§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultations he has held on changes in the probation service.286W
§ Mr. John Patten
In February we published the White Paper, "Crime, Justice and Protecting the Public" (Cm. 965), which set out our proposals for change in the way the courts in England and Wales deal with offenders. Since then, we have published two consultative documents about changes to the probation service, both related to the White Paper.
The Green Paper "Supervision and Punishment in the Community" (Cm. 966) sets out options for reorganising the probation service, to enable it to meet the demands of the White Paper. We have invited comments on the Green Paper by the end of June. We published a further consultative paper on 17 April, "Partnership in Dealing with Offenders in the Community". This sets out various ways in which voluntary organisations and profit-making bodies could collaborate more closely with the probation service in work with offenders in the community. Comments have been invited by the end of September.
Draft national standards for the supervision of offenders before and after release from custody were published today. Again, comments have been invited by the end of September.