Probation Reform - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:40 pm on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Birt Lord Birt Crossbench 2:40 pm, 16th May 2019

My Lords, I declare an interest as my wife was the founding director-general of the National Probation Service. The Minister is surely right to observe that it was a vast improvement on the hotchpotch of arrangements that had preceded it. I welcome the Government’s Statement; first, because it is entirely right that the state should take back full responsibility for managing all offenders; it is right too—and here I disagree with the Opposition Benches—that both the private and voluntary sectors should continue to provide specialist services to the NPS. Secondly, I welcome the Statement because of the Secretary of State’s willingness to reverse an error. That genuinely took courage and is to be applauded.