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Youth Offenders

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further measures are planned to reduce the reconviction rate of young offenders in (a) the UK and (b) the Jarrow constituency. [111671]

For England and Wales we have made a number of proposals on juvenile offenders in the Criminal Justice Bill and the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill both of which are under consideration by this House. We believe these will help to strengthen the youth justice system's work to reduce reconvictions which is already showing good results. Our most recent results, published in February this year for offenders dealt between January and March 2001, show a 22.5 per cent, reduction in reconvictions compared to 1997. In addition, we plan to publish further proposals in the next few months new proposals in a Children's Green Paper. Youth justice in Scotland and Northern Ireland do not fall within my responsibility.These proposals will apply in the same way to Jarrow as to other areas. However I understand a local Youth Crime Prevention Strategy Group has been established. It is carrying out a Young People and Crime Audit which will help the development of a future local strategy.