HC Deb 11 November 2003 vol 413 cc249-50W
Ian Lucas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many young offenders from north Wales below the age of 15 years were sentenced to custody in the last three years for which records are available. [136018]

Paul Goggins

The information requested is contained in the table.

Juveniles aged 10–14 sentenced to immediate custody in North Wales in 1999,2000 and 2001
Number of juveniles
1999 1
2000 9
2001 7
Statistics for 2002 will be published in December.

Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assistance is available to youth offenders to ensure that they are able to learn from mistakes and do not re-offend. [132940]

Ms Blears

We have introduced a range of measures across England and Wales many of which place particular emphasis on reparation, education and training.

These include Referral Orders, which were introduced nationally in April 2002 and are now the main disposal for young defendants pleading guilty for the first time. Youth offender panels, made up of representatives of the local community, agree an intervention programme with the young offender designed to tackle his/her offending behaviour. Victims are encouraged to participate in this process which can further enhance the impact of the panel on the young offender. The programme must include an element of reparation to the victim.

The Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP) was introduced in July 2001 as an alternative to custodial sentences for persistent young offenders. The programme aims to bring some structure to offenders' often chaotic lifestyles by addressing the risk factors contributing to their offending behaviour, such as educational deficits, weaknesses in thinking skills or drug misuse.

Where a custodial sentence is necessary, the Detention and Training Order is now the main sentence for 12–17 year olds. This includes individual training plans designed to address offending behaviour and associated risk factors and to provide young offenders with the necessary skills to avoid getting into trouble again.