Privatised Probation System

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:06 pm on 4th March 2019.

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Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice 5:06 pm, 4th March 2019

These questions of accountability are quite difficult for me to answer. Normally, I answer by offering to resign; I am not about to do that again, but I would say that these things are related. On the question the right hon. Gentleman raised about the caseload shift, as the NAO pointed out, a 2% caseload shift was predicted, but a 48% caseload shift happened, directly impacting the second issue of the income coming to the companies. That prediction is a question we are really trying to look into and understand. This is to do with the fact that more violent and sexual offences were committed than previously, and the Crown courts managed to make different decisions in terms of sentence length and not giving accredited programmes. The question is, how do we predict that type of social change? Could we have predicted it; was it predicted; and how do we act on it?