§ Mr. Rifkind
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many of the probation schemes he has approved under Section 27 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act provide for the use of volunteers; and what evidence he has about the effectiveness of any such provisions.
§ Mr. McElhone
Following the reorganisation of local government in 1975 the regional and island authorities were asked to review the existing arrangements and to submit new probation schemes in place of the schemes submitted by the former authorities. The opportunity was taken to ask authorities to take full advantage of assistance from voluntary organisations and individual volunteers.
All but one authority have now submitted schemes which have been approved. Eight of these schemes specifically provide for voluntary assistance, but there has so far been no detailed assessment of this provision. My Department is currently examining aspects of probation arrangements generally, and will look further at this particular question.
§ Mr. Rifkind
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will publish a table in the Official Report, showing for each of the last five years the length of probation orders made by the Scottish courts distinguishing orders made in the district courts, the sheriff courts under summary procedure, the sheriff courts under solemn procedure and the High Court;
(2) what proportion of probation orders made by Scottish courts is completed 42W without any further conviction during the period of the order;
(3) what proportion of probation orders made by Scottish courts is terminated through early discharge of the order for good progress;
(4) in how many cases in each of the last five years a supervising officer of a local authority has initiated proceedings for breach of probation; and what proportion this represents of the number of cases under supervision.
§ Mr. Harry Ewing
The length of probation orders made by the courts in Scotland for each of the last five years for which figures are avalable was as follows:
PERIOD OF PROBATION ORDERS Year 1 year Over 1 year and up to 2 years Over 2 years and up to 3 years 1971 … 1,482 2,481 436 1972 … 1,139 1,634 311 1973 … 1,078 1,500 420 1974 … 1,072 1,389 393 1975 … 1,014 1,344 337
It is not possible without unjustifiable expense to distinguish the types of court making the orders.
The information requested on breaches, discharge for good progress and further convictions during the order is not available.