HC Deb 17 August 1836 vol 35 cc1272-3
Mr. Hume

took this opportunity of asking the noble Lord the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether Government had any measures in preparation for the purpose of promoting the reformation of juvenile offenders, as had been announced at an early part of the present Session?

Lord J. Russell

said, that the subject was under consideration, and he hoped to be able to bring forward a measure on the subject in the course of next Session. He had had it in contemplation last year to appropriate the prison of Dartmoor as a receptacle for juvenile offenders. The opinion of two of the inspectors of prisons was, that it might be fitted up for that purpose; but when plans of the alterations came to be made out, both the inspectors, as well as an architect who was sent down to survey the building, were of opinion that it was not advisable to lay out any sum of money upon it, as it could not be kept in repair. He had caused inquiry to be made with regard to other buildings in the country, but had not been able to satisfy himself that any one was proper for the purpose. He had another site in view, however, to which he hoped to be able to transfer juvenile offenders from the metropolitan prisons, in order to their better and more effectual confinement.

Mr. C. Barclay

begged to suggest the expediency of granting to his majesty some power of summary punishment in the case of juvenile offenders.

Lord J. Russell

replied that his attention was particularly directed to that part of the subject. The hon. Member, however, must be sensible of the difficulty of framing a measure for such a purpose which should not run counter to the feelings of the country respecting the administration of justice.

Mr. Lennard

asked, if it was the intention of Government to introduce any measure for the purpose of giving effect to the recommendations contained in the Report of the Commissioners on the Criminal Law, which had been for some time on the table of the House?

Lord J. Russell

said, that he had stated before, in answer to a question from the hon. Member for Cockermouth, that a measure was in contemplation, which he hoped to be able to introduce next Session. The report to which the hon. Gentleman referred, though a very able document, did not go into the whole of the subject.

Subject dropped.