HC Deb 03 December 1970 vol 807 cc1439-40
3. Mr. Crawshaw

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what increase he proposes in the provision of after-care services for prisoners on release.

Mr. Carlisle

The strengthening of the probation and after-care service; the continuance of financial aid to voluntary organisations to enable them to provide various facilities, including an increasing number of after-care hostels; and the encouragement of experimental provision such as organised systems of retained lodgings.

Mr. Crawshaw

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these added facilities are most welcome? However, would he not agree that while the probation service has a salary structure which puts it at the lowest end of the professional workers, it will have difficulty in recruiting the right type of person for this work?

Mr. Carlisle

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for what he said about the extra provision of hostels. He will know that we have recently announced new targets for the probation service to achieve these ends and we hope that people will be forthcoming to enter the probation service.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Will my hon. Friend consider giving special Government aid to the After-care Trust of the Carnegie Foundation to help it in its work of providing hostels for alcoholic and homeless ex-prisoners?

Mr. Carlisle

I assure my hon. Friend that, having seen it in only the last 24 hours, I am most impressed by the work being done with hostels for alcoholics. However, there are 1,000 hostel places supported by the Home Office with an annual grant of £150 for normal places and £250 for the more troublesome kind of resident, such as the ex-alcoholic.

Mr. Cant

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that the increase in the number of child care officers has often been at the expense of the probation service? Will he at least attempt to remove the adverse differential between the pay for probation officers and that in the child care service?

Mr. Carlisle

I am not aware that there is any evidence that justifies that statement, but it is one of the matters which must be taken into account when considering the future of the probation service.

Mr. Crawshaw

On a point of order. As the hon. Gentleman did not answer my supplementary question, I intend to raise the matter on the Adjournment at the first opportunity.

Mr. Speaker

Hon. Members should give notice of their intention to raise matters on the Adjournment in the conventional form.

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