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Corporal Punishment

Volume 656: debated on Thursday 29 March 1962

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Advisory Council on the Treatment of Offenders or any other comparable body has been asked to consider whether there are grounds for reintroducing judicial corporal punishment for male juvenile offenders convicted of offences of violence against the person; and whether he will institute an official inquiry on these lines.

The Advisory Council on the Treatment of Offenders considered in 1960 whether there were grounds for reintroducing any form of corporal punishment as a judicial penalty in respect of any categories of offences and of offenders, and concluded that no such measure would be justified. The House accepted this conclusion in the debates on the Criminal Justice Bill last session; and I do not propose to institute any further inquiry.

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that this was an inquiry of a general nature and that a special difficulty has arisen in the case of violent young delinquents who are reported in court as not being suitable for institutional treatment in detention centres or anywhere else because they are not addicted to crimes involving dishonesty? This special problem was not considered by the Committee. Will he have it looked into as a matter of urgency?

If my right hon. Friend can draw any special feature of this to my attention and elaborate what he has said, I will certainly give it consideration.