§ Mr. Loveridge
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many beds spaces in how many hostels are now available to provide suitable alternatives to imprisonment for drunkenness.
§ Mr. Moyle
One experimental detoxification unit, St. Mark's House, Leeds, has been approved as a medical treatment centre for the purpose of Section 34 of the Criminal Justice Act 1972, for people who would otherwise have been charged with offences of simple drunkenness. This unit has 20 places and will be funded by my Department for a three-year trial period. A few more experimental centres are expected to open in 1977. The Department also supports 542 places in 48 hostels for alcoholics. Some of these hostels have liaison arrangements with the Probation and After Care Service for accepting convicted persons suffering from problems of addiction to alcohol and some take people who have been in prison.