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Probation Service

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what additional funding will be made available to the probation service to meet the costs of the Custody Plus scheme as set out on page 133 of the explanatory notes to the Criminal Justice Bill; what recent meetings he has held with representatives of the National Probation Service in relation to the provision of additional funding for the Custody Plus scheme; and if he will make a statement. [112147]

The costs shown on page 133 of the explanatory notes to the Criminal Justice Bill relate to the whole package of sentencing changes, not just Custody Plus. As the different sentencing proposals are inter-related it is not possible to meaningfully separate one particular aspect at this stage.The National Probation Service will receive the additional funding it requires to meet the extra costs of implementing the Criminal Justice Bill including Custody Plus. The exact timing of implementation of the proposals will of course determine the funding requirement.My hon .Friend, member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn) had regular meetings with the Director General and other senior staff of the National Probation Service which include consideration of the additional costs and benefits of the Bill.