§ Mr. Michael
I beg to move amendment No. 2, in page 9, line 9, leave out '15' and insert '25'.
In Committee we highlighted the importance of supervising offenders after release and stated that the time for supervision should be adequate to ensure that rehabilitation can take place to make sure that offenders are more likely to live settled and constructive lives, rather than being tempted into reoffending. During the debate, I moved an amendment that would have increased the supervision period after release from 15 per cent. of the sentence to 25 per cent., in the belief that this would provide an adequate period of supervision.
At the conclusion of that constructive debate, the Minister gave a positive response and said that if we would withdraw the amendment to allow him to reflect and listen to our views on another amendment that was debated on Monday in relation to violent crime, he was willing to come back on Report, where he hoped to be able to say that he was happy with the 25 per cent. that we recommended. Offenders who have a relatively short prison sentence may suffer considerable disruption of their lives, and may need, perhaps, to settle elsewhere, to re-establish family links and to be more positive in their attitude to life.
It is in society's interests that good supervision takes place, and we had a discussion—in which the Minister and I were in complete agreement—about how to make sure that the supervision of those who come out of prison is effective. I keep my remarks brief in the hope that the Minister will be able to say that he has continued his reflections after our discussions and will accept the amendment. I believe that that would be wise, and would reflect the positive nature of at least some of the discussions that we had in Committee.