HC Deb 06 March 1992 vol 205 cc296-7W
Sir John Wheeler

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what conclusions he has reached on the formation of the area criminal justice liaison committees recommended by Lord Justice Woolf in his report on the prison disturbances in 1990.

Mr. John Patten

Following consultation with criminal justice services and discussion in the Criminal Justice Consultative Council, the Government have decided that 24 area committees should be set up in England and Wales. The purpose of these committees will be to promote better understanding, co-operation and co-ordination in the administration of the criminal justice system and early tasks are likely to include the overseeing of arrangements for the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 and monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the pre-trial issues working group.

Members of the committee will include representatives from the probation, prison, police and Crown prosecution services, justices' clerks, magistrates, barristers, solicitors and directors of social services. The committee will be chaired by circuit administrators or, in some cases, court administrators of the Lord Chancellor's Department.

Nominations for members of committees will be sought forthwith from representative criminal justice system organisations and invitations will be issued shortly thereafter. The Government hope that the committees will have their first meetings by about May.

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