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Prisoners (Young Persons)

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 9 November 1943

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asked the Home Secretary how many boys and girls, respectively, under the age of 16 years, have been sent to prison in 1939 and during the last 12 months for which statistics are available; at what prisons were the sentences served; for how many hours were the children locked up each day; how many hours' exercise did they have; what was the nature of the exercise; what forms of educational activity were provided for them; and in how many of these prisons were the children examined by a medical psychologist to ascertain the cause of their unruliness or depravity?

In 1939 one boy under 16 was received into Durham prison under a sentence of imprisonment. In 1942 two boys and two girls under 16 were so received into the prisons at Feltham, Leeds, Cardiff and Manchester respectively. As regards young persons remanded to prison instead of to a remand home, I can only give figures for those under 17. The numbers were 105 boys and 18 girls in 1939; and 471 boys and 105 girls in 1942. On the question of the treatment of these young persons in prison, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Mr. Ivor Thomas) on 28th October. All these young persons will have been medically examined by the prison medical officer, but I am unable to say in how many cases a special psychological examination was included.