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Bail Accommodation and Support Service: Voluntary Organisations

Volume 475: debated on Friday 16 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) whether he plans to involve the voluntary sector in the provision of bail accommodation in England and Wales; (205344)

(2) what the average size is of each hostel provided by ClearSprings for the accommodation of bailees in England and Wales;

(3) how many bail units have been opened by ClearSprings in England and Wales since the contract was made with them;

(4) for how long the contract with ClearSprings to provide bail accommodation lasts;

(5) when the contract to provide bail accommodation in England and Wales was awarded to ClearSprings;

(6) when (a) the police and (b) the Probation Service were informed of the (i) location and (ii) opening date of each of the new bail hostels operated by ClearSprings; and if he will make a statement.

The range of support services provided by ClearSprings Management Ltd. includes referral in some cases to relevant voluntary sector organisations to ensure appropriate support for service users. Voluntary sector organisations were free to bid for the Bail Accommodation and Support Service and some did so. Voluntary sector organisations are involved in providing housing advice to prisoners including those who may be bailed.

ClearSprings does not provide hostels. The service provides rented housing for those on bail and for offenders released from prison on Home Detention Curfew, with a maximum of five sharing. The average is between three and four bedrooms.

167 houses have been made available. A small number have been withdrawn and at 2 May there were 157 houses available to the service.

The contract with ClearSprings is for three years with options for two one-year extensions.

The contract was awarded on 18 June 2007 and announced to Parliament.

It is a duty of the contract for ClearSpings to consult the police, probation service and local authority. It is not possible to provide details of consultation for all 157 properties.