§ 29. Mr. Spencer
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on bail hostels.
§ Mr. Mellor
There are 102 approved bail hostels, probation hostels and combined probation and bail hostels in England and Wales, all of which can accommodate persons who have been released on bail on condition that they reside there. They also take persons who are the subject of a probation order requiring them to live in a particular hostel and, for short periods, persons who are receiving statutory after-care following their release from prison. They are subject to the Approved Probation Hostel and Home, and Bail Hostel Rules 1976, augmented by Home Office circulars, and the Department meets 80 per cent. of their cost. The responsibility for the day-to-day management of most of these hostels is a matter for the area probation service, but 24 are managed by voluntary committees. It is our policy that area probation services should enable the courts to make maximum use of these hostels for the reception of persons 591W on bail as well as for the accommodation of offenders. Provision is made in public expenditure plans for sufficient hostel places and the position is kept under regular review.