Live Justice Questions House of Commons


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Live Justice Questions

Live coverage of questions in the House of Commons to the justice secretary David Lidington and his ministerial team.


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round-up at 11pm tonight in both

Houses of parliament. First,

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questions to the Justice Secretary

Liz Truss.

Motion for an unopposed

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return. Questions to the Secretary

of State for Justice.

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I will take questions one and 17

together, the Government has made it

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a top priority to ensure a smooth

legal transition both in our

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negotiations and in domestic

implementation.

Can has what steps

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will his department take to ensure a

review and possible reversal of ECJ

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rulings that have affected British

companies and citizens once we have

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left the EU?

We are taking back

control of our laws, that is what

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the withdrawal built cars.

Accountable to the voters in this

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House so the UK Supreme Court has

the last word. We can revise, retain

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or appeal as we see fit any piece of

retained law for the British

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interest.

The CD UK report

underlined the importance of the

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legal sector to the UK's economy and

to the city. Whether contracts can

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continue to be enforced and

respected across the European Union

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have to believe?

-- after we leave.

We make we're on our position paper

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that we want to maintain recognition

of contractual judgments, family law

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disputes, supporting businesses and

people on all sides.

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I happen talking to judges,

barristers, campaigners. They all

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are terrified about what is going to

happen if we leave the European

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Union to our justice system. Who is

she talking to -- who is he talking

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to?

Do not engage in scaremongering.

I have told to practitioners, the

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judiciary, legal groups, we have set

out our position. I would have

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thought the honourable gentleman

would have welcomed that. We will

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make sure we have a smooth legal

transition.

Will the Minister

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confirm that it is his policy that

the Court of Human Rights were still

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have jurisdiction over Britain after

we leave the EU?

We have no plans to

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withdraw from that of the Strasbourg

court.

Would he agree that we had an

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effective legal system before we

joined the EU and we will have for

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many years after we leave?

I take

very seriously the concerns of those

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who think we need to mitigate the

risks. That is what the EU

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Withdrawal Bill will do. But we have

an opportunity to promote UK legal

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services on a global level and

promoting the UK for international

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dispute settlements. We should grasp

the opportunities and manage the

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risks.

Last month, two weeks ago

while debating the withdrawal built,

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it was said the UK's Court of

Justice roll to be unchanged for two

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years after March 20 19th. Will the

Minister confirm to the House that

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large part of the EU Withdrawal Bill

including a repeal of the European

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Communities Act will not be able to

be brought into force until the end

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of the implementation period?

The

position as set out in the EU

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Withdrawal Bill and she will know

from Committee stage debates we will

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not pre-empt or prejudge the outcome

of the negotiations. On either the

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withdrawal agreement by the

implementation period.

-- or the

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limitation period. Sky News reported

that after Brexit the UK which is to

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stay and will remain in the EU Court

of Justice. Will the Minister

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confirm that the Prime Minister's

red line of no court of justice

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after Brexit is shown to be

untenable?

Second-hand reports she

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is relying on. We are not going to

pre-empt the outcome of

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negotiations... I hope she will

report support us in getting the

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best deal.

The honourable member for

Clacton has a similar question, I

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will not call him because he is not

standing. He does not wish to ask.

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Elements of our civil and criminal

law go back to the Magna Carta.

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Longer established any EU legal

system and one of the most robust

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legal systems in the world and

Brexit holds no fear for us?

We have

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a rather different system through

our common law system and variations

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across the UK. I think we should

have the courage of our convictions,

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confidence in our democracy and when

it comes to the judiciary, we want

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to see the UK Supreme Court at the

last word on the laws of the land.

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Questionable two.

-- question number

two. A post-legislative memorandum

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has been alleged. We have launched a

review of the act. That will be

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thorough, report by the summer

recess.

I visited Chamber of

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commerce in hole. The Minister said

it cost the courts are much more

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money, so many people object to

represent themselves. The president

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of the court said it was a false

economy. -- first -- Hull. Would it

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save taxpayers money?

I'm not sure

the evidence is there to back up the

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assertions she has made. We provide

a wide range of legal help, for

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example in civil and family cases.

We spent £100 million on that last

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year including practical support,

telephone helplines. On 20,000

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occasions last year. There is

sources of legal advice available to

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them, including online.

When changes

to legal aid and family matters were

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made, it was said there would be

growth in mediation but that has

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dropped massively. All the evidence

indicates that is because early

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legal advice is a gateway

intermediation for assistive parties

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and reduces the burden of the court.

We need to be encouraging more

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alternative dispute resolution. We

want to try and incentivise cases

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not going to the court, trauma for

those involved. I do not think the

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as it is exclusively going to be

around money, also the positive

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incentives we put in place.

It is

estimated that providing early legal

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help in family court cases would

cost less than £14 million. Because

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as the honourable gentleman just

said many cases would be resolved

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before getting to court. Why does

the Minister continue to insist that

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this is not a cost-effective way of

dealing with cases was Mac does he

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actually know how many cases are

proceeding with litigants in person

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and how much that costs the court

system?

There is a range of support,

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£100 million in terms of early legal

help. That can be both online,

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telephone support, representation.

In terms of litigants in person, we

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have a strategy in relation to that,

since 2015 have invested 5 million

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into litigants in person strategy.

We can review this in the round

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through the review.

We are a nation

of laws but we must be one nation

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with access to justice for people

from all backgrounds. Does he agree

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that the most careful thought should

be given after the review to

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bolstering legal resources so we can

have only advice and assistance for

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all?

I thank my honourable friend,

who makes a powerful point. We will

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look at this. We spend £1.6 billion

on legal aid. A quarter of my

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department's Budget. More resources

from elsewhere, the money must be

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found. We must look carefully as

well as those issues at making sure

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we have the right allocation to

support those in the greatest need.

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Wasn't the founding principle of

legal aid full and free access to

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justice regardless of ability to

pay? Hasn't that principle been

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eviscerated with the able assistance

of Nick Clegg and his little

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liberals?

Eyed EJB support for early

legal help. I have said that some of

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the support for litigants in person.

We provide £1.6 billion of help as

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well. Per capita, we are providing

more legal aid than any other

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country in the EU.

We have heard

from the Law Society on early legal

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help, the president of the Supreme

Court on early legal help. And the

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Labour manifesto backs early legal

help. My honourable friend to ask

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questions on this and the Minister

has said the evidence is in there. I

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want to help the Minister out. Can

he showed he is not driven by

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ideology and agree to Commission an

independent research into savings

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for early legal help to inform the

review before next summer?

We have

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the review in place and will take a

wide range of advice, set up expert

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panels in order to make sure we get

the best and proper advice. He

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should feel free to contribute.

Based on his proposals, £400

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million, he needs to explain where

the money will come from.

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With permission,

I will take

questions three and 13 together. We

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are investing over £1 million to

make our justice system more

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sensitive to victims and witnesses

and more accessible to average

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people.

Rate is almost one year

since I met Jill stay would. She was

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a tireless campaigner for victims of

rape and sexual assault and she led

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the campaign which saw the end of

accused rapists cross examining

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victims. Can my honourable friend

outlined what progress is being made

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to extend the law to protect victims

of domestic violence during trials

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in family courts?

Can I pay tribute

to the way she has championed this

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issue and to Jill for her

campaigning in this area. We are

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ruling out section 28 pre-recorded

cross examinations board vulnerable

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witnesses in the Crown Court. That

will be rolled out initially in

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Leeds and Kingston upon Thames but

there are plans for a national

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roll-out and we are planning to

extend section 28 to family law

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courts.

Critically, the victims,

what support is available for adult

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and child rape victims after the

verdict is heard? Can he outlined

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the process by which support is

offered regardless of the verdict?

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In 2017 to 18 the Ministry of

Justice allocated around £7 million

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as a contribution to 97 rate support

sentences across England and Wales

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to provide support. We have also

allocated £68 million to police

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services. That support remains

available for victims after the

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conclusion of the trial as well as

before and regardless of the

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verdict.

The Minister has just

mentioned that legislation outlined

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in the Queen's speech relating to

this and in particular we are

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concerned about domestic violence

victims and the family courts. When

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will we see that legislation

introduced here on the floor of the

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House?

The announcement was made in

the Queen's speech, we will be able

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to say something on that shortly.

Perpetrators of domestic violence

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are at present able to make abuse of

process by bringing vexatious court

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actions against their victims, often

cross examining them in person in

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civil and family courts. Will and

when will the Minister consider

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bringing forward such legislation?

The legislation was announced in the

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Queen's speech, we have a packed

Parliamentary timetable at the

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moment with the EU legislation but

we are committed to this and we will

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be announcing details soon.

Earlier

this year, the secretary of the two

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agreed to amend the course at to

bring in crime every -- primary

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legislation to outlaw the

cross-examination of victims by

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domestic abuse perpetrators so the

timetable has been agreed. When will

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we bring in legislation to tackle

this issue?

As I have made clear in

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the macro answers, we are committed

not just to because Bill but also to

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that specific reform and I look

forward to having his support and

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honourable members on that side.

Number five. Number four, Mr

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Speaker!

Close!

Accommodation is

important, hundreds people leave

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prison without accommodation to go

to. Accommodation on relief is a key

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priority in our prison reform

programme.

Given that this is on the

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statute book, is the Minister aware

that privation officers can now

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register as associations of

individuals and will he meet with me

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and the right to build task force so

we can breathe him on how people

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building their own dwellings can

transform lives and reduce

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reoffending rates? -- so we can

brief him.

I would be delighted to

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meet with him to listen to whatever

creative solutions he can bring to

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the long-standing problem of

accommodation for offenders.

The

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joint report of the chief inspectors

of prisons and probation looked

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through the gate services and showed

that 10% of prisoners were homeless

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on their first night out of prison.

Having a home is key to reducing

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reoffending so what assessment has

the Minister made on those

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reoffending rates?

The honourable

member makes an important point and

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as I said in response to question

number for it is a priority. We are

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looking at expanding accommodation

and support services to include low

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risk offenders. We are looking at

utilising Ministry of Justice

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capacity and expanding our premises

programme and working closely with

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other governing departments in the

Department for Communities and Local

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Government to solve this problem.

Strongly supporting him, could the

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present Minister tell the House

which construction companies at this

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and do offer fair opportunities to

axe offenders in the construction

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sector and also tell us that those

companies need a nudge in those

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areas?

My honourable friend has

pre-empted our employment strategy

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which we will be announcing very

soon. He will be aware of the new

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futures network, which the Justice

Secretary announced at the party

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conference, which will bring

together employers and ex-offenders

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in order to help create appointment

on release. The construction sector

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is a key sex and he will be hearing

more from us in due course.

2015

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Ministry of Justice study found that

community orders have a

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substantially lower rate of

reoffending and short prison

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sentences. What is the Minister

doing to reverse the sharp fall in

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community sentences taking place

under his government?

We want to

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reduce reoffending. The presumption

in this country is against present

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and it is up to the judiciary to

sentence when they see fit. We want

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to make sure there are appropriate

interventions in the community and

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after some they were looking at.

The

support strategy for the government

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provides support and information for

those without legal representation

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for the courts.

Senior judges are

warning that there is a huge nerd

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and on judges, lawyers and litigants

themselves. Will he commit to

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restoring legal aid to the family

where this is serious, as Labour has

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promised to do.

We have the review

that I described what can I

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opportunity to point out that since

2015 we have invested £5 million

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into the litigants in person support

strategy, size the source of

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practical support like online and

practical support and also legal

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representation.

Representing

yourself in court has been a real

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issue for domestic violence victims,

restoring legal aid is welcome but

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this would happen until January. The

Justice Secretary of advertising for

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a second speech writer at a rate of

£70,000 so as there is cash to

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spare, will he commit that a

domestic violence victims seeking

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legal aid as of yesterday's

announcement will be able to claim

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retrospectively under the new

criteria?

We will be laying the SI

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shortly. She welcomed it beneath the

political point scoring and it will

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make it easier to apply for legal

aid in those family cases where

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there has been a victim of domestic

abuse but more broadly we have wider

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personal support units, trained

volunteers, they give independent

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assistance to people facing

proceedings in the family sphere and

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beyond. There are 20 centres in 16

cities and I hope she welcomes that.

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The prison service pay review body

recommendations which I accepted in

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full were implemented in the October

and November pay of offices. While

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it is too early to assess the effect

of this particular award, I can

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report to the House that at the end

of September this year, total prison

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officer numbers were up by more than

1200 full-time equivalent staff

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compared with the previous 12 month

period.

Given that the league rate

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amongst the prison officers in bands

three to five are still running at

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10%, does the Minister not think

that it is time to offer prison

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officers more than the 1.7% they

have been offered in order to retain

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experienced prison staff and heave

our prisons save?

For those prisons

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mostly in London and the south-east

of England which are experiencing

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particular challenging over

recruitment and retention, we are

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offering additional support and

resources. But I would have hoped

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the honourable lady would welcome

the significant increase in prison

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officer numbers over the last year.

The prison officer pay

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recommendations were implemented in

full and prison officers received a

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pay increase that amount of two... A

pay rise of 1.7% in terms of the

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total bill. That is more than was

awarded to other public sector

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workers.

What assessment has the

Minister made in terms of the terms

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and conditions that prison officers

worked under and their pay scales in

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relation to the morale that prison

officers have now compared to five

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years ago?

Prison officers certainly

are working under very challenging

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conditions, not least because of the

way in which organised crime is

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promoting traffic in psychoactive

substances across prison walls but

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we believe not just the increase in

numbers but the shift in forthcoming

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months to the new offender

management model where each officer

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takes responsibility for about half

a dozen named offenders will

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contribute to an increase in morale.

One in four prisons have had a

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reduction in the number of prison

officers over the last year,

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including in a court of prisons the

government labels as being of

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concern so given the government's

so-called recruitment drive, can the

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Secretary of State guarantee today

that no prison apart from those

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planned for closure will have fewer

staff at the end of this year than

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they did at the beginning of this

year?

As I said in response to the

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last question we are implementing

the new offender management model

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throughout the system that will

reduce the pressure on individual

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prison officers. Where a particular

prison has difficulties that are

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greater than average in recruiting

and retaining staff, then we will

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continue to put in extra resource

and support to help them.

Seven,

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please.

I would like to group this

with question number 14. There is

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strong evidence of physical ever day

should and sport improving the

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well-being and motivation of those

in custody and ex-offenders in the

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community. Both improve their

prospects.

Team sports promote the

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value of hard work, accountability

and teamwork. Does the Minister

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agree these eyes that we the values

that we should seek to instil in

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offenders and particularly our young

offenders to cut the risk of

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reoffending and give them a better

chance of life after release?

I do

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and I would hope that every member

of this House would agree with that.

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I have commissioned a professor at

Royal Holloway to compile a report

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on the impact of tort for offenders

in custody in the community so I can

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get a complete picture of positive

benefits as I look forward to her

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report being published in the New

Year.

What is the purpose of prison,

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punishment of rehabilitation? The

purpose of prison

is to play its

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part in reducing crime. That's the

fundamental challenge that our

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department and the Home Office face.

I believe that sports clubs in

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particular, like Felton young

offenders Institute, has a low

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reoffending rate which compares

favourably to the overall rate.

I

0:25:030:25:07

wonder whether the Minister would

agree that arts and crafts can also

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play a part in rehabilitation of

offenders, I am particularly

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thinking of Hull prison, where they

staged a production of Jason during

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the City of Culture celebrations and

I just want to say that it should be

0:25:290:25:34

captain Hull to recognise what the

prisoners have done.

The point she

0:25:340:25:40

has raised

is at best and gents

gently related -- is tangentially

0:25:400:25:49

related to the question, one might

say in the same way that Hull is

0:25:490:25:53

related to York but let's here the

Minister and see if he is dextrous.

0:25:530:26:01

I would agree that it isn't

exclusively export that can make an

0:26:010:26:10

impact. I visited cook and would and

overwhelmed I was by the quality of

0:26:100:26:16

the art work undertaken there.

HMV

Nottingham, prisoner rehabilitation

0:26:160:26:26

continues to be a concern after five

people died in a short period. --

0:26:260:26:40

HMV Nottingham -- HMP.

When will I

receive my letter? The honourable

0:26:400:26:48

gentleman should write to me that is

not a young offenders Institute.

In

0:26:480:26:58

April, governors were given

authority to devise the daily

0:26:580:27:01

routine in prison, how they organise

staff and the health service

0:27:010:27:07

received by prisoners. In October,

governors gain control of a family

0:27:070:27:12

services Budget, and is next year

and libraries Budget...

Does my

0:27:120:27:23

right honourable friend agree that

governors know there prison is best

0:27:230:27:31

in terms of the core regime,

training our Best evolved into local

0:27:310:27:35

hands from Government?

I think it is

important that ministers and

0:27:350:27:41

officials in the prison service

trust the professionalism of

0:27:410:27:47

governors in charge of individual

establishments. That is why as

0:27:470:27:52

national contracts for particular

services expire, for example on

0:27:520:27:57

maintenance, repairs and food

procurement, we will look for

0:27:570:28:01

opportunities to default.

One of his

reformed prisons has been reported

0:28:010:28:08

by the Chief Inspector of prisons, I

quote from the Times, trailblazing

0:28:080:28:14

but deteriorated over the last 12

months. Who is responsible, the

0:28:140:28:20

governor, the head of the civil

service, or the Lord Chancellor?

0:28:200:28:29

Ultimately, I am responsible for the

department. And for the services

0:28:290:28:32

provided by the Department. As is

the case with every inspection

0:28:320:28:39

report, the prison service will be

taking action to remedy the issues,

0:28:390:28:44

problems pointed out by the Chief

Inspector. Those have already

0:28:440:28:49

included the installation they are

of a new scanner to detect drugs.

0:28:490:28:58

Number nine. Organised criminals

smuggling drugs are a major threat

0:28:580:29:08

to stability and safety of our

prisons. We are taking decisive

0:29:080:29:15

steps working with law enforcement

agencies to identify individuals

0:29:150:29:18

involved.

What more can be done to

harness the power of intelligence,

0:29:180:29:24

to track drones not only to stop

them coming into prisons, but find

0:29:240:29:30

the criminals using them to disrupt

our prison system.

It is important

0:29:300:29:38

to stop not just contraband coming

into prisons but the organised crime

0:29:380:29:42

networks behind it. The specialist

staff in our regional and national

0:29:420:29:47

intelligence teams are transforming

how we work with the police. On

0:29:470:29:51

drones in particular we have

launched operation Trenton,

0:29:510:29:59

intercepting drugs and tracking down

criminals behind them. There have

0:29:590:30:03

been 17 convictions relating to drug

activity, perpetrators serving in

0:30:030:30:12

prison.

Illicit phones erode the

barrier that prison walls used to

0:30:120:30:23

place between prisoners and the

committee. They can harass victims

0:30:230:30:29

and assist in the trade of

contraband. We are working with law

0:30:290:30:33

enforcement to identify the network

surprising -- providing loans and

0:30:330:30:37

other items to prison. 323 items

were recovered in an operation

0:30:370:30:45

including mobile phones and a large

quantity of drugs.

Should we be

0:30:450:30:53

constantly alert, does he agree, to

technology that can disrupt the use

0:30:530:30:59

of mobile phones in prisons and will

be welcome the Private Members' Bill

0:30:590:31:05

which received its second reading

last week which will help block

0:31:050:31:10

mobile phone signals around prisons

from the Member for Lewes?

0:31:100:31:18

Consequence of illicit items is

violence and instability to resumes.

0:31:180:31:24

The way to counter this threat, is

through technology. The honourable

0:31:240:31:33

member for Lewes' by the Member's

Bill which the Government Acts will

0:31:330:31:37

give us more power to switch off

mobile phones in prison and you with

0:31:370:31:40

the scourge that these present. --

deal with the scourge.

In addition

0:31:400:31:50

to strengthening the final time by

posting prisoner of rumours --

0:31:500:31:55

prison officer numbers we are

launching operations with drug

0:31:550:32:02

enforcement agencies to target

phones that drive crime. Body worn

0:32:020:32:10

cameras are borne by prison staff

and are working to prosecute

0:32:100:32:16

prisoners who assault officers.

0:32:160:32:17

On a visit to Rochester prison I

heard perceptions of prison officer

0:32:210:32:25

safety were hurting recruitment.

What is he doing to support the

0:32:250:32:32

recruitment?

We are meeting with

considerable success in feeling the

0:32:320:32:38

2500 additional prison officer

places that my predecessor the right

0:32:380:32:43

honourable member for... Negotiated.

We are also developing a graduate

0:32:430:32:54

entry scheme for prison officers.

And working with the Armed Forces so

0:32:540:32:59

that the service leave scheme takes

proper account of opportunities in

0:32:590:33:02

the prison service.

An important

point has been made about the

0:33:020:33:08

perception of safety can prevent

recruitment and retention in the

0:33:080:33:13

prison service. Can we have an

update on the Government buys back

0:33:130:33:17

workforce strategy for all

Government sector staff. And

0:33:170:33:26

committed a two involving all trades

union stakeholders in the strategy?

0:33:260:33:30

We are continuing to discuss in

Government how we might look at

0:33:300:33:39

changes, reforms to the way in which

both prison and probation workforce

0:33:390:33:42

are structured. Irrespective, we are

proceeding with measures to give

0:33:420:33:51

additional support to prison

governors and officers by boosting

0:33:510:33:56

regional management teams and trying

to ensure that professional

0:33:560:33:58

development is taken seriously at

all ranks.

The reality of life in

0:33:580:34:04

our prisons is one of inexperienced

prison officers dealing with more

0:34:040:34:12

violence and dangerous situations on

a daily basis which is a result of

0:34:120:34:16

the cuts of 7000 prison officers

which they have now slammed into

0:34:160:34:20

reverse to recruit 2500 add

announced. The prison officers

0:34:200:34:28

visiting with the lobby, will he

meet with them?

The Prisons Minister

0:34:280:34:38

and I meet with the representatives

of the prisoners Association --

0:34:380:34:43

Prison Officers Association.

Wherever we visit prisons, we talk

0:34:430:34:48

to staff and listen to their

concerns. As well as recruiting

0:34:480:34:53

additional officers as promised we

need to ensure that anybody who

0:34:530:34:56

attacked a prison officer where

there is good evidence available is

0:34:560:35:01

properly prosecuted. That is what

ought to happen and I hope that the

0:35:010:35:04

police and CPS work with us.

We are

investing over £1 billion between

0:35:040:35:18

2016 and 2020 to support local areas

developing multi-agency approaches

0:35:180:35:23

to female offenders and developing a

strategy for female offenders to

0:35:230:35:26

improve outcomes for women in the

community and custody.

0:35:260:35:28

There is a fantastic job in my

constituency helping women

0:35:340:35:42

offenders. What are key and the

Government doing to help women

0:35:420:35:48

across the country prepared to make

a fresh start up on leaving prison?

0:35:480:35:56

I look forward to visit southern

Park, which has a good record with

0:35:560:36:06

national and local employers, this

is the type of relationship we want

0:36:060:36:11

to develop and spread throughout the

country because we know if people

0:36:110:36:15

have a job on leaving prison they

are less likely to reoffend.

It is

0:36:150:36:21

ten years since the Corston report.

Can the Secretary of State and the

0:36:210:36:28

Minister update us on what they are

doing to meet the 43

0:36:280:36:38

recommendations?

The report was the

first document I read when I was

0:36:380:36:43

made minister in July 2016, it is a

good document. Since then, I have

0:36:430:36:48

worked tirelessly along with

officials to develop a strategy

0:36:480:36:54

which goes some way to meet the

challenges set by the Baroness. I

0:36:540:36:58

met with the funding group to

discuss our proposals we are going

0:36:580:37:03

to bring forward.

Given female

offenders are more likely than male

0:37:030:37:09

offenders to have care and

responsibilities for children, what

0:37:090:37:12

role does the Minister Stein prison

governor should place on retaining

0:37:120:37:17

and strengthening family ties?

In my

travels around the country, every

0:37:170:37:23

governor I have met of a women's

prison as and knows the importance

0:37:230:37:29

of maintaining good links with

family, going back to the strategy

0:37:290:37:33

we have got this in our minds when

it comes to developing a future

0:37:330:37:39

infrastructure where we hold women

as close as possible to their

0:37:390:37:41

families if they have to be locked

up.

What action is the Government

0:37:410:37:47

taking to reduce the incidence of

breach and recall leading to an

0:37:470:37:51

increase in the women's prison

population?

We are aware of the

0:37:510:37:57

challenges around recall and some of

this is to do with women go out into

0:37:570:38:01

the community and go to the same

situation they found themselves in

0:38:010:38:04

before going to prison. It is

something being considered in depth

0:38:040:38:09

was that our approach to it will be

part of our strategy.

The Minister

0:38:090:38:15

will no a disproportionate number of

women are sentenced to short

0:38:150:38:20

sentences. He probably shares the

view from his previous statement

0:38:200:38:24

that these are not effective in

breaking the cycle of reoffending.

0:38:240:38:28

With the Government think seriously

about adopting the Scottish system

0:38:280:38:32

whereby short sentences have to be

actively justified by the Court

0:38:320:38:36

before they are passed?

We already

do have a presumption against

0:38:360:38:43

custody in our system in England. I

do acknowledge that Scotland is

0:38:430:38:48

embarking upon an exciting path with

regard to how it manages its women's

0:38:480:38:54

offenders which is why I am going

there on Thursday. -- women

0:38:540:38:59

offenders.

Giving half the prisoners

are there for a few weeks, could

0:38:590:39:07

there be less victims of crime if we

invested in women's centres rather

0:39:070:39:12

than sending nonviolent women into

prisons?

What is striking when you

0:39:120:39:18

go to prison and meet prisoners is

quite a lot of them happen victims

0:39:180:39:22

themselves. The strategy will try to

do with that by the way in which we

0:39:220:39:31

handle and manage women when they

have committed offences.

Looking at

0:39:310:39:39

ways to make inquest more sensitive

to the needs of bereaved families.

0:39:390:39:43

The Lord Chancellor will update the

guidance on exceptional case funding

0:39:430:39:46

by the end of the year and this is

part of the wider...

0:39:460:39:50

I raise the case of the Shoreham

Airshow crash with the Prime

0:39:530:39:58

Minister were the legal aid agency

has refused exceptional case funding

0:39:580:40:02

to the families of the victims. Can

it be right that the families of the

0:40:020:40:06

victims of the largest civilian loss

of life since 7-7 as it was at the

0:40:060:40:15

time... Not least when there is a

wider public interest with over 2

0:40:150:40:24

million people who attends civilian

air next year?

My deepest sympathies

0:40:240:40:31

go to the victims of the Shoreham

Airshow disaster. He knows I cannot

0:40:310:40:37

comment on individual decisions but

I can say we have protected early

0:40:370:40:39

legal advice within the scope of

legal aid. There is an opportunity

0:40:390:40:46

to look at this more broadly as part

of the review. It was granted in

0:40:460:40:52

over half of cases where inquest

applications were made last year.

0:40:520:40:58

We are clear that restraint should

only be used where absolutely

0:41:010:41:08

necessary and where no other form of

intervention is possible or

0:41:080:41:11

appropriate. The number of incidents

where restraint was used reduced 11%

0:41:110:41:18

from March 20 15th of March 20 16.

0:41:180:41:19

In September I asked why the

Ministry of Justice's approved

0:41:230:41:30

methods of restraining children can

actually chilled children or the

0:41:300:41:33

then disabled. I have since received

a letter from the undersecretary

0:41:330:41:38

stating that limited circumstances

pain in choosing techniques may be

0:41:380:41:45

necessary. Regarding children and

this care of the state, pain should

0:41:450:41:54

not be used, so what is that the is

the government's position on this?

0:41:540:42:02

The restraint techniques that are

used were developed in consultation

0:42:020:42:06

with a medical panel and adviser. I

must emphasise that we are dealing

0:42:060:42:12

with quite violent individuals

sometimes, the violence levels are

0:42:120:42:18

ten times that in the adult state

and there are decisions sometimes

0:42:180:42:24

made, however difficult, to protect

the individual concerned, other

0:42:240:42:31

children in the unit and staff.

Is

she continues to chunter at evident

0:42:310:42:37

disapproval but she can apply and

dilate on these matters that rate at

0:42:370:42:44

length and will be a satisfaction to

her and possibly the others.

With

0:42:440:42:54

the mission I should like to answer

this question together with westerns

0:42:540:42:57

20 and 24. We are investing £1

billion in the modernisation of our

0:42:570:43:04

courts and tribunal service. This

summer we launched the first pilot

0:43:040:43:08

of the online court covering

divorce, Social Security and civil

0:43:080:43:12

money claims. I visited the

Manchester civil justice centre and

0:43:120:43:17

saw some of this work first hand.

He

hadn't asked my agreement but I am

0:43:170:43:24

happy to provide it. Presumably the

request was made to my office on

0:43:240:43:28

account of the expectation we would

not get this far but ministers ought

0:43:280:43:31

to know better by now, we tend to

make quite quick progress. We will

0:43:310:43:36

take those who are here and at least

one is not. Mr Davis Morris.

Part of

0:43:360:43:43

the problem of the court system to

the layperson is they do not

0:43:430:43:47

understand the court jargon. Would

he look deeply into how we can

0:43:470:43:51

improve the communications so that

the ordinary man on the street can

0:43:510:43:57

understand proceedings.

I apologise

if there was a mess up implications

0:43:570:44:02

to your office. In response to my

honourable friend, one of the things

0:44:020:44:08

that is really important as we test

and pilot these online court

0:44:080:44:14

proposals is that we ensure that

they, the process, is stripped of

0:44:140:44:21

legal jargon so that our

constituents, men and women who have

0:44:210:44:27

no particular knowledge or

experience of the technicalities of

0:44:270:44:30

law, are able easily to understand,

follow and ease the process.

As

0:44:300:44:36

co-chair of your all-party

Parliamentary group on legal

0:44:360:44:41

education I was wondering if he has

made any assessment on how the

0:44:410:44:45

online process will save many people

going to Small Claims Court the

0:44:450:44:50

stress and hassle that they don't

need when all they are trying to do

0:44:500:44:53

is solve a simple money claims.

Certainly my own view having tried

0:44:530:45:00

out the small money claims process

is that it provides a very

0:45:000:45:04

user-friendly way of a consumer

seeking redress from somebody

0:45:040:45:10

against whom they have a claim. So

far more than three thousand people

0:45:100:45:13

have used the pilots I have

described and they have got

0:45:130:45:18

straightforward digital access to

our courts.

I would call Mr courts

0:45:180:45:22

to ask about courts if he was here

and given the likely affinity he

0:45:220:45:25

would feel to the subject but he is

not and therefore I cannot. Mr

0:45:250:45:32

McMahon.

I wrote to the government

in October asking for the impact of

0:45:320:45:40

the closure of the older

Magistrates' Court and County Court

0:45:400:45:42

but they say they don't collect the

data nonattendance. How on earth can

0:45:420:45:47

the government know about the impact

of closures if it doesn't collect

0:45:470:45:52

that data -- the closure of the

Oldham magistrate and County Court.

0:45:520:45:57

When a proposal is made to close any

court there is a public consultation

0:45:570:46:03

that enables representations to be

made and evidence to be looked at

0:46:030:46:08

seriously and such a consultation is

always accompanied by an analysis of

0:46:080:46:12

travel times both by car and by

public transport for people who use

0:46:120:46:18

the Court centre scheduled for

closure to attend the proposed

0:46:180:46:25

alternative so these things are

considered in detail.

In the context

0:46:250:46:31

of court modernisation can I ask the

Secretary of State to look at making

0:46:310:46:34

the courts more transparent,

particularly allowing defendants and

0:46:340:46:39

those who have been sentenced to get

transcripts and copies of the

0:46:390:46:45

Judge's direction to the jury

because in cases of potential

0:46:450:46:49

miscarriages of justice this can be

difficult information to get.

I

0:46:490:46:53

would like to reflect on the serious

points that the honourable lady has

0:46:530:46:58

made. Of course the conduct of a

trial in the court is a matter for

0:46:580:47:05

the trial judge but I will look

seriously and write to her when I

0:47:050:47:10

have had a chance to take advice on

the matter.

Topical questions. Mike

0:47:100:47:15

Amesbury.

Number one.

Since the last

justice questions I have introduced

0:47:150:47:30

a new version notification process

which allows the Chief Inspector of

0:47:300:47:34

prisons to publicly and formally

notify me as secretary of the where

0:47:340:47:38

he judges that urgent action is

required. This new procedure will

0:47:380:47:43

require a joint response from the

prison and probation service and my

0:47:430:47:49

department to ensure that decisive

action is taken to address immediate

0:47:490:47:54

concerns and we will demonstrate our

commitment to transparency by

0:47:540:47:58

publishing both the Chief

Inspector's notification letter and

0:47:580:48:00

my response within 28 days.

I'm sure

the secretary of will join me in

0:48:000:48:10

condemning the shocking attack on a

PC cell in my constituency, who was

0:48:100:48:19

reportedly deliberately lurid --

attacked with a knife. What can we

0:48:190:48:34

do to make sure our justice system

reflects the gravity of such crimes?

0:48:340:48:41

I'm sure he would appreciate for me

to comment on individual case would

0:48:410:48:45

be wrong when it is a matter of

investigation and trial. But in

0:48:450:48:49

general terms the government is

committed to ensuring that the law

0:48:490:48:56

protects those dedicated

professional public servants,

0:48:560:49:01

including PCS owes, who do their

utmost to keep us safe. That is why

0:49:010:49:05

the government is supporting the ill

brought forward by his honourable

0:49:050:49:09

friend in order to give such

protection.

Could he tell me what he

0:49:090:49:16

thinks can be done to make sure that

community sentences are not just

0:49:160:49:21

robust and effective but are seen as

such.

P is absolutely right, we have

0:49:210:49:28

a range of community sentence

options. They are a bust, they can

0:49:280:49:31

include the whole range from

underpaid work and her views to

0:49:310:49:35

rehab programmes, mental health

treatments, substance misuse

0:49:350:49:39

problems. We are working with

judges, magistrates and privation

0:49:390:49:42

services to make sure they are

operationally as strong as they can

0:49:420:49:46

be and command public confidence.

I

have repeatedly asked the Secretary

0:49:460:49:50

of State how many staff have been

axed the inspiration was privatised

0:49:500:49:55

and I have been repeatedly refused

an answer but there is now being

0:49:550:49:58

reported in the press that there is

a 20% cut in the number of

0:49:580:50:03

operations staff in the privatised

community rehabilitation companies

0:50:030:50:06

between 2015 and 2016. Can the

Secretary of State confirm that the

0:50:060:50:14

RC 's our staff have been cut by one

fifth?

It is for individual

0:50:140:50:21

committee revalidation companies to

take decisions about the staff that

0:50:210:50:24

they need and what kind of staff

they need to deliver on their

0:50:240:50:30

contractual obligations to the

government. The government's

0:50:300:50:35

responsibility is. International

privation service and we are

0:50:350:50:36

recruiting additional staff.

Given

that a rise in fraudulent claims can

0:50:360:50:44

push up the cost of insurance for

all, what assessment has the

0:50:440:50:47

Minister made of the level of

holiday sickness insurance claims

0:50:470:50:50

and the impact of false claims on

the cost for honest holiday-makers.

0:50:500:50:58

She raises a good point. The

Association of British travel agents

0:50:580:51:01

reported a sixfold increase in

gastric illness claims against tour

0:51:010:51:05

operators between 2013 and 2016 but

reports in the resorts were

0:51:050:51:10

declining. Operators paid out

hundreds of millions and that

0:51:100:51:16

heights the cost for holiday-makers.

We are calling for evidence to fit

0:51:160:51:21

the costs to help hard earned

holiday-makers.

The present system

0:51:210:51:31

is failing women and young people.

It needs a different approach based

0:51:310:51:36

on the community and amenity

services rather than simply

0:51:360:51:38

imprisonment. What will the

secretary of the deed to help ensure

0:51:380:51:43

education and rehabilitation and not

punishment and not prisons?

I was in

0:51:430:51:53

Cardiff last Thursday and I met with

the Pathfinder team who work with

0:51:530:51:56

women offenders in the community and

in custody and I was impressed with

0:51:560:51:59

the work they do and I went onto the

youth offending establishment and

0:51:590:52:04

was impressed by that visit. Both

approaches in terms of use and

0:52:040:52:12

women, we think if we can keep

people out of custody we will but if

0:52:120:52:15

they need to be in custody we will

make that decision.

Can he advise me

0:52:150:52:21

what steps are being taken to reduce

reoffending levels for young people

0:52:210:52:25

in the West Midlands including my

constituency?

The current rate of

0:52:250:52:33

reoffending in the youth population

is way too high. I have taken

0:52:330:52:38

measures to address this. Part of

that has been investing £64 million

0:52:380:52:41

in the youth custody reform

programme, which includes special

0:52:410:52:45

training for staff.

Does the Justice

Secretary not share my concern that

0:52:450:52:52

handing over power is on court fine

collection to private bailiffs will

0:52:520:52:58

place the safety and finances of

vulnerable people at risk from rogue

0:52:580:53:01

operators?

No, we are making sure we

have a robust and rigorous

0:53:010:53:06

regulation in place but the most

important thing is to make sure

0:53:060:53:08

pressures taxpayer's money is put to

best use and debts are recovered.

Is

0:53:080:53:18

the Secretary of State aware that

there is still a very serious

0:53:180:53:21

illegal drugs problem in Norwich

prison? Many ministers talk about

0:53:210:53:26

creating a drugs free prison. When

all this become a reality in

0:53:260:53:29

Norfolk? I would like the secretary

of the two answer, by the way,

0:53:290:53:33

please.

Norwich, like all prisons in

the system, is being challenged by

0:53:330:53:42

new psychoactive substances, which

are causing real behavioural

0:53:420:53:51

problems and add to potential

progression on the part of prisoners

0:53:510:53:54

and are being actively promoted by

organised crime was we are

0:53:540:54:00

addressing this by the provision of

improved health and detoxification

0:54:000:54:04

methods within prisons but also by

active intelligence work to disrupt

0:54:040:54:10

the supply of drugs into prisons

because it's rolling up those supply

0:54:100:54:15

chains which gives us a real

opportunity to crackdown on drugs.

0:54:150:54:22

The on-board gentlemen, I say this

for the benefit of new members, is

0:54:220:54:25

an old hand and a wily fellow and he

knows how to get what he wants. One

0:54:250:54:33

of his ancestors might have bumped

off a Prime Minister but the

0:54:330:54:38

honourable gentleman cannot be held

responsible for the behaviour of his

0:54:380:54:41

distant ancestor.

We all know too

many women are being given short

0:54:410:54:49

custodial sentences for minor crimes

when in reality we -- rehabilitation

0:54:490:54:57

through women's centres would be

more productive. Are there plans for

0:54:570:55:01

a women's prison in Wales or even

worse, a female offender unit as an

0:55:010:55:06

annex to the male prison? But there

should be plans for women's centres

0:55:060:55:10

in Wales.

I can confirm that no

decision has been made to beat a

0:55:100:55:16

female prison in Wales. -- no

decision has been made to build a

0:55:160:55:21

female prison in Wales. We are

focused on what we can do in the

0:55:210:55:26

community to help women because I

understand and recognise that sure

0:55:260:55:28

that thing is not delivering the

goods and I also reckon nice that a

0:55:280:55:32

number of women are victims

themselves. Ultimately the women's

0:55:320:55:36

justice date is about security for

the wider public to keep people who

0:55:360:55:39

have done things wrong away from

them that all the about reducing

0:55:390:55:42

crime long-term by working with the

women concerned.

Time at last to the

0:55:420:55:48

here the voice of Clacton.

Does the

Minister agree it is in the interest

0:55:480:55:56

of the European 27 nations as it is

to my constituents in Clacton and

0:55:560:56:00

the whole of the UK for a seamless

continuation of civil corporation

0:56:000:56:06

between us to provide companies,

individuals and families with

0:56:060:56:10

confidence that judgment scanned and

will be enforced across borders and

0:56:100:56:13

can he update me on what is being

done to secure that Corporation.

0:56:130:56:24

The sleek and German debate until I

realised he had just conducted it.

0:56:240:56:29

-- he had sought an adjournment

debate with families and tens of

0:56:290:56:36

thousands of ...

Ecole brands of and

ambitious civil Justice cooperation

0:56:360:56:47

agreement with the bank

0:56:470:56:49

last week, I visited Medway STC

which was subject to a panorama

0:56:540:57:09

report.

The centre is improving

under new ownership. Many STCs and

0:57:090:57:20

children's secure homes remain in

private hands. Will the Government

0:57:200:57:26

committed to reversing the

privatisation system?

This

0:57:260:57:31

adjournment debate fetish is

catching, I think.

If one looks back

0:57:310:57:38

at inspection reports over the

years, one can see examples of both

0:57:380:57:42

good practice and poor practice at

both state run and privately

0:57:420:57:51

operated prisons and secure training

centres. There are good reports for

0:57:510:57:57

example on how GeForce S has

operated HMP Park both for young and

0:57:570:58:03

adult offenders. I urge my

honourable friend to take this up

0:58:030:58:14

firmly with the companies concerned.

How can the Minister ensure this

0:58:140:58:22

policy will be promoted across the

board to make sure reoffending is

0:58:220:58:27

reduced? I would be happy for the

Prisons Minister to answer.

The

0:58:270:58:35

review is important in highlighting

the importance of family connections

0:58:350:58:40

in preventing self harm in prisons

but turning around lives also. We

0:58:400:58:44

have accepted all the

recommendations are implementing

0:58:440:58:47

them and I will update the

honourable member personally.

You

0:58:470:58:51

will know that goes and vulnerable

women were subject to horrendous

0:58:510:58:56

abuse and rape by a sexual

expectation gang in Newcastle. Some

0:58:560:59:03

of the perpetrators were recently

convicted as part of operation

0:59:030:59:06

Sanctuary. Victims, some, feel they

have not just is. At least one has

0:59:060:59:16

been denied compensation for

horrific abuse because of time spent

0:59:160:59:20

in juvenile detention. As a

consequence of that abuse. Does the

0:59:200:59:24

Minister think that is just and if

not we'll keep amend the criminal

0:59:240:59:29

injuries compensation scheme to

ensure justice?

I recently met with

0:59:290:59:34

the chief Executive and was

convinced they have systems in place

0:59:340:59:41

to deal appropriately with all

cases. If there is a particular case

0:59:410:59:46

of concern to the honourable lady,

write to me and I will respond.

0:59:460:59:53

Repeated failures in facilities

management contracts have discovered

0:59:530:59:56

every time the Minister visits

prison, un-repaired showers is the

0:59:561:00:07

latest example. Will there be an

urgent review of the restoration of

1:00:071:00:11

these contracts, appropriate

penalties and speeding up the

1:00:111:00:14

required work?

It is a good point.

When an inspector or his committee

1:00:141:00:23

for that matter draws attention to

problems of this kind is, we

1:00:231:00:27

certainly take that up very firmly

with the contract are concerned. I

1:00:271:00:31

am keen that we learn and apply

lessons about how previous contracts

1:00:311:00:37

were negotiated to ensure we get

better performance in the future.

It

1:00:371:00:42

was confirmed in the Budget that

there would be 40% cuts, more than

1:00:421:00:49

any department. We have seen

reduction in judges and others.

Mr

1:00:491:01:07

Speaker, the figures that were

issued at the same time as the

1:01:071:01:09

Budget simply repeated those that

featured in the current public

1:01:091:01:15

expenditure, so no change there.

Within our Budget, we are investing

1:01:151:01:21

£1 billion in modernisation of the

courts and recruiting 2500

1:01:211:01:26

additional prison officers.

I

thought we had signed up to the all

1:01:261:01:30

singing, all dancing EU prisoner

transfer director. Why do we still

1:01:301:01:35

have 42% of the 10,000 foreign

nationals in our prisons from EU

1:01:351:01:39

countries? Why don't we send them

back from where they came?

Again, I

1:01:391:01:47

think he asked the same question as

the last justice... Even with

1:01:471:01:54

prisoner transfer agreement it is

down to the receiving country to

1:01:541:02:00

receive the prisoners, we cannot

have -- we cannot force them. 40,000

1:02:001:02:10

prisoners have been sent back home

since 2010 under the early removal

1:02:101:02:13

scheme.

Repetition is not a novel

phenomenon in the House of Commons.

1:02:131:02:22

I have been approached by a

constituent who is vulnerable

1:02:221:02:24

daughter who was raped -- whose

vulnerable daughter was raped by a

1:02:241:02:32

male under the age of 18. The

sentence does not give regard to the

1:02:321:02:38

suffering of the victim, so will he

visits with me to the victim?

The

1:02:381:02:49

anguish of the family in these types

of cases and the victim, the

1:02:491:02:53

sentences are set by the sentencing

council and not the MoJ. He might

1:02:531:03:03

wish to take a look at the new

developments from June.

In my

1:03:031:03:14

constituency we have a high level of

road traffic incidences. I have

1:03:141:03:21

campaigned for increased sentences

for dangerous driving.

1:03:211:03:27

We considered extensively on this

and bearing in mind the seriousness

1:03:321:03:36

of the worst offences and the

anguish of the families we set out

1:03:361:03:39

proposals to increase the maximum

sentence for dangerous driving to

1:03:391:03:43

life imprisonment and that is the

reality for those engaging.

My

1:03:431:03:51

constituents Mr and Mrs fleeting

last brave son Robert in a

1:03:511:03:56

non-combat death when he was serving

our forces in an English -based.

1:03:561:04:00

There could not be closure because

there was no inquest. After a

1:04:001:04:05

positive initial meeting with the

Minister, there has been no follow

1:04:051:04:08

up and this is compounding Mr and

Mrs Fleeting person aggrieved. --

1:04:081:04:20

the grief is compounded.

We would

need to understand all the detail

1:04:201:04:28

before making a public comment.

1:04:281:04:30

Order. It flows directly from

questions, I believe. If it is dealt

1:04:341:04:39

with very briefly.

You will be aware

of my campaign to introduce Helen

1:04:391:04:47

pot law. On the 14th of September I

wrote to the Justice Secretary

1:04:471:04:51

asking to meet with Helen passed my

mother and the victim's family.

1:04:511:04:59

Having not received a reply I took

him to parliamentary questions to

1:04:591:05:03

ask when it was likely to come. The

correspondence was said to have been

1:05:031:05:09

sent to my office but I have found

Nonesuch had been received and

1:05:091:05:16

having contacted the MoJ it

transpired none had been sent

1:05:161:05:19

because we were still waiting...

What does it say about the

1:05:191:05:25

Government buys like attitudes to

boards -- the Government's attitude

1:05:251:05:30

towards victims' families.

It is a

very important matter but it does

1:05:301:05:37

not flow

1:05:371:05:38