End of Custody Licence Scheme

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 28th October 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 2:30 pm, 28th October 2008

I have given the answer about the three murder allegations. I simply repeat to the hon. Gentleman that the remarks about whether that particular terrible event would have taken place in any event were made not by me but by the honourable Mrs. Justice Swift, and she was very clear about it—sufficiently clear to put it on record in the sentencing remarks. In a circumstance in which I regret the scheme, I emphasise that the reoffending rate is 1 per cent., which is low, and that breaches are tackled quickly.

Since the hon. Gentleman takes the matter to a party political level, let me say that he got surprisingly little coverage for a speech that he made to the Prison Governors Association on 8 October. It requires a wider audience, because he claimed:

"we are the only major political party that is now talking about reducing the prison population".

If that is the Opposition's policy, they will have serious difficulties in cutting out end of custody licence release.