HC Deb 18 November 1942 vol 385 cc382-3W
Sir R. Gower

asked the Home Secretary the number of escapes from Borstal, Rochester, since this was reopened for use; how these figures compare with peace-time escapes; and whether the regulations governing this peace-time experiment are suitable for war time?

Mr. H. Morrison

The institution was reopened on 10th April, 1940. From that date to the end of 1940 there were 33 escapes; in 1941 there were 71 escapes; and from 1st January, 1942, to 31st October, 1942, there were 106 escapes. In 1937 there were 24 and in 1938 28 escapes. The considerable increase in the number of escapes is due to several factors, including the shortage of experienced staff and the abnormal restlessness of young persons under war-time conditions. The question of what special steps can be taken to deal with the matter at this institution is receiving my attention, but I do not think that the general system of administering Borstal Institutions can properly be described as a peace-time experiment. This system has been operating with good results for 30 years.