HC Deb 02 February 1999 vol 324 cc545-6W
Dr. Starkey

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to give new directions to the Parole Board following the implementation of section 103 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. [69273]

Mr. Straw

Section 103 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 was commenced on 1 January 1999. As a result, all short-term prisoners whose original offences were committed on or after that date and who are subsequently released on licence will be subject to recall by the Parole Board in the same way as those released from long-term sentences.

I have, therefore, prepared new Directions for the Board as to the matter to be taken into account in dealing with such recalls. These Directions are being made under the powers given to me by section 32(6) of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 and are based very closely on the existing Directions in respect of long-term prisoners.

The new Directions also make it clear that there should be a clear presumption in favour of recall in cases where a licensee is charged with an offence committed whilst subject to Home Detention Curfew (HDC). This is because the commission of an offence by a prisoner subject to HDC is clearly a breach of the trust placed in that individual.

I have written to Usha Prashar, Chairman of the Parole Board, informing her of the new Directions. Copies of the new Directions have been placed in the Library.