§ Mr. Stephen
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make more room available in prisons by removing prisoners who are riot a danger to the public.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
My right hon. and learned Friend has no present intention of using his power under section 32 of the Criminal Justice Act 1982. This allows him to order the release of some prisoners, essentially non-violent property offenders, up to six months before what would otherwise have been their release date. It is, however, one of the principal aims of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 to ensure that the use of custody is imposed only on those offenders whose offences are so serious that custody is the only appropriate response or for whom custody is necessary in order to protect the public from serious harm.