Clause 98 - Miscellaneous amendments relating to release and recall

Part of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:30 pm on 11th October 2011.

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Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport) 6:30 pm, 11th October 2011

I beg to move amendment 418, in clause 98, page 77, line 30, at end add—

‘After section 244 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 insert—

“s.244C Discharge grants for certain offenders

(4) A prisoner with an infant formerly held in a prison mother and baby unit shall on release from prison be entitled to a discharge grant of £96;

(5) The Secretary of State may by order amend this sum if it appears to the Secretary of State that there has been a change in the value of money”.’.

The discharge grant given to prisoners has remained at the same level for a long time. Given the financial constraints, I understand why the Government do not want to increase it generally. However, when I discovered that the discharge grant is the same for a mother with an infant leaving a mother and baby unit as for other prisoners, I knew that it was simply not reasonable. In fact, a child protection issue is at stake. I remind members of the Committee that the discharge grant is £48.