Baroness Hussein Ece and Lord German made their maiden speeches in the House of Lords on Thursday 15 July in a debate on the reform of the criminal justice system.
The debate, introduced by Lord Thomas of Gresford called attention to the reform of the criminal justice system, in particular to the effectiveness of alternatives to custody.
Baroness Hussein Ece spoke about her experience in local government; "Too often I was told by the young people in the council's care that they felt that no one really cared. Of course we are all too well aware that in the present climate there are pressures on budgets and other restrictions that might prevent a more consistent approach across the country, but society will end up paying one way or another".
The Liberal Democrat life peer is a Commissioner to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Former deputy leader of Hackney Council, Baroness Hussein Ece served on the previous Government’s task force to increase the numbers of ethnic minority women councillors in the UK.
Lord German spoke about his experience of prisoner education having assisted in the training programmes offered to offenders in his local area and in visits he had made to other prisons. "My experience was that much more needs to be done if we are to succeed in resettling ex-offenders effectively. For some, perhaps many, prison is not the right solution for reintegration".
Also a Liberal Democrat life peer, Lord German was involved in local politics in Wales and held a number of positions with Cardiff County Council, including Joint Leader.
Other areas of discussion during the debate included:
- Protecting the public and punishing offenders
- The numbers of people in prisons and who they are
- The effectivness of shorter sentences
The term ‘maiden speech’ refers to the first time a new Member gives a speech in the House of the Lords. A maiden speech usually takes place during a general debate and is uncontroversial.
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