Report (5th Day)

Part of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 20th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Pannick Lord Pannick Crossbench 4:30 pm, 20th March 2012

I renew my thanks to the Minister. He is absolutely right; those advising him did indeed improve the drafting of the amendment and I am very grateful to them as well.

Amendment 151 agreed.

Amendment 151AZA

Moved by Baroness Corston

151AZA: Before Clause 60, insert the following new Clause-

"CHAPTER A1Women's Criminal Justice Policy Unit

Women's Criminal Justice Policy Unit

(1) There shall be a Women's Justice Policy Unit ("the Policy Unit") within the Ministry of Justice.

(2) The staff of the Policy Unit shall comprise officials from the Ministry of Justice and officials seconded from-

(a) the Department of Health;

(b) the Department of Communities and Local Government;

(c) the Department of Work and Pensions; and

(d) the Home Office.

(3) The Policy Unit shall report and be answerable to an inter-ministerial committee, including the Equalities Ministers, who shall be responsible for strategic oversight of the Policy Unit.

(4) The functions of the Policy Unit shall include-

(a) the development and implementation of a government strategy ("the strategy") for women offenders and for women at risk of offending; and

(b) review of the impact of government policies on women offenders and women at risk of offending.

(5) The policies which the Policy Unit shall review under subsection (4)(b) shall include but not be limited to policies in the areas of-

(a) the delivery of appropriate and effective services to women in the criminal justice system including in the areas of-

(i) the rehabilitation of offenders;

(ii) sentencing, including youth sentences and the imposition of community orders;

(iii) employment and treatment of prisoners; and

(b) housing;

(c) mental health; and

(d) children and families.

(6) The Ministers responsible for the strategic oversight of the Policy Unit shall lay before Parliament at least annually a report on the Policy Unit's exercise of its functions."