Community Orders: Per Capita Costs

Justice written question – answered on 21st January 2008.

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Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent on administering each type of community sentence in each of the last five years; and what the cost per offender was in each category.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Probation Boards meet the cost of delivering community sentences through their grant as they see fit to meet their statutory duties. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 established the new community order as a single community sentence with a number of elements in respect of offences committed after 4 April 2005. This replaced the separate community sentences which existed previously. 2005-06 was a transitional year with pre-CJA 2003 and post CJA 2003 sentences. From 2005 to present, cost exercises have been carried out by Probation Boards annually and have produced the planned cost of a range of activities. These together represent the best available data on the planned cost of administering and delivering the Community Order and include Probation Board overhead costs. The planned costs are as follows:

2005-06—£418 million—cost per offender commencement £2,400

2006-07—£519 million—cost per offender under supervision £1,831

2007-08—£496 million—cost per offender under supervision £1,677

The costing methodology changed between the 2005-06 and subsequent exercises which means that they are not directly comparable. The 2005-06 exercise provides a cost per offender commencement; subsequent exercises provide a cost per offender under supervision.

There is no information relating to expenditure for years leading up to 2005.

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