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Treatment Of Offenders (Advisory Council)

Volume 415: debated on Thursday 8 November 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many meetings of the permanent advisory committee, of which Mr. Justice Birkett is chairman, have been held; and what recommendations made by them to him have been acted upon.

:The Advisory Council on the Treatment of Offenders have held 13 meetings, in the course of which they have surveyed certain parts of this large problem with a view to making recommendations as to the general lines upon which developments should proceed. They have submitted useful suggestions with regard to the probation service and with regard to certain problems of diagnosisand treatment which are met with in juvenile courts. They are now giving special attention to the prison system. The value of their work is not to be measured by reference merely to the number of their specific recommendations. Their discussions frequently direct attention to matters which can at once be taken up by my Department with a view to effecting administrative improvements; and recommendations involving legislation or large changes which it may not be practicable to bring into operation at the present time, may nevertheless be valuable in assisting the Home Office to keep in view future objects in carrying on its day-to-day activities.

I should think that a very good opportunity for that would be on a Supply Day, when this whole question will be open for discussion by the House.