HC Deb 24 February 1972 vol 831 cc1477-8
20. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has for the establishment of additional discharge hostels; how many new places will be provided; and what will be the capital cost over the next five years.

Mr. Carlisle

After-care hostels are at present provided on the initiative of voluntary organisations. The Home Office makes grants towards running costs. It is hoped that about 200 more places will be made available each year. Capital costs incurred by the voluntary movement are of the order of £1,000 for each new place provided.

Mrs. Short

I thank the hon. and learned Gentleman for that reply, but does he recall that a Select Committee of this House four years ago recommended an increase in the number of discharge hostels and will his Department consider the cost benefit of providing more hostels for the resettlement of offenders after they have been discharged from prison?

Mr. Carlisle

I am, of course, aware of the importance of hostels for discharged prisoners, particularly homeless prisoners. Grants from the Home Office are at present received by 119 hostels which provide 1,269 places. The number of places has been increasing at the rate of about 200 a year and we believe that the number will continue to increase at about that rate. Since we believe it to be important for voluntary organisations to be involved, that may be about the right speed.