HC Deb 20 January 2004 vol 416 c1213W
Mrs. Brooke

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many under 18-year-olds have been released under the early release of short-term prisoners; and how many were assigned a mentor on release. [146997]

Paul Goggins

[holding answer 12 January 2004]The standard custodial sentence (up to 24 months) for offenders under 18 is the Detention and Training Order (DTO). Half the term is spent in custody and the remaining half under supervision in the community. Early release from custody (of one month, in the case of offenders serving terms of eight, 10 or 12 months; or one or two months, for those serving 18 or 24 months) has been available since the DTO was introduced in April 2000. In May 2002, new guidance specified that, in future, DTO trainees granted early release would be electronically monitored up to their original release from-custody date.

Since 29 May 2002, 2,451 DTO trainees have been granted early release. The guidance does not specify that those released should be assigned a mentor. It is open to Youth Offending Teams to arrange this, and those offenders who undertake an Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme during the community part of their DTO are usually assigned a mentor, but figures on this are not collected centrally.