HC Deb 03 April 1952 vol 498 cc160-1W
122. Mr. H. Brooke

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of the harm done when a boy of 17 years of age, who has been sentenced to Borstal, is first sent to Wormwood Scrubbs for upwards of 10 weeks and kept in solitary confinement there for 18 hours a day pending transfer to a Borstal institution; and whether he will give his attention to the length and character of the detention of these young offenders at Wormwood Scrubbs, with a view to improving the arrangements generally.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

Boys sentenced to Borstal training go to one of two reception centres, where expert staff decide to which of the various training Borstals they should be allocated. One centre is at Wormwood Scrubbs prison. Boys normally spend about eight weeks there, although the period may be longer if they have to wait for a vacancy at the training Borstal.

While at Wormwood Srubbs, boys leave their cells at 7 a.m., and are locked up at 5.30 p.m. unless they are attending an evening educational class. For about the first month boys have their meals in their cells, but after this period they associate at mealtimes and also have some evening association. The centre serves an essential purpose, and although I wish it could be housed elsewhere than in a prison, that is not practicable in present circumstances and I know of no grounds for making any other radical change in the present arrangements.