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Bail Accommodation and Support Service

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether any category of (a) defendant and (b) convicted offender is to be excluded from receiving assistance under the Bail Accommodation and Support Service. (257639)

Those charged with or convicted of sex offences, those charged with or convicted of arson of buildings, those who are considered to pose a significant risk to the public or to staff and those under 18 years of age are excluded from this service.

Additionally defendants will only be released into the service if they are granted bail. The court may refuse bail if it is considered that the defendant would if granted bail abscond, offend or interfere with witnesses.

Offenders are excluded unless they are eligible for and are granted home detention curfew or are given a placement in the service as part of a community order as an intensive alternative to custody. The home detention curfew scheme applies primarily to prisoners serving sentences of at least three months but less than four years. Prisoners subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, prisoners serving public protection sentences and foreign national prisoners who are liable to removal are statutorily excluded from release under the home detention curfew scheme. In addition, prisoners serving sentences for certain serious violent offences and prisoners with any history of sexual offending are presumed unsuitable unless there are exceptional circumstances. Prisoners must pass a risk assessment to be released on HDC and are not referred to ClearSprings unless the Governor considers the prisoner is suitable for release.

Full details of the eligibility criteria for HDC and the assessment process are contained in Prison Service Order 6700 home detention curfew and details of the bail accommodation and support service are contained in Prison Service Instructions 29/2007 and 49/2007 which are available on the HM Prison Service website.