HC Deb 09 February 1978 vol 943 cc1655-6
10. Mr. Hardy

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he is satisfied with the present arrangements for persons sentenced to borstal training in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Concannon

Yes, Sir. A new closed borstal was opened at Millisle, Co. Down, in November 1977, on the same site as the open borstal. All borstal boys are now accommodated at Millisle, and the borstal units in Maze and Magilligan Prisons have been closed.

Mr. Hardy

I am grateful for that reply. Are persons convicted of terrorist activities sent for borstal training?

Mr. Concannon

It is a matter for the courts to decide, within the age limits laid down between 16 and 20, who shall be sent to borstal. Before imposing a borstal sentence, the courts are required to consider a report on behalf of the Secretary of State as to suitability for borstal training. Some trainees have been convicted of terrorist-type offences. For example, in 1976, of the 131 persons sent for borstal training, 12 were convicted of explosive offences and 34 of firearms offences.