§ 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?
§ Mr. SHORTT
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.
§ Lord H. CAVENDISH-BENTINCK
Will the right hon. Gentleman approach the Treasury with a view to getting this carried out?