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Young Offenders

Volume 204: debated on Tuesday 25 February 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much secure accommodation is available in Wales for persistent young offenders; and what representations he has received about his current proposals on the subject.

No secure accommodation is available in Wales for persistent young offenders. The three existing small secure units are suitable for short-term use only.On 14 August 1991, I published proposals for a comprehensive strategy to tackle this problem emphasising the development of alternatives to secure accommodation as well as proposing a new all-Wales facility. There has been a general endorsement of the report and its recommendations and responses have included additional comments and suggestions which will now be taken forward for discussion with a consortium of relevant authorities. Some of the recommendations contained in the report for Welsh Office action are already in hand or have been actioned, for example a review of conditions of use of the existing secure units in Wales. I have also considered applications for funding special initiatives aimed at avoiding the need for young people to be placed in secure accommodation. Two successful applications have already been announced and I hope to announce a third later in the year.