§ Mr. George Howarth
The available information for persons who have been charged with a further offence whilst on temporary release from prison is given in table 1.
Information relating to offences committed whilst in prison which are too serious for a prison governor to deal with under the prison disciplinary system and are referred to the police for prosecution is given in table 2. This information is also published in successive volumes of "Statistics of offences against prison discipline and punishments England and Wales" up to 1996, and thereafter in "Prison statistics England and Wales" (chapter 8 of the 1997 edition, Cm 4017). Copies are available in the Library.
Table 1 Prisoners charged with a further offence whilst on temporary release from prison, 1 September 1995 to 31 December 1997 Year Number September to December 1995 6 1996 9 1997 9
Table 2 Estimated number of offences referred to the police for prosecution by prison governors Year Number 1992 250 1993 1— 1994 300 to 350 1995 450 to 500 1996 1,650 1997 1,540 1not applicable
§ Mr. Boateng
The most recent available information relates to a sample of sentenced prisoners held in prison on 30 June 1997. The estimated percentage of sentenced prisoners identified as having previous non-custodial sentences is 74 per cent., corresponding to around 36,000 prisoners.
Previous criminal history information is, however, derived from matching Prison Service records to offender details of the Home Office Offenders Index and a further 9 per cent. of prisoners could not be matched. A prisoner may not be matched because he or she may have been sentenced for an offence not on the 'standard list' and has no previous record for standard list offences or alternatively there may be an inconsistency between personal details held on the Offenders Index and those held on prison records.
The percentage of prisoners identified as having no previous non-custodial sentences is 16 per cent. A slightly lower percentage (14 per cent.) of prisoners was identified as having no previous sentence of any kind (i.e. including custodial sentences).
Prison population1 in Prison Service establishments under sentence on 30 June 1997: by past criminal history2 England and Wales Percentage3 Population 48,674 Previous history not found4 9 Previous2 non-custodial sentence 74 No previous2 non-custodial sentence 16 No previous2 sentence of any kind 14 1 Excludes fine defaulters and is based on a sample of 13,832 prisoners. 2Relates to convictions for 'standard list' offences only. These offences include all indictable offences and some of the more serious summary offences. 3Percentages for previous history not found, previous non-custodial sentence and no previous non-custodial sentence do not add to 100 due to rounding. 4Information on prisoners was matched to records on the Home Office Offenders Index. In some cases no set of matching records can be found.