HC Deb 17 February 1938 vol 331 cc2051-3
38. Mr. Gardner

asked the Home Secretary whether he can give any information on the general behaviour of 16-year-old lads in remand homes; whether their detention in association with more juvenile delinquents is now considered to be helpful or harmful to younger inmates; how many lads of this age absconded during the year ended December, 1937; and what percentage those who absconded represent of 16-year-old male delinquents for that year?

Year. Persons found guilty of indictable offences.
Males. Females.
E. W. E. W.
1930 14,276 1,140 1,543 102
1936 18,744 1,018 1,852 67

There is no relation between these figures and the committals to Borstal institutions, as the Borstal age was 16 to

Sir S. Hoare

The reception of boys of 16 in remand homes has not given rise to special difficulty. Arrangements are made as far as possible to separate them at work and at night from boys under 14. In reply to the latter parts of the hon. Member's question, I regret that exact information is not available, but it is estimated that about 80 boys of 16 absconded from remand homes during 1937, and that the number found guilty of indictable offences during that year is about 3,600, of whom about one-quarter would be remanded in custody.

41 and 42. Sir William Jenkins

asked the Home Secretary (1) what number of boys and what number of girls under the ages of 14 years came before the courts in England and Wales in 1930, 1936, and 1937, respectively; how many were committed to institutions; and whether he can state the kind of institutions they were sent to, and for what periods, giving figures for England and Wales separately, and what is the average cost per child;

(2) what number of boys and what number of girls between the ages of 14 and 21 years came before the courts in England and Wales in 1930, 1936, and 1937; how many were committed to Borstal or any other institution, and for what period; and will he give the average cost per child and give separate figures for England and Wales?

Sir S. Hoare

As the answer includes a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The numbers of persons aged 14 to 21 found guilty in 1930 and 1936 of indictable offences are as follow. The figures for 1937 are not available:

21 till August, 1936, and was then raised as regards offenders convicted on indictment to 23. Figures showing the number of persons between 16 and 21 sentenced both to imprisonment and to Borstal institutions are published in the annual reports of the Prison Commissioners, and I am sending the hon. Member the figures for 1930 and 1936.

The average period of detention in Borstal institutions is about two years, and the periods of imprisonment vary from a week to a year or more.

The average cost for the year ended 31st March, 1936, of a Borstal inmate was £140 per year, and of a prisoner £104 per year.

The numbers of boys and girls under age 14 found guilty of indictable offences

Year. Institutions.
Reformatory or Industrial Schools or Approved Schools. Institutions for Defectives. Place of Detention or Remand Home.
E. W. E. W. E. W.
1930 1,386 52 43 3 3 1
1936 3,805 120 108 4 36 1

As regards the period of detention, detention in a place of detention or remand home does not usually exceed a month, detention in an institution for defectives may be for many years and detention in approved schools is usually for two or three years.

The average cost of maintenance in approved schools was approximately 28s. a week both in 1930 and 1936. Separate figures for Welsh schools are not available but there was no appreciable difference between the costs of maintenance in English schools and Welsh schools, respectively.

Figures for 1937 are not yet available.