asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many first offenders were sentenced to a detention centre in each of the past five years.
Information is not available in the form requested. How- ever, information on the previous convictions of offenders received into prison department establishments in England and Wales sentenced to a detention centre order is published annually in "Prison Statistics, England and Wales"—Table 3.4 of the issue for 1978, Cmnd. 7626. Some relevant estimates for sentencing in 1977 are also to be found in tables 10.4 and 10.5 of "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, 1978"—Cmnd. 7670.