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Young Offenders

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many of those under the age of 18 years who were convicted of offences related to shoplifting have been (a) directed to take up training courses as part of their sentence and (b) exclusively directed to take up training courses in each year since 2004; (305324)

(2) how many of those under the age of 18 years old have been (a) directed to take up training courses as part of their sentence and (b) exclusively directed to take up training courses in each year since 2004.

Data are not available centrally on specific numbers of under-18s directed to do training as part of their sentence. Shoplifting is categorised as a separate offence and this and other sentencing data are published by the Ministry of Justice annually:

www.justice.gov.uk/publications/criminalannual.htm

Young offenders aged under 18 years may be directed to undertake a range of reparative and rehabilitative programmes as part of their sentences. In addition a young offender can be required to attend a specified place of education as part of a sentence for example if given a youth rehabilitation order with an education requirement.

Through the national youth justice indicators the Youth Justice Board require that young offending teams work to encourage the participation of young offenders in education, training or employment by the end of their sentence. This indicator is also part of the local authority national indicator set. Figures for 2007-08 showed that 71.1 per cent. of young offenders were engaged by the end of their sentence.

For information, the full trends since 2004-05 are provided as follows:

Percentage

2004-05

74.2

2005-06

75.1

2006-07

68.7

2007-08

71.1

All young people in youth custody are expected to participate in education and training and this forms a central element of custodial regimes. Custody often provides a unique opportunity to engage young people in learning and for young people to develop their skills. The sentence planning process in custody includes planning education and training in accordance with the young person’s needs.