HL Deb 01 December 1999 vol 607 cc43-4WA
Baroness Hilton of Eggardon

asked Her Majesty's Government:

By what name they intend the reformed Probation Service for England and Wales to be known. [HL178]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): A Bill to be introduced in this House will reform and modernise the Probation Service within England and Wales. The modernised service will be known as The Community Punishment and Rehabilitation Service for England and Wales (CPRS). This service has a key role to play in delivering the Government's aims on effective sentencing and punishment that:

The public is protected from dangerous offenders,

Offenders are properly punished and their sentences are rigorously enforced,

Punishments are made to work better both in prison and outside,

Courts have available to them a flexible range of sentences.

The Probation Service has not been well served in recent years by its name, with offenders and the general public alike unsure of its role. The new name encapsulates the service's role as a law enforcement agency and sends out a clear message to offenders that punishment in the community is not a soft option but one that should work to reduce re-offending.