Justice written question – answered on 9th July 2014.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many officials in his Department are currently employed to work on the sentence calculation helplines.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Department employs two officials whose principal function is to answer queries on the sentence calculation helpline. The main purpose of the helpline is to provide advice to prison establishments as to the correct way to calculate the key release dates for sentences in complex cases. It also provides advice to courts, probation, the public, solicitors and other Government Departments on the effect of the legislation governing release on key sentence dates.

In the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, the Government made changes to the release and recall provisions in order to simplify the previous, often incomprehensible and complex legislation, making it easier for sentencers and prison staff to administer, and the public to understand the sentence.

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