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Plaid Cymru leader in call for a 'Welsh way of justice'.

PLAID Cymru leader and former probation officer Leanne Wood will today call on the UK Government to abandon "dangerous, ideology-driven" plans to allow private companies to supervise people released from jail.

Ms Wood will tell a conference that responsibility for the probation service should be transferred to the Welsh Government and call for Wales to have its own criminal justice system.

Her call comes as concern grows among lawyers at plans to transform legal aid provision in an effort to slash the cost to the taxpayer.

Ms Wood is opposed to proposals which could mean much offender management is carried out by private companies and charities.

The Plaid leader will argue that the time has come for Wales, like Scotland and Northern Ireland, to have its own justice system.

She will accuse the UK Government of "embarking upon a dangerous, ideology-driven path to privatise services which should not be in private hands.

"It is clear that if we want a justice system that is in line with our political values here in Wales, then responsibility for the whole of the criminal justice system should be devolved to us here in Wales," she will say.

"If both Scotland and the North of Ireland can successfully run a criminal justice system that reflects their values, then a Welsh way of justice would be equally successful."

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "The First Minister has made clear we are not in favour of privatising the probation service.

"In our response to the Ministry of Justice consultation, we stressed our preference would be to see delivery led by the public sector Probation Service, with strong partnerships with the Third Sector."
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 7, 2013
Words:276
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