Prisons and Probation: Foreign National Offenders

James Sunderland Excerpts
Tuesday 12th March 2024

(4 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Watch Debate Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Alex Chalk Portrait Alex Chalk
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the hon. Gentleman for raising that matter because it is important that we in this House, no matter where we sit, ensure that a clear and accurate message goes to the public. The people who are out will be out on conditions. If a condition is breached—this is not necessarily about committing an offence—not only will they be recalled for the period of the end of custody supervised licence, but they could be recalled for the entire balance of their sentence. That is an important point to understand. We could be talking about a contact condition, a residence condition, a co-operate with probation condition or a “not to go to Strangford town centre” condition. These things are important conditions to ensure that the public are protected and society is kept safe.

James Sunderland Portrait James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - -

I welcome today’s statement on foreign national offenders, but this is ultimately about law-abiding British people. Does the Justice Secretary agree that we should instantaneously remove any right to remain at the end of their sentences for those who abuse our hospitality by committing the most serious crimes?

Alex Chalk Portrait Alex Chalk
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend is absolutely right about this; people who come to our country and enjoy its hospitality should expect short shrift if they repay that with crime, because that is an offence against not just the individual, but our entire community. That is why we are taking robust action to deport foreign national offenders. I am afraid to say that this is action not shared by the Opposition; in 2020, a letter was sent to the then Prime Minister urging him not to allow a planeload of foreign national offenders to take off. Who signed it? It was the shadow Secretary of State.

Hillsborough: Bishop James Jones Report

James Sunderland Excerpts
Wednesday 6th December 2023

(7 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Watch Debate Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Alex Chalk Portrait Alex Chalk
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The hon. and learned Lady makes an excellent point. Of course, we think there should be equality of arms. The only point of potential hesitation comes from the evidence of the Chief Coroner—as I said, I was reading that in my preparation—who said that there are some cases where although the state is represented and is an interested party, adding lawyers would not necessarily assist. As he put it in paragraph 97 of his written evidence:

“There are also arguments which could be advanced that simply adding more lawyers in to the system would not necessarily, uniformly help bereaved families in all cases.”

In our view, it will depend on the case. There will be some cases—this is one—where it is manifestly necessary. There are others where there must be a more judicious approach.

James Sunderland Portrait James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - -

I am privileged to be able to watch regular football in Bracknell, Reading and Aldershot. Following the Lord Chancellor’s statement, is he content that sufficient legal and institutional protections are in place to help prevent another event like Hillsborough?

Alex Chalk Portrait Alex Chalk
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I think that most recognise that significant changes have taken place. I hope we can feel confident that something like that could not happen, but, in the dreadful event that it were to, we need to be sure that the resources and support are in place so that families do not have to suffer as those years ago did.

Oral Answers to Questions

James Sunderland Excerpts
Tuesday 21st November 2023

(8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Watch Debate Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
James Sunderland Portrait James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - -

The Justice Secretary will know of the hard work undertaken in this Parliament to bring the Desecration of War Memorials Bill into law. Elements of that Bill were subsumed into the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, but will he now undertake to complete the job?

Alex Chalk Portrait Alex Chalk
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend is one of two hon. Members who have fought hard on this issue, and he does so from the position of having served his country. It is completely iniquitous that people should seek to act in a way that desecrates war memorials. His specific point seems utterly compelling and I am happy to discuss it with him hereafter.

Prison Capacity

James Sunderland Excerpts
Monday 16th October 2023

(9 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Watch Debate Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Nigel Evans Portrait Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Nigel Evans)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Last but not least, I call James Sunderland.

James Sunderland Portrait James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - -

May I thank the Lord Chancellor for his pragmatic statement? I also thank the prisons Minister for his engagement over the weekend. I really welcome progress with IPP sentencing, on which I have a clear constituency interest, but what I really want to ask about is custodial sentences of less than 12 months being suspended. Is there a presumption that those needing to pay a debt to the community will do so in the very communities in which they offend?

Alex Chalk Portrait Alex Chalk
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

What an excellent point to end on. It is critical that where a community is offended against, the offenders make that community whole—in other words, that they do the work, whether it is scrubbing graffiti, clearing wasteland or planting trees, in the community to try to atone for their guilt and to repair some of the damage they have done. I am delighted that, increasingly, police and crime commissioners are working together with local probation services to identify the stuff that needs doing in their community so that when defendants go straight, they also look after the community that they have wronged so badly in the first place.

Oral Answers to Questions

James Sunderland Excerpts
Tuesday 27th June 2023

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Watch Debate Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Edward Argar Portrait Edward Argar
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The hon. Lady will appreciate that I am unable to comment on the specifics of a case, and it would probably be inappropriate to do so in the Chamber, but if she would like to write to me with the details that she cannot share on the Floor of the House, I am happy to look at them.

James Sunderland Portrait James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Waitrose is based in my constituency, and in recent meetings with the partners and with other supermarkets, it has raised with me the scourge of shoplifting. Organised gangs operating with impunity across the UK are engaging in retail crime. They are often inflicting violence against workers using weapons, and they are costing supermarkets a fortune. Can we do more work on the deterrent effect of greater sentencing, and may I urge the Minister to look at whether the provisions of the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Act 2021 could be rolled out in England too?

Alex Chalk Portrait Alex Chalk
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Let me make a couple of points. First, increasing the number of police officers means that there is more resource to try to ensure that the people who commit this crime—and it is not a victimless crime, by the way—are brought to book. Secondly, I am proud of the fact that we have doubled the maximum sentence for assault on an emergency worker, so that defendants can be properly punished where they have assaulted police officers, ambulance staff or potentially people who work in supermarkets, though I would query whether they are in scope.

Powers of Attorney Bill

James Sunderland Excerpts
2nd reading
Friday 9th December 2022

(1 year, 7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Powers of Attorney Act 2023 View all Powers of Attorney Act 2023 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Stephen Metcalfe Portrait Stephen Metcalfe
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his clarification. Obviously, he knows considerably more about the history of this than I have perhaps been able to gain during my research. In the 1990s, there were greater concerns about the abuse of enduring powers of attorney. I am told there was concern that between 10% and 20% of enduring powers of attorney were potentially being used in an abusive way. To resolve that, and following extensive work by the Law Commission, the Mental Capacity Act was passed in 2005. Enduring power of attorney was replaced by lasting power of attorney, or LPA, in 2007.

New safeguards were introduced—primarily the requirement for the LPA to be registered by and with the new Public Guardian and their office, the Office of the Public Guardian, before it could be used, whether before or after a loss of capacity; and the role of the certificate provider, who must confirm that the donor understands their LPA and that there was no fraud or undue pressure.

Fifteen years on, the system is in need of an update. The Government’s 2021 consultation on modernisation clearly set out the issues, and media coverage over the past year has further emphasised the need for reform. First, people wishing to make LPAs struggle to understand the system and to complete their LPA accurately. Guidance can be overwhelming and full of jargon such as “donor”, “attorney”, “certificate provider”, “execution” and “jointly and severally”. This is specifically daunting in urgent circumstances—for instance, due to a recent diagnosis of dementia or terminal illness.

The reliance on paper also makes it more complicated than necessary. The legislative framework and operational process involved mean that, even where the LPA is filled in online, each LPA has to be printed off and signed on paper in five places in a specific order by at least three people to be valid. The possibility for error to creep in is high, and the Office of the Public Guardian indicates that as many as 11% of LPAs sent to the OPG cannot be registered because of signing mistakes. Donors cannot understand why the LPA process does not make use of technological improvements since 2007. They want to use a digital system to fill in, sign and submit documents. As the Government set out in their consultation, that would allow a speedier process, reduce the administrative burden on people and help to reduce or even remove many of the errors in the process.

Secondly, the OPG is drowning in paperwork, and that does not allow the OPG to deliver the service that its fee payers expect. Many in this place will know about the media reports on the backlog in registrations. The OPG reports that it is taking up to 20 weeks on average to process an LPA application, against its target of eight weeks. Others will be receiving letters from constituents asking for assistance, as they are left unable to support their loved ones because an LPA is currently sitting in that backlog.

We all agree that this situation is unsustainable. The OPG carries out manual administration checks. It stores 11 tonnes of paper at any one time, and LPA applications are generally increasing, with the number of LPAs submitted for registration more than doubling between 2014-15 and 2019-20. That is creating an ever increasing need for staff, equipment and storage space. The ability to use a digital channel—alongside, I stress, a paper route—to make and register an LPA would help to resolve some of those issues. Most of the current manual checks could be automated. Physical storage requirements could be reduced and, critically, it would increase the OPA’s resilience to backlogs caused by the disruption of paper processing.

The third point, and probably the most important one, is that while a digital channel is desirable for donors, attorneys and the OPG, it must be balanced against the need for suitable safeguards. The risk of fraud is small, but it is a real risk. The BBC Radio 4 programme “You and Yours” reported last year on the case of Marie—not her real name—who was a victim of LPA fraud when someone took out an LPA in her name and attempted to sell her home. Concerns about undue pressure and abuse are also common. Earlier this year, in parallel with another report by “You and Yours”, a debate was held in the other place on LPAs and the economic abuse of older people.

I firmly believe that LPAs are a positive way for people to control what happens if they lose mental capacity. They are an insurance policy that people should take out to appoint people they trust to make decisions in their best interests, should the worst happen. But I cannot ignore that there must be protections in the system to reduce the chance of it being manipulated by those who intend ill will towards others.

James Sunderland Portrait James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)
- Hansard - -

I am not a lawyer—heaven forbid!—but my understanding of the Bill is that it will do a number of really important things. It will provide much better safeguards on financial and property issues, and it will provide safeguards where there is loss of mental capacity and against abuses of power. It will also make the process a bit more streamlined, as we will not be so dependent on expensive lawyers now that legal executives can do this. My question for my hon. Friend is, will it be any cheaper?

Stephen Metcalfe Portrait Stephen Metcalfe
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend asks a very good question. Although I cannot guarantee it will be cheaper, I can say that it will be no more expensive. We need to make the system sustainable and the relatively straightforward reforms in my Bill will allow that to happen, while keeping the price competitive, as it is at the moment.

My hon. Friend has hit upon the point at which I am going to describe some of the detail of the Bill and how it resolves some of the issues to which I have alluded. It makes a number of changes to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, specifically to schedule 1, which covers provision for the making and registration of LPAs. The most crucial change is that the Public Guardian will verify the identity of certain parties as part of the registration. It is important to strengthen safeguards in that way on a document that can confer such wide powers on access to savings, investment and property. The Government’s consultation indicated that these proposals were well received by respondents, including the public, as a necessary safeguard. This will be a key protection against the horrible position Marie found herself in, by increasing confidence that the people named in the LPA have actually been involved in the process of making it. This provision is even more important now, with identity fraud on the rise and perpetrators making use of ever-more sophisticated methods for targeting their victims. Removing loopholes in the system before they can become further exploited and other members of the public are put at risk is one reason I chose to take this Bill through Parliament.

The second main change is on the requirement for the application to register, requiring the donor to apply and changing what must accompany the application—currently, the instrument intended to create the LPA and the fee. This will facilitate a flexible system, so that instead of just a paper channel or a digital channel, each actor, whether they are the donor, the attorney or the certificate provider, can use the method that best suits their needs to complete a single LPA. This will reduce the administrative burden on donors and attorneys, while automated and early error checking will help to reduce the potential for signing and other errors that prevent registration.

Changes to the notification system will also facilitate this flexibility. The system requires that people the donor named in the LPA are informed by the applicant when the LPA is sent for registration, so that they can raise any objections. In the future, the Public Guardian will send these notifications. This change is made for three reasons. First, the Public Guardian can be certain that the notifications have been sent, increasing the protection provided. Secondly, it removes the administrative burden from the donor. Thirdly, the Public Guardian will be co-ordinating the execution of the document, so is best placed to send these in a timely manner.

That links to changes to the process for objecting to the registration of an LPA. The current process is complex, with different routes for different people, depending on the type of objection. People and organisations not named in the LPA do not even have a formal route to raise objections. That group currently includes organisations such as local authorities, which have a statutory safeguarding duty but no formal way of raising related concerns about an LPA’s registration with the Public Guardian. Although the Public Guardian currently processes these objections, because it is the sensible thing to do and offers the best protection for the donor, the scope of the current legislation is limited and creates ambiguity. To rectify this issue, the Bill introduces a single route for all objections, starting with the Public Guardian and ending at the Court of Protection, if that is required. It applies to all individuals and organisations, even if they are not included in the original LPA. So there is more clarity about where and how to raise concerns about the registration.

Let me turn to increased protection for donors. Finally, to modernise LPAs the Bill changes the evidence of registration of the LPA. As I said, LPAs are currently paper documents. That means that if there are changes—for instance, if an attorney is removed because of abuse—the Public Guardian needs to amend the paper documents. As I am sure the House can imagine, why would someone who has been removed from an LPA because of abuse want to return it to the Office of the Public Guardian? The LPA will therefore be registered as an electronic document. That will create a single source of truth that can be accessed in real time by third parties, but more importantly, updated in real time by the Public Guardian without requiring the paper to be returned.

I recognise, however, that some individuals and third parties will remain unable to use an electronic system. For that reason, the Bill also provides for other methods of physical proof. I believe that those will be set out further in regulations.

As I stated, my Bill seeks not only to modernise LPAs, but to amend section 3 of the Powers of Attorney Act 1971 to enable chartered legal executives to certify copies of a power of attorney. That Act sets out how a copy of a power of attorney can be made and who can certify or sign copies, stipulating that only

“the donor of the power…a solicitor, authorised person or stockbroker”

can sign or certify

“that the copy is a true and complete copy of the original”.

The Bill seeks to include chartered legal executives among those who can certify a copy of a power of attorney.

We have come a long way since 1971; it is more than half a century since that Act came into force. Chartered legal executives are allowed to provide legal services under the Legal Services Act 2007 and now provide many of the same legal services as solicitors. It is therefore completely right that chartered legal executives have the ability to certify copies.

I am conscious of time, so I will draw my remarks to a close. I have outlined a number of specific changes that the Bill will make. It is a relatively straightforward piece of legislation, but is important none the less. It will make the Office of the Public Guardian more sustainable; streamline the process; increase the number of people who can authorise copies of lasting powers of attorney; and introduce some important safety checks. I very much look forward to hearing what the Minister has to say. I thank him and his Department for working with me to bring the Bill to this stage and I hope that, after today’s debate, we can take it further forward. I commend the Bill to the House.

Approved Premises (Substance Testing) Bill

James Sunderland Excerpts
Rob Butler Portrait Rob Butler
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I believe that will happen. I defer to the Minister for the expert technical advice, but my understanding is that generally the data that arises will be published. The prime purpose of the collection of the anonymised data is to enable HMPPS staff to ascertain patterns of drug use, to look in particular at what types of drugs or substances are used more widely and then to come up with programmes to tackle the problems. I apologise that I cannot give my right hon. Friend a precise answer; I commit to writing to him with the appropriate response if the Minister is unable to answer him in her speech. I hope he will accept that commitment for the moment.

It is worth highlighting that even prescription medicines are abused by some residents in approved premises. Occasionally, that can prove lethal. A recent internal survey of approved premises staff found that more than 50% of them felt that prescription medication was a problem. This merits a few words of explanation, because I am talking not about medicines prescribed to the resident who has been tested but about prescription medicines that have been obtained by the person who takes them without a prescription—for example, from foreign companies via the internet—or that have been given to the resident by somebody else to whom they were prescribed. Prescription medicines are of course appropriate for those to whom they have been prescribed, but they can pose a real danger if they are taken without medical advice or in combination with other medicines. If that happens, the consequence can sometimes be fatal because of the level of toxicity reached in the human body.

James Sunderland Portrait James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)
- Hansard - -

My constituency of Bracknell has a drugs problem, and drugs are, of course, endemic across the UK and beyond. I wish, briefly, to commend all those involved in the fight against drugs, including the police, the blue-light services, the NHS, probation services, local councils. However, more needs to be done, which is why I commend my hon. Friend for his Bill and thoroughly support it. Does he agree that the utility of his Bill, when it comes to approved premises, is that it identifies those who are clearly still taking drugs as part of that process but, more importantly, it identifies people who may be taking drugs and are in need of further rehabilitation and support? Can I ask him therefore to commend the very positive aspects of his Bill?

Rob Butler Portrait Rob Butler
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

That is exactly the point I raised earlier when I mentioned the key being rehabilitation. I will come on to talk a little about exactly what will happen if somebody fails a drug test once the Bill is implemented, should it end up passing today and making it through the other place.

Oral Answers to Questions

James Sunderland Excerpts
Tuesday 2nd February 2021

(3 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Bob Blackman Portrait Bob Blackman (Harrow East) (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

What steps his Department is taking to reduce reoffending.

James Sunderland Portrait James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)
- Hansard - -

What steps his Department is taking to reduce reoffending.

Jamie Wallis Portrait Dr Jamie Wallis (Bridgend) (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

What steps his Department is taking to reduce reoffending.

--- Later in debate ---
Lucy Frazer Portrait Lucy Frazer
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my hon. Friend for his question and, indeed, for the superb work that he has done in introducing the Homelessness Reduction Act. I commend him for his work in this area. He is right to reiterate the £70 million that we have put in to ensure that prisoners do not end up on the streets. That builds on what we have been doing throughout the pandemic: we have been operating an £11.5 million scheme to get people into accommodation from prison. That and other measures will continue to ensure that we cut crime and that people do not reoffend.

James Sunderland Portrait James Sunderland
- Hansard - -

It is important to support former prisoners, who sadly include ex-armed forces personnel, to ensure that they do not reoffend. Can my hon. and learned Friend please reassure me that her Department is committed to supporting probation services and the fine work that they do?

Lucy Frazer Portrait Lucy Frazer
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am very pleased to commend the work of the probation service, which has been doing important work at this time. We are supporting it with the finances that it needs, with increased funding of an additional £155 million per year, making a total of more than £1 billion for our probation services. That will enable us to recruit 1,500 additional probation officers next year. The investment will also allow us to help people from custody into the community and create specialist short-sentence teams so that prisoners get help before and after they go through the gate.

War Memorials: Desecration

James Sunderland Excerpts
Wednesday 13th January 2021

(3 years, 6 months ago)

Westminster Hall
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts

Westminster Hall is an alternative Chamber for MPs to hold debates, named after the adjoining Westminster Hall.

Each debate is chaired by an MP from the Panel of Chairs, rather than the Speaker or Deputy Speaker. A Government Minister will give the final speech, and no votes may be called on the debate topic.

This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

James Sunderland Portrait James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)
- Hansard - -

It is great privilege and honour to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Davies. I commend my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent North (Jonathan Gullis). His energy, passion and determination to see this Bill introduced is unrivalled, and it is a great privilege to serve alongside him.

At their core, war memorials serve to remind us of the sacrifices made by so many to keep this country safe. Men and women who go overseas perhaps have no idea of when or how they might return. They leave behind their families and loved ones to fight an unknown enemy. Those people do not do it for the money, the gratitude or the glory—far from it. They do it because they believe they are doing something for the greater good. It is called service. They put their lives on the line, day in, day out, as a means to a better future for the rest of us.

Memorials in the UK abound. We have the Cenotaph, the Armed Forces Memorial at Staffordshire, the Unknown Warrior in Westminster, the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge in the highlands, and more than 100,000 memorials throughout the UK, all preserved and cared for by the War Memorials Trust. Overseas memorials are cared for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The UK rightly takes remembrance very seriously. We have asked so much of our armed forces, and the very least they deserve is that their memory is honoured. Those people had other options in their lives; they made a real decision to walk into their careers office, to sign up to volunteer, to embrace the national imperative and to leave behind the comforts that we enjoy every day to go to places that most of us would never dream of going to.

To reiterate, this is a free country. If people do not wish to personally pay their respects to those who did not make it home, no one is forcing them to. In fact, these men and women died so that we can be free to think and say exactly what we please. However, what is non-discretionary is the vandalising of objects erected in their memory. That is why they must be preserved and better protected in law.

This Conservative Government is determined to be a resolute defender of our culture and heritage. We believe in acknowledging heroism and protecting its memory, so it is right that we will. As for the legislation itself, as my good friend from Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove and Talke mentioned, not all actions will merit a 10-year sentence. What it does, however, is give more freedom to prosecutors so they are not shackled by limits. Removing the £5,000 barrier for damage is crucial. Previously, damage was required to be greater to warrant prosecution, but that is nonsense. Giving judges increased powers, whether in a magistrates court or a Crown court, is fundamental, allowing them to use their judgement.

I served for 26 years as a regular Army officer and deployed on multiple operational tours, so I do know a bit about the need to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Every single war memorial, irrespective of nation, faith or location, serves as a visual reminder of the horrors of war and the appalling conditions that people face when fighting for their country. Aside from the fear, anxiety and terror experienced by so many in the service of others, each memorial carries the legacy of those who fell on the battlefield and did not come home.

These names are not just an inscription on stone, but actual human beings who lived, loved and were loved. These heroes had friends and families and were in the prime of their life when they were taken. Each memorial bears testimony to lives cut short, the anguish suffered by families, the potential that was never fulfilled, the children that were never born, and the guilt suffered by those who did come home. That is why we must ensure that memorials are sufficiently protected in law and that those who seek to damage them through wilful ignorance or stupidity are brought to justice.

One of the most profound and proudest moments of my life was when I attended the D-day 75 commemorations in Portsmouth in June 2019. It was a magnificent event. Veterans were there in their hundreds, although sadly declining in number. They were resplendent in their uniforms—shiny brass and medals, and polished boots. The twinkle in their eyes conveyed some pretty powerful testimonies of life gone by. It was great to be among them, but two things struck me. First, every single veteran I spoke to underplayed the magnitude of their achievements. They were, to quote them, just doing their job: “I did what I was asked to do and nothing more.” That humility, for me, was very profound. Secondly, what became apparent to me—it was a really powerful moment—was the guilt that these great people have carried all their lives for the fact that they came home and others did not. That is why we must protect the memorials in law.

Probation Services

James Sunderland Excerpts
Thursday 11th June 2020

(4 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Robert Buckland Portrait Robert Buckland
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Like the hon. Lady, I have visited Brixton prison. I know the current governor well and I know a lot about the importance of having those establishments within a community. The hon. Lady makes a powerful point about the need to link community education facilities and structures that provide a support network for released prisoners or people on community orders. My ambition is to ensure that community sentences are so robust and effective that, when it comes to decision making by judges and magistrates, they will be the default choice as opposed to very short sentences that can frankly do more harm than good.

James Sunderland Portrait James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)
- Hansard - -

I commend everyone at the Ministry of Justice and in our Prison and Probation Service for their hard work at this challenging time. Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that the debate about the creation of new, modern prison places should focus on the need to create better educational, training and rehabilitation outcomes?