HC Deb 23 May 2002 vol 386 cc548-9W
Ian Lucas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to apply electronic monitoring technology to juveniles released from the custodial part of the detention and training order. [59797]

Beverley Hughes

Section 62 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act 2000 provides for the electronic monitoring of prisoners released on licence. By virtue of section 62(5)(a), this includes young people during the community element of a detention and training order (DTO).

Electronic monitoring of those released from detention and training orders is already available in 84 youth offending team areas as part of the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme overseen by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales.

Section 102(4) of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 empowers the Secretary of State to release an offender: in the case of an order of eight months or more but less than 18 months, one month before the half-way point; and in the case of an order of 18 months or more, one month or two months before that point. The availability of electronic monitoring enables me to consider how we can make further use of the powers in section 102(4) to provide a useful transitional phase in the reintegration of trainees from custody back into the community.

I therefore propose to use electronic monitoring as a condition of the release of trainees serving a DTO of eight months or more for a period of one or two months prior to their current release at the half-way point. This form of release will be a normal feature of DTOs except in the case of trainees convicted of sex offences or serious violent offences. The possibility of release on electronic monitoring at this stage in the DTO will not be available to trainees who have exhibited violent or destructive behaviour to people or property within the secure facility; made exceptionally bad progress against the training plan as a result of consistent failure to co-operate or failure to take responsibility for their behaviour.