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Sentencing (Parental Responsibility)

Volume 516: debated on Tuesday 19 October 2010

15. What recent representations he has received on his review of parental responsibility in sentencing. (17826)

As part of our informal consultations for the Green Paper, we have received clear support for greater engagement of parents and families in the youth justice system. There is strong international evidence and promising emerging evidence from the UK of the effectiveness of supportive parenting interventions in reducing offending by young people.

I welcome the Minister’s statement that international evidence shows the effectiveness of parenting in reducing offending. Will my hon. Friend do everything he can to increase the role of parenting in sentencing in the youth justice system?

What we want to do is to move towards a restorative approach to the youth justice system, and particularly to examine whether we can transfer the lessons from the experience of the youth system in Northern Ireland. Youth justice conferencing was very successful there, which involves, of course, the parents of offenders as well as the offenders themselves having to face up to the consequences of their actions. I hope that that gives a pretty unqualified yes to my hon. Friend.