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Probation Service

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans the National Probation Directorate has further to outsource probation service functions.[124965]

There is a long history of providing probation services in partnership with the voluntary and private sector. The Criminal Justice Bill indicates a significant increase in the use of community penalties and further outsourcing will be considered in order to ensure that qualified and experienced probation staff are used where they will have greatest impact. At present there are no firm plans as to how this might be done. Where competition and collaboration are able to help improve performance and increase capacity this will be given serious consideration.