Prison Sentences

Justice written question – answered on 10th February 2009.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon UUP, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the effects of sentences of imprisonment for public protection on (a) levels of discipline among and (b) the size of the prison population.

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Statistics on prison discipline are published annually by the Ministry of Justice in chapter 8 of the Offender Management Caseload Statistics, available publicly at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/omcs2007.pdf

It is not possible to provide figures on discipline hearings for prisoners subject to indeterminate sentences for public protection because the National Offender Management Service does not collect centrally information on adjudications by sentence type.

The Ministry of Justice produces annual projections of the prison population, most recently in September 2008.

Indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP) are included in the modelling of the prison population. At the time the projections were made, the rate at which IPP were being issued was around 140(1) per month. However, changes made in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 are expected to reduce that to around 45 per month. On 15 December 2008, there were 4,960(1) IPPs in the prison population. The impact of IPP as a sentence on the population will take some time to work through as most, if not all, offenders sentenced to IPP would have in any event received a prison sentence. Any change to the population will therefore be as a result of length of time served.

More details on the projections may be found in the latest published bulletin, "Prison Population Projections 2008-2015" Ministry of Justice Statistics Bulletin, 18 September 2008. This is available at the following webpage:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/prisonpopulation.htm

(1) Figures rounded to nearest 10.

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