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Volunteering Across the Criminal Justice System (Government Response to Baroness Neuberger's Report)

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, my right hon. and noble Friend the Attorney-General and I are today publishing the Government’s response to Baroness Neuberger’s report on volunteering across the Criminal Justice System. We are grateful to Baroness Neuberger for her work on the report and for highlighting the key role of volunteers across the Criminal Justice System.

We recognise and value the huge contribution that thousands of volunteers make right across the CJS. We have already taken important steps to strengthen the role of volunteering and we will drive this work forward as part of our commitment to promote community engagement and active citizenship and to deliver first class public services. This is why my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice, the Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Malik), who leads on community involvement in justice issues, has been appointed as the cross-CJS ministerial champion for volunteering.

Our focus is on practical action that enables volunteers to contribute to the delivery of high quality value for money services. It is also important that people from all backgrounds are encouraged and empowered to play their part.

The champion will work with criminal justice agencies to identify practical opportunities to enhance their work through the use of volunteers and improve our engagement with the community.

Copies of the Government’s response have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Copies of the response will also be available on the Criminal Justice System website at: www.cjsonline.gov.uk.