Consultation 05.09

Legal aid and prisoners

Ref: 05.09

The Legal Services Commission (LSC) has published a consultation on the provision of prison law services funded by legal aid in England and Wales. Prison law services enable prisoners to receive advice on legal issues arising from their treatment or discipline in prison, and also advice or representation in connection with parole proceedings.

Expenditure on prison law work has increased from £1 million in 2001/02 to approximately £19 million in 2007/08, and is expected to increase further in future years.

The proposed reforms aim to ensure a sustainable future for prison law services by addressing rising costs and targeting resources on the most appropriate cases. The consultation paper proposes additional controls on the volume of cases that will be funded, strengthened eligibility criteria, new quality measures and a revised payment structure for solicitors. It also describes longer term plans to develop alternative means of purchasing and delivering these services.

ILEX would welcome your view on all or any of the above issues.

The document can be downloaded from the consultation section of the LSC website:

The 12-week consultation closes on 5 May 2009.