

No additional contribution is required towards the administration of Employment Support Allowance appeals as the cost of this tribunal has not been affected by a subsequent policy change.

3 Jul 2019, 4:38 p.m. HM Courts and Tribunals Service: Finance Rushanara Ali

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2019 to Question 266835, HM Courts and Tribunals Service: Finance, for what reason the figure for the sum paid by the Department for Work and Pensions towards the cost of administering the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security & Child Support) in 2018-19 was not published, and when he plans to make that figure available.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The HM Courts & Tribunals Service Annual Report and Accounts for 2018/19 has yet to be audited for publication Figures for 2018/19 were therefore not published or included in the previous response.

The figure for 2018/19 will be provided within the Note 8 (Operating Income) in the 2018/19 HMCTS Annual Report and Accounts and this will be published when the audit has completed and the accounts laid before Parliament. We expect this to happen before the summer recess.

3 Jul 2019, 1:29 p.m. Investigatory Powers Commissioner Stewart Malcolm McDonald

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the timetable is for the appointment of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The statutory process for appointing a new Investigatory Powers Commissioner under Section 227 of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 is underway. It is expected that the new Commissioner will be in post by the late autumn of 2019.

2 Jul 2019, 2:45 p.m. Working Links: Wales Ian C. Lucas

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract for the Transforming Rehabilitation scheme agreed with Working Links in Wales.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

Details for the contract Transforming Rehabilitation contracts with Working Links in Wales are published on Contracts Finder;

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/933013f7-cfc2-4880-8e84-0bdb84d7e94f?p=@FQxUlRRPT0=NjJNT08=U

1 Jul 2019, 4:48 p.m. Television: Licensing Mr Paul Sweeney

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Minister for Justice, what support he plans to provide to the courts service to deal with the potential increase in non-payment prosecution for TV licences by vulnerable defendants over the age of 75 who do not pay for a TV licence from June 2020.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

TV Licensing prosecutions are dealt with via the Single Justice Procedure, which was introduced in 2015 to allow for more efficient resolution of low-level, summary only-non imprisonable offences in which the offender pleads guilty or does not respond. HMCTS has not made any specific arrangements for any potential increase in non-payment prosecutions for TV licences from June 2020. If required, to meet any emerging demand HMCTS will deploy its planning and allocation processes which allow for resource adjustment or reallocation.

1 Jul 2019, 4:48 p.m. Television: Licensing Mr Paul Sweeney

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Minister for Justice, whether he has made an estimate of the potential increase in the number of prosecutions there will be of people over 75 who have not paid for a TV licence from June 2020.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The lead department on TV licencing is the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DDCMS).

The responsibility for TV licence fee concessions will pass from government to the BBC in June 2020, at which time the BBC has taken the decision to end free TV licences for all over 75s.

The Ministry of Justice has reviewed prosecution data between 1992 and 1999 for TV licence fee evasion, prior to the introduction of the concession, and established that there were no prosecutions of defendants over the age of 75 during this period.

27 Jun 2019, 11:04 a.m. Prisons: Standards Paul Farrelly

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the findings of the June 2019 report by the Prison Reform Trust, Prison: the facts, what steps his Department is taking to (a) tackle overcrowding and (b) improve conditions in prisons.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

Reducing crowding is a central aim of our modernisation of the prison estate. Our plan for reducing prison crowding is to replace prisons that are operating over their certified normal accommodation levels with new accommodation that is safe, decent, and uncrowded and close current (crowded or partially crowded) capacity. The first steps in this direction have already been taken with the opening of 2,100 uncrowded prison places at HMP/YOI Berwyn and 206 uncrowded places in a new houseblock at HMP Stocken. Additionally, we are constructing modern prisons at the former HMP Wellingborough and HMP Glen Parva sites, which are due to open in 2021 and 2023 respectively.

We invested an additional £31m in the last financial year to improve conditions in some of the prisons with the most pressing issues. With this funding we delivered refurbishments of nearly 1,000 cells, over 100 shower blocks and 14 food serveries at a number of prisons including HMPs Liverpool, Bristol, Wandsworth and Wormwood Scrubs, as well as essential fire safety work.

There is also ongoing refurbishment work to improve the condition of cells, showers and communal areas at a number of prisons, along with several projects to enhance fire safety.

27 Jun 2019, 11:03 a.m. Prisons: Overcrowding Mr Jim Cunningham

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to reduce overcrowding in prisons in England and Wales.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) publishes monthly individual prison population and capacity information through the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/prison-population-statistics

As at 31 May 2019, 72 prisons operated with a population above their Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA) but not above their operational capacity. There are no prisons operating above their operational capacity in England and Wales. The operational capacity of a prison is the total number of prisoners that an establishment can hold taking into account control, security and the proper operation of the planned regime. It is determined by the Prison Group Director on the basis of operational judgement and experience.

CNA, or uncrowded capacity, is the Prison Service’s own measure of accommodation. CNA represents the good, decent standard of accommodation that the Service aspires to provide all prisoners.

Where the operational capacity of a prison is higher than the CNA it will be classed as having the potential to be 'crowded', which can mean prisoners share cells. In the financial year 2017/18, 24.2% of the prison population was being held in crowded conditions, down from 24.5% in the previous year.

Reducing crowding is a central aim of our modernisation of the prison estate. Our plan for reducing prison crowding is to replace prisons that are operating over their certified normal accommodation levels with new accommodation that is safe, decent, and uncrowded and close current (crowded or partially crowded) capacity. The first steps in this direction have already been taken with the opening of 2,100 uncrowded prison places at HMP/YOI Berwyn; 206 uncrowded places in a houseblock at Stocken; and a commitment to construct modern, decent, uncrowded prisons at the former HMP Wellingborough and HMP Glen Parva sites, which are due to open in 2021 and 2023 respectively.

27 Jun 2019, 11:03 a.m. Prisons: Overcrowding Mr Jim Cunningham

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate his Department has made of the number of overcrowded prisons in England and Wales.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) publishes monthly individual prison population and capacity information through the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/prison-population-statistics

As at 31 May 2019, 72 prisons operated with a population above their Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA) but not above their operational capacity. There are no prisons operating above their operational capacity in England and Wales. The operational capacity of a prison is the total number of prisoners that an establishment can hold taking into account control, security and the proper operation of the planned regime. It is determined by the Prison Group Director on the basis of operational judgement and experience.

CNA, or uncrowded capacity, is the Prison Service’s own measure of accommodation. CNA represents the good, decent standard of accommodation that the Service aspires to provide all prisoners.

Where the operational capacity of a prison is higher than the CNA it will be classed as having the potential to be 'crowded', which can mean prisoners share cells. In the financial year 2017/18, 24.2% of the prison population was being held in crowded conditions, down from 24.5% in the previous year.

Reducing crowding is a central aim of our modernisation of the prison estate. Our plan for reducing prison crowding is to replace prisons that are operating over their certified normal accommodation levels with new accommodation that is safe, decent, and uncrowded and close current (crowded or partially crowded) capacity. The first steps in this direction have already been taken with the opening of 2,100 uncrowded prison places at HMP/YOI Berwyn; 206 uncrowded places in a houseblock at Stocken; and a commitment to construct modern, decent, uncrowded prisons at the former HMP Wellingborough and HMP Glen Parva sites, which are due to open in 2021 and 2023 respectively.

27 Jun 2019, 11:01 a.m. Television: Licensing Mr Jim Cunningham

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2019 to Question 264316 on Television Licensing, how many of the people committed to prison since 2014 for non-payment of the fine associated with the use of television equipment without a licence were over the age of 75.

Answer (Robert Buckland)

Since 2014 there have been zero prison admissions for those aged over 75 for non-payment of fines associated with the use of television equipment without a licence.

25 Jun 2019, 3:19 p.m. Legal Aid Scheme: Coroners Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many applications were granted or part granted on behalf of bereaved families for Exceptional Case Funding for legal representation under the public interest test at inquests in 2017/18.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

This information could only be retrieved at disproportionate cost.

25 Jun 2019, 1:34 p.m. Employment Tribunals Service Richard Burgon

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he has taken to reduce the average time taken to conclude a claim before an employment tribunal.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

HM Courts & Tribunals Service has been working with the tribunal’s judiciary to appoint additional judges to increase the capacity and performance of the tribunal. 58 (51.5 full time equivalent) salaried employment judges took up positions from April 2019.

25 Jun 2019, 1:27 p.m. CAFCASS Louise Haigh

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many family court advisers were employed by Cafcass in each year from 2010 to date.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The number of family court advisers who were employed by Cafcass in each year from 2010 to date:

Month and Year

Number of Family Court Advisors

March 2010

1120

March 2011

1116

March 2012

1163

March 2013

1198

March 2014

1226

March 2015

1200

March 2016

1192

March 2017

1146

March 2018

1295

March 2019

1337

25 Jun 2019, 1:20 p.m. Legal Aid Scheme: Discrimination Paul Farrelly

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure victims of discrimination are able to access the legal representation they require.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

We have specifically protected legal aid, both for initial advice and representation, subject to the statutory means and merits tests, for civil legal services provided in relation to contravention of the Equality Act 2010.

Publicly funded advice continues to be available for Employment Tribunal discrimination claims, and publicly funded advice and representation is available in the Employment Appeal Tribunal, and the civil courts more generally.

Our Legal Aid Support Action Plan, published in February, has also committed to improving the access victims of discrimination have to state-funded legal representation. This includes reinstating immediate access to face-to-face legal advice in discrimination cases, reviewing legal aid means testing, and improving the Exceptional Case Funding scheme.

25 Jun 2019, 11:46 a.m. Criminal Injuries Compensation Gloria De Piero

Question to the Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 9 May 2019 to Question 248641, for how many applications for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme the Government has covered the cost of providing initial medical evidence in each year since 2012.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost.