HC Deb 01 July 1919 vol 117 cc773-4
69. Lieut. - Colonel Lord HENRY CAVENDISH - BENTINCK

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the fact that 1,309 young men between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one were during last year sentenced to periods of imprisonment of one month or under, a practice repeatedly condemned both by the Prison Commissioners and social reformers as manufacturing prisoners, he will at once take action, under Section 7 of the Criminal Justice Administration Act of 1914, so that these young persons may be dealt with under the probation system instead of being committed to prison?


inquiries are constantly being made by the Home Office into the circumstances which have led to the committal of offenders under twenty-one to prison, and though they occasionally show cases where a better alternative was available, it is clear that imprisonment is now rarely imposed except on offenders of such a character that they are unsuitable for probation or for training in a Borstal institution. The efforts which have been made have led to an enormous reduction in the number of males under twenty-one sent to prison. Ten years ago, in 1908– 1909, the number was 7,580; in 1913– 1914 it had fallen to half that figure; and now it is little more than one-sixth. I am anxious that a society should be formed for the work contemplated in Section 7 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1914, but the Home. Office cannot undertake this till normal conditions are restored.


Will the right hon. Gentleman approach the Treasury with a view to getting this carried out?


It is being done.