§ 19. Mr. Grocott
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to reduce the size of the prison population.
§ Mr. John
The size of the prison population, which is a matter of continuing concern to us, is determined largely by the number of detected and convicted offenders, and the use by the courts of their sentencing discretion—as regards both the type of sentence imposed and, when it is a custodial sentence, its length. Government action has recently concentrated on: reducing the untried and unsentenced prison population, through the provisions of the Bail Bill and other administrative measures; developing alternatives to prison sentences, in particular community service, as resources permit; and stimulating the use of parole, in consultation with the Parole Board.