Custody Licence Scheme

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 3rd February 2009.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 2:30 pm, 3rd February 2009

The hon. and learned Gentleman has a very short memory—I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, but my comments are relevant to the Conservatives' suggestion that only we have faced this problem. Other Administrations have had to resort to such measures. Some 3,000 prisoners were released between July and August 1987. As for the hon. and learned Gentleman's key question, if he wishes to table amendments to the Coroners and Justice Bill, we look forward to considering them. I have made it clear that there is no prospect whatsoever, nor is it Government policy, that at the point of sentencing, sentencers should have to take into account the resource costs of what they are proposing. That is not in the Bill, nor is it Government policy.

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Eleanor Davies
Posted on 10 Feb 2009 2:43 pm (Report this annotation)

May I thank Mr Jones for raising this question as I have had some concern about the way these early release prisoners - along with those on probation or bail - are accomodated on release.

Are the firms who are funded by the government and allowed to buy up property - without referring to local councils - to provide such accommodation, also on the early release bandwaggon?

As expected Mr Straw uses the fall back position of blaming the conservatives - or anyone else they can - for the situation which they themselves have created. Straight answers and information are never to be expected and it must be terribly frustrating when trying to raise issues!

Garry Lelliott
Posted on 10 Feb 2009 4:06 pm (Report this annotation)

The conservatives may well have released 3000 prisoners early in one month, but that was over 20 years ago. 47000 prisoners released early since June 2007 equates to nearly 2500 EVERY MONTH for the past 19 months, and with no date as to when this will end. Hardly a defensible record.
And, As Eleanor Davies observed, the default position for Labour when faced with an unpalatable fact is to dredge up some ancient statistic, in the vain hope it will somehow put a gloss on the current situation.