HC Deb 15 March 2004 vol 419 cc140-1W
Mr. McCabe

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were released from custodial sentence in the(a)most recent year for which figures are available,(b)previous three years and(c)previous five years; how many prisoners gave no fixed abode (NFA) as their address on release from custodial sentence; how many paedophiles were released from custodial sentence within these periods; and how many paedophiles gave NFA as their address within these periods on release from custodial sentence. [158064]

Paul Goggins

In formation on the number of prisoners released from determinate sentences is given in the table.

Persons discharged from determinate sentences1: 1998–2003
1998 84,693
1999 89,765
2000 89,154
2001 85,290
2002 88,330
2003 86,995
1Excludes discharges following recall after release on licence, civil prisoners and fine defaulters

The Prison Service undertook a large-scale survey in March and April 2003 of sentenced prisoners nearing release. 29 per cent. said they did not have accommodation arranged on release, compared to 33 per cent. in a similar survey undertaken in November and December 2001. These surveys did not look separately at prisoners convicted of sex offences. However, Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) provide a framework within which different agencies work together to manage the risks posed by sex offenders living in the community, including those arising from the absence of stable accommodation. The resettlement of sex offenders posing a serious risk of harm to the public is jointly managed by the police and the National Probation Service within these arrangements.

Registered sex offenders are also subject to the notification requirements of the Sex Offenders Act 1997. They are required to provide the police with their home address within three clays of their release from prison. Where an offender does not have a home address (which is his sole or main residence in the United Kingdom), he is required to provide the police with an address of premises in the UK that he regularly visits.

Provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 will formalise this multi-agency engagement by imposing a duty to co-operate with the MAPPA on a number of agencies, including local housing authorities and relevant registered social landlords.