HC Deb 07 December 1994 vol 251 cc231-2W
Mr. Michael

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the inquiries conducted by his Department or by HM inspectorate of probation since 1 October 1992 into the use by judges and magistrates of pre-sentence reports on offenders and into the arrangements for their delivery by the probation services of England and Wales; and if he will place copies of all such reports in the Library.

Mr. Nicholas Baker

The Home Office research and planning unit has undertaken a survey of criminal justice agencies' experience of the operation of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, which included questions seeking the views of sentencers about the usefulness of pre-sentence reports. The unit has also undertaken a more specific survey of judges' and magistrates' satisfaction with services provided by probation staff, including the preparation of pre-sentence reports. Both are due to be published shortly.

As an addition to the general probation area inspection programme, HM inspectorate of probation has conducted two inquiries since 1 October 1992 which bear specifically on the arrangements for the provision of the pre-sentence reports. The report of the criminal Justice Act 1991 inspection was published in 1993; and the report on the quality and provision of expedited pre-sentence reports prepared for the Crown Court by the probation service was published earlier this year. Copies of both reports are already in the Library.