§ Lord HYLTON
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether in view of the priority they attach to law and order and cost-effective spending, they will find means of increasing aid to schemes of training and work-experience for probationers and ex-offenders, since these are so much less expensive than custodial sentences; and whether such schemes will be assisted regardless of the geographical areas in which they are situated.
§ Lord BELSTEAD
The Home Office provides grants-in-aid towards supported work projects for ex-offenders and these are now supplemented by assistance from the Manpower Services Commission. In 1978 the Home Office financed a development team in the voluntary sector to promote and encourage such schemes, in co-operation with the probation service, and 600 new places have been established in the past year. Although, in the present financial climate, the commission has had to restrict support for adult ex-offenders to areas of greatest need, these restrictions do not apply to the young unemployed who are more likely to be diverted from custodial sentences.