HC Deb 03 June 1954 vol 528 cc1456-7
53. Miss Herbison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has considered the disadvantages of the return to prison conditions in Holloway of Borstal girls needing psychiatric observation and treatment; and whether, bearing in mind the fact that Holloway was found not to be the proper place for normal Borstal girls, he will consider as a matter of urgency establishing a psychiatric unit under conditions more suited to the needs of emotionally disturbed adolescents where treatment will have a greater chance of success.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

Admittedly there are disadvantages in sending Borstal girls needing psychiatric observation and treatment to Holloway, but there are medical, psychiatric and nursing services there that are not available in any other penal establishment for women. The number of girls requiring these facilities is so small that it is not feasible to set up a special centre to cater for them. Their conditions at Holloway are governed by the Borstal rules.

Miss Herbison

Does not the Home Secretary agree that it is very wrong that Borstal girls, particularly very emotionally disturbed ones, should be sent to any prison, and especially to Holloway? Does not he realise that it would be worth the expenditure to have a small psychiatric unit in one of the Borstals? Will not he consider even the sending of visiting psychiatric specialists to one of the Borstals?

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

I should very much like to consider those points. I should like to assure the hon. Lady that the number does not exceed a dozen a year, and that they remain in Holloway only so long as is necessary for the purpose of the treatment. I shall consider what she has said.