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Schoolchildren In Prison

Volume 940: debated on Monday 28 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many of the 21 schoolchildren in prison on 30th September were (a) boys and (b) girls;(2) which are the prisons holding the 21 schoolchildren imprisoned on 30th September;(3) how long each of the 21 schoolchildren held in prison on 30th September have been imprisoned;

Time on remand
Up to 2 weeksOver 2 weeks up to 4 weeksOver 4 weeks up to 6 weeksOver 6 weeks up to 8 weeksOver 8 weeks up to 10 weeks
Males32
Females231

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if any of the schoolchildren in prison or remand centres on 30th September were 14-year-old girls;(2) if any 14-year-old schoolgirls have been held in prison since the practice was supposed to have ended; if, so, why this occurred: and what action has been taken to prevent it happening again.

No 14-year-old girls have been received into custody since 15th March 1977 when the order, under

(4) if any of the 21 schoolchildren in prison on 30th September have since been released; how many were ( a) found not guilty and ( b) given non-custodial sentences; and in how many cases any other verdict was returned;

(5) what were the offences with which each of the 21 schoolchildren in prison on 30th September were charged.

Of the 21 people aged 14 to 16 who were held in local prisons on 30th Septembers, 12 were boys and nine were girls. The boys were held in Bedford, Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Oxford, Shrewsbury and Swansea prisons and the girls in Holloway. Seven of the boys and three of the girls were already sentenced to borstal training.Since 30th September all five boys and two of the girls, who were then on remand, have been sentenced to borstal training. The remaining four girls are no longer in custody, three having received non-custodial disposals and one has not yet been sentenced.Of the girls held on remand on 30th September one was detained under Section 22(5) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969. The principal offences with which the other girls and boys then held on remand were charged were burglary (1), taking and driving away (2), theft (3), wounding (2) or other violence (2).The time for which those held on remand had been in custody is shown in the table below:Section 34(7) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969, came into force.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the 279 schoolchildren held in remand centres on 30th September were girls; where they were held; and how many are still so held.

Four of the 279 people aged 14–16 held in remand centres on 30th September were girls. All of them were held in Risley remand centre.

The two who were then being held after sentence are currently in a borstal institution and the two who were then held on remand are no longer in custody.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with progress in ending the removal of schoolchildren to prison; and what further steps he is taking to end such removals.

The restrictions on the issue of certificates of unruly character which were brought into effect by the Certificates of Unruly Character (Conditions) Order 1977 appear to have considerably reduced the number of juveniles committed to prison on remand. I want to see further progress but ending the remand of juveniles to prison is dependent on the ability of local authorities to provide suitable alternative accommodation. Local authorities have already accepted full responsibility for 14-year-old girls and my hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services is about to consult the local authority associations on the next stage of phasing out these remands.