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Volume 977: debated on Thursday 31 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his Department's report "Previous Convictions, Sentence and Reconviction", and what steps he intends to take to try to reduce the high rate of reconvictions, especially amongst those receiving custodial sentences.

The patterns of reconviction shown in the report, which are largely consistent with previous studies, are part of the background against which the Government have decided to give priority to measures to improve law and order. These measures are and will be designed to strengthen the police, to support and improve the prison system and to provide an appropriate range of custodial and non-custodial penalties devised with this end in mind.