HC Deb 23 July 1996 vol 282 cc167-8W
Mr. Alex Carlile

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are currently available to deal with persistent young offenders; and if he will make a statement. [38681]

Mr. Maclean

The courts have a wide range of powers to deal with persistent young offenders aged 10 to 17 years. These can include community sentences as well as powers to involve parents of offenders. More particularly, courts may impose long terms of detention on 10 to 17-year-olds, up to an adult maximum, for grave offences. courts may also impose sentences of detention in a young offender institution for up to two years for any other imprisonable offence if the young person is at least 15 years old. The Government will also be introducing a new secure training order which will provide a vigorous regime based on care, discipline and education for persistent young offenders aged 12 to 14 years.

Mr. Carlile

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of young offenders(a)reoffended and (b)reoffended with a more serious offence in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [38682]

Miss Widdecombe

With respect to(a) the recent information on reoffending of young offenders relates to a sample of young offenders discharged from prison in 1992. Within two years of discharge, 72 per cent. of the males and 51 per cent. of the females had been reconvicted for a standard list offence.

With respect to (b)there is no standard classification of offences, according to their seriousness. Information has, however, been published that relates the type of offence for which offenders were originally convicted with the offence at first reconviction. Table 10.8 in "Prison Statistics, England and Wales 1994" (Cm 3087) contains information on the percentage of first reconvictions in various offence type categories for male young offenders. A copy of this publication has been placed in the Library.