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Boys (Detention)

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 18 May 1954

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asked the Secretary of State for War why 22815879 Boy Hands, Infantry Boys' Battalion, Tuxford, Nottinghamshire, is having to do his detention in Colchester Military Prison; and if he will arrange to have separate detention barracks for boys.

Army boys are not sent to prisons and are only sent exceptionally, after a sentence by court-martial, to a military corrective establishment such as Colchester. Boys at Colchester are segregated and are specially treated.

Does the hon. Gentleman think that the "glasshouse" in Colchester is the right place for boys of 16 years of age? Is it not possible to have a separate detention barracks because, whilst I know that some of these boys commit offences, nevertheless they should not be put amongst men, and I should have thought that it would be in the interests of the parents of the boys to know that this is not the case in the "glasshouse" in Colchester or in any other place?

Boys under detention at Colchester are segregated, living in a separate room and messing at a separate table in the dining hall. At present there are only four of them at Colchester. Their room is close to the company office and they are specially watched by the company commander by day and by the N.C.O. in charge of the company watch by night. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that too close contact is undesirable, but he will probably agree that these arrangements avoid contact.

Are they exercised with the adult prisoners, and do they undergo the same punishment with the adult men prisoners?

They do one period of physical training and one period of drill daily, and the remainder of the day is devoted to education. They are separated in these activities.