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Probation Service

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the evidential basis is for the proposals for reform of the probation service; (112992)

(2) what the evidential basis is for his statement that the Offender Management Bill will drive up standards.

The Offender Management Bill will enable the Secretary of State to commission probation services from providers in the voluntary, charitable and private sectors, to work alongside the public sector in the delivery of probation services. Experience in the custodial sector has shown that the introduction of alternative providers has helped to raise performance: there have been efficiency savings of up to 8.5 per cent. and improved standards of decency and innovation in staffing structures and prison design. The public sector has also raised its game in response. We expect to see similar effects in probation.