HC Deb 24 March 1938 vol 333 cc1392-3W
Mr. Ross Taylor

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the proposal to set up a Borstal institution, eventually capable of holding 300 boys, at Hollesley Bay, Suffolk, and of the consequent apprehension of residents in the neighbourhood, he will state the nature of the discipline and supervision to which those under treatment will be subjected; and whether adequate steps will be taken to prevent them from visiting adjacent villages and roaming at large over the countryside?

Sir S. Hoare

I am glad to have an opportunity of reassuring my hon. Friend on this matter. There are already seven Borstal Institutions for young men in various parts of the country, and experience has shown not only that any apprehensions which may have been felt when the institutions were opened have quickly disappeared, but that the people in the neighbourhood have come to appreciate the work that is being done and are helping the staffs by co-operating in many of the schemes of social service connected with these institutions. The system of Borstal discipline is based on the principle that if youths are kept under such close control that they have no opportunity to misbehave they will also have no opportunity to learn how to behave. Accordingly, selected inmates who have proved their trustworthiness and have earned privileges are on occasions allowed a measure of freedom outside the institution, but there is no system of giving indiscriminate freedom to inmates to roam about the country.