Jack Straw unveils Ministry of Justice responsibilities

Justice secretary Jack Straw yesterday announced which ministers would take over responsibility for youth justice, probation, prisons, the family courts and legal aid in his Ministry of Justice.

David Hanson will cover prisons, probation and youth justice, which the Ministry of Justice will now have joint responsibility for with the new Department for Children, Schools and Families, created last week in prime minister Gordon Brown’s first reshuffle.

Bridget Prentice will be responsible for the familiy courts, former health minister Lord Hunt will take over legal aid and Michael Wills equalities and human rights.

The Ministry of Justice was created in May, assuming the former Department for Constitutional Affairs’ responsibilities over law and human rights and the Home Office’s former prisons, probation and youth justice functions.

It has lately drawn strong criticism from youth justice campaigners over its plans to extend powers of restraint in secure training centres to tackle dissent among young offenders.

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