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Health Services: Young Offenders

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 6 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether a national service framework is in place to guide the management and treatment of young, violent or sex offenders; and how many secure accommodation places for the management and treatment of young, violent or sex offenders there were in each year from 2000 to 2006. (137108)

There is no national service framework (NSF) in place specifically to guide the management of young violent or young sex offenders.

The Department issued “Promoting Mental Health for Children held in Secure Settings—A Framework for Commissioning Services” in March. The document is a strategic framework, targeted at commissioners and service providers, in order to ensure that children in secure settings have access to comprehensive child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

The Department will support the framework with investment of £1.5 million this year. This will aid the implementation of tier three CAMHS within the HM Prison Service young persons’ estate.

Other relevant national policies and frameworks in place include the NSF for children, the NSF for mental health, and elements of the “Every child matters: change for children” programme. These should all be applied to children held in secure settings as they are for children in the wider community.

The Department and the Ministry of Justice are jointly developing a national policy framework for the development of services for young people who have sexually abused. The framework will aim to use existing resources in a more coherent and consistent manner, as well as bring together the information on best practice and effective treatment interventions.

Children and young people held in secure settings are treated according to their individual health needs, which can be complex and consist of more than one diagnosis. Placements are not broken down by offence. Information on the numbers of places for the management and treatment of young violent and/or young sex offenders across all types of secure settings is therefore not available. Referrals to mental health in-reach services or for other specialist services should be made on the basis of individual need, and the arrangements for providing these services will vary from establishment to establishment.