The Government has published a written response to the Breaking the Cycle Green Paper consultation. This was accompanied by a Bill to alter the legislative framework for the reforms, Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.1 The Bill received its first reading in Parliament on 21 June 2011 and will next go for a second reading, at which point it may be debated in the House of Commons.
The Government response to the Breaking the Cycle consultation marks a retreat from some of the more radical suggestions outlined in the Green Paper earlier this year. Disappointingly, a statement in the foreword explicitly states ‘we are not aiming to cut the prison population’. This has been perceived in many quarters as a u-turn on criminal justice policy and gives rise to concerns over where the missing £130 million will now be saved.
The Government response is a fairly short document that includes little detail about how Voluntary and