§ Lady Olga Maitland
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures have been taken to deal with the hard core of juvenile offenders who persistently reoffend.
§ Mr. Jack
The Government understand and share the current concern about what appears to be a comparatively small number of juveniles who persistently reoffend. We are therefore looking urgently at the powers available to the courts and to the other authorities who deal with young offenders as well as at the facilities available at the institutions and other places to which they may be sent in order to decide what new measures it may be sensible to introduce. I would also draw my hon. Friend's attention to some of the recently implemented provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 1991. Inter alia, the Act places courts under a duty to bind over the parents of offenders under the age of 16 if they are satisfied that to do so would reduce the risk of further offending and it significantly strengthens their powers to determine what should happen to those juveniles who are refused bail and remanded to local authority accommodation. The effect of those provisions will be closely monitored.