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Offenders: Social Security Benefits

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many adults aged between 18 and 24 years old who entered custody in (a) 2007, (b) 2008 and (c) 2009 were receiving state benefits at the time of entering custody. (313535)

Of those 18-24 year old offenders sentenced to custody during 2007, 3,426 were subsequently recorded as having 'state benefits' as their sole or most significant source of income before sentencing. The corresponding figure for those sentenced during 2008 was 3,255. The information was recorded within the Offender Assessment System which is used with 18-20 year old prisoners and with older prisoners serving sentences of more than 12 months. The numbers of assessments used to produce the 2007 and 2008 figures were 7,345 and 7,132 respectively. As the figures are drawn from administrative IT systems, they are subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale assessment and recording system.

No figure is provided for 2009 as the data have not been fully collated.