HC Deb 30 March 1995 vol 257 cc805-6W
Mr. Shersby

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been initiated by the Crown Prosecution Service in each of the last three years utilising the powers contained in the Criminal Justice Act 1991 relating to the requirement of parents to pay fines, compensation orders or prosecution costs imposed on juveniles; and if he will make a statement. [16839]

Mr. Maclean

Information collected centrally by my Department identifies only the number of young offenders sentenced whose parents, or guardians, were ordered to pay fines and compensation. Table 7.27 of the Command Paper 2680, "Criminal statistics England and Wales 1993," refers to this. Copies are available in the Library.

Mr. Harry Greenway

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further measures he proposes to achieve the rehabilitation of young offenders; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maclean

[holding answer 9 March 1995]: My right hon. and learned Friend published on 9 March the 1995 national standards for the supervision of offenders in the community. The new standards include a number of provisions which should reinforce the effectiveness of supervision orders and probation orders in preventing further offending by young offenders.

He published on 15 March the consultation document, "Strengthening Punishment in the Community," which invites views on the creation of a new, integrated community sentence and on its application to younger offenders. Under these proposals, the courts would be enabled to specify activities under a community sentence which are directed at the prevention of reoffending.

We expect to issue shortly the invitation to tender for the construction and management of the first two secure training centres. The secure training order will provide a new power for the courts to sentence persistent young offenders to custodial periods of between three months and 12 months, to be served in purpose-built establishments offering a high-quality regime of education and training, followed by a similar period of compulsory supervision. We shall bring this new and demanding sentence into force as soon as the new centres are available.

In addition, the Prison Service agency will be reviewing the use made by young offender institutions of sentence planning to meet the individual needs of each young offender and to ensure that work began in custody can be built on during the period under supervision in the community after release, so as to maximise prospects of rehabilitation.

We have also received a report from Prison Service officials on their visit to boot camps in the USA and have asked for proposals to be brought forward for an innovative, demanding regime for young offenders. If appropriate, the proposals will incorporate the more positive aspects of the American boot camps.