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Young Offender Institutions

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 10 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many children between the ages of (a) 11 and 13, (b) 14 and 16 and (c) 17 and 18 years were held in young offender institutions in each year since 1997, broken down by sex; (241287)

(2) how many children were detained in the prison estate on 1 April in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) sex and (b) offence for which they were detained.

In law, children are young persons under the age of 15. Young offender institutions accommodate sentenced prisoners aged from 15 to 21. No children under the age of 15 are held in prison. The following figures refer to children and young people under the age of 18 as at the end of June in each year since 1997 held in prison establishments in England and Wales.

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Male

15 to 17

1,620

1,627

1,643

1,786

1,901

1,986

1,724

1,706

1,780

1,814

1,827

Female

15-17

53

62

67

65

64

103

57

58

56

50

56

This table is taken from table 7.3 in the Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2007, a copy of which can be found in the House of Commons Library, and at the following website:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/prisonandprobation.htm.

The following table gives the numbers of 15 to 17-year-olds held under immediate custodial sentence in all prison establishments in England and Wales between 2003 and 2007, by offence:

15 to 17-year-olds

Males and Females

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Immediate custodial sentence

1,781

1,763

1,835

1,865

1,883

Violence against the person

320

341

389

391

422

Sexual offences

42

55

65

68

73

Robbery

456

456

438

503

509

Burglary

290

248

289

282

283

Theft and handling

299

277

233

192

191

Fraud and forgery

2

7

11

11

10

Drug offences

49

57

79

71

74

Motoring offences

123

94

58

69

44

Other offences

155

203

257

265

259

Offence not recorded

44

27

18

13

19

This table is taken from table 7.10 in the Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2007, a copy of which can be found in the House of Commons Library, and at the following website:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/prisonandprobation.htm.

Figures for the years between 1997 and 2002 are as follows:

All sentenced males and females

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Total

1,673

1,689

1,710

1,860

1,976

2,084

Violence against the person

231

241

267

288

358

364

All sexual offences (before 2001)

40

47

48

59

Rape

30

29

Other sexual offences

22

29

Burglary

452

434

454

468

391

404

Robbery

443

475

425

409

439

519

Theft and handling

181

202

219

310

325

319

Fraud and forgery

0

4

6

6

5

5

Drugs offences

49

51

Other offences

191

179

230

280

293

287

Offence not recorded

135

107

61

39

64

78

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.