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Young Offenders

Volume 170: debated on Friday 30 March 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has any plans to prohibit the practice of housing young offenders in adult jails while prisons built to cater for the young are closed or reclassified; and if he will make a statement.

No. Our plans are progressively to rationalise the prison estate so that the places needed are provided in the most cost-effective and efficient mix of new establishments and improvements to existing establishments. In particular, we are seeking to reduce the levels of overcrowding in adult prisons and to allow more young adult remand prisoners, currently held in adult prisons, to be held in discrete establishments.Accommodation which is no longer needed for sentenced young offenders may be converted to adult or remand use where it would be practical and cost-effective. It would not however be sensible to retain uneconomic, poorly located or below standard young offender accommodation where this has no practical alternative use and is expected to be surplus to future requirements.