§ Miss Emma Nicholson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultation his Department has had to ensure that young offenders on probation and at risk of custody have their individual needs assessed without any delay.
§ Mr. John Patten
In the Green Paper "Punishment, Custody and the Community" and in "Tackling Offending: An Action Plan" the Home Office emphasised the need for individual assessment of offenders at risk of custody. The action plan suggests that social inquiry reports should include comprehensive individualised programmes for young adult offenders. The action plan also asks the probation service to improve co-ordination and co-operation with other agencies, to help provide coherent and effective programmes of supervision under probation orders. Every probation area was asked to draw up a local action plan for putting these ideas into effect. The Home Office is currently consulting the probation service on further guidelines for promoting inter-agency work under the action plan.