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Young Offenders

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what estimate she has made of the number of young offenders with (a) a drug dependency problem and (b) a mental health problem. (138190)

A survey carried out in 20011 reported that 76 per cent. of young offenders (aged 18 to 21) were dependent on at least one drug, as defined by the severity of dependence scale (SDS).

Information about the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among young offenders can be found in Psychiatric Morbidity among Young Offenders in England and Wales, Office for National Statistics, 2000. Copies are available in the Library and on the Office for National Statistics website at


1 Borrill, J., Maden, A., Martin, A., Weaver, T., Stimson, G., Farrell, M. and Barnes, T. (2003) Differential substance misuse treatment needs of women, ethnic minorities and young offenders in prison: prevalence of substance misuse and treatment needs. Online report 33/03, Home Office.