New Clause 11 — Restriction on certain arrangements under section 3(2)
Orders of the Day
Gerry Sutcliffe (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office; Bradford South, Labour)
The Bill is necessary to change the existing culture. It is important that we tackle reoffending. We all agree that reoffending rates, on whichever figures we believe, are too high, despite the excellent work of the probation service. The probation boards currently have a monopoly on the services that are provided. My hon. Friend will have received many representations from voluntary organisations to the House arguing that they could do more. We believe that the formation of the probation trusts will provide a wider answer and enable us to tackle reoffending as a community. Too often, that has been left to the criminal justice system and the associated bodies.
Before they commit an offence and afterwards, offenders are members of our community. In particular areas—resettlement is one that comes to mind—there is an opportunity for other organisations, whether voluntary, charitable or private sector, to come up with resettlement plans. That is what we want to achieve.