§ ATTENDANCE CENTRE ORDERS
§ Lords amendment: No 25, in page 16, line 17, at end insert
"where the offender is under 17 years of age, or 36 hours where the offender is under 21 but not less than 17 years of age."5.30 pm
§ Mr. Mayhew
I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.
This amendment is about attendance centres. It increases from 24 hours to 36 the maximum period for which a court may make an attendance centre order in respect of boys aged 17 and under 21. As indicated in the White Paper on young offenders, the Government are extending the provision of attendance centres for young men in this age group. In 1979 there were only two. There are now 14. At all these centres the usual duration of a session is three hours, which means that a young man undergoing a 24 hour order—the maximum that a court may impose under existing law and the Bill as drafted—must attend on at least eight Saturdays to complete the order. The effect of enabling the courts to 534 make orders for up to 36 hours is to require a young man to attend the centre a minimum of 12 times. For young men of the age in question, at least 17 and under 21, the longer order is compatible with the aims of the attendance centre order as we see them, which are to vindicate the law by imposing loss of leisure and to teach offenders something of the constructive use of leisure. This was a constructive amendment proposed in another place, which the Government were content to accept. I commend it to the House.
§ Question put and agreed to.