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Custodial And Non-Custodial Facilities

Volume 972: debated on Monday 29 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evidence he has to suggest that the absence of adequate non-custodial resources and the consequent increase in the imposition by the courts of custodial sentences leads to an over-estimate of the demand for prison places and an under-estimate of the demand for non-custodial facilities.

Although there has recently been a small proportionate increase in custodial sentences, there is no evidence to suggest that this is due to an absence of adequate non-custodial resources. While we intend to make every effort to improve and develop the non-custodial alternatives available to the courts, it must be recognised that the demand for prison places is determined largely by the number of crimes which the courts consider merit a custodial sentence.