HC Deb 26 January 2004 vol 417 cc240-1W
Mr. Oaten

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements are made by youth offending teams to escort juvenile prisoners home on release from prison. [144367]

Paul Goggins

Arrangements for escorting juveniles home on release are made on a case-by-case basis, usually at the final review meeting at the end of the period in custody. The preferred arrangement is for a parent, relation or other carer to meet the young person and take him or her home. Where this is not possible—for example, where alternative accommodation has been arranged—a youth offending team worker will usually accompany the young person.

In reaching decisions the age and assessed vulnerability of the young person is always taken into account.

Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his plans to provide drug treatment for young offenders addicted to drugs in(a) the north west and (b) Lancashire. [149965]

Caroline Flint

To ensure that effective treatment is available when it is needed, we have made significant investments in the youth justice system and drug treatment sector throughout the United Kingdom with the north west and Lancashire among those areas benefiting.

Sustained investment in young peoples drug treatment, means that by March 2004 95 per cent. of all drug action teams (DATs) will provide a minimum of six different types of treatment interventions, which meet a tough set of young peoples focused quality standards. The interventions include restricted and Tier 3 services.

In addition, the Youth Justice Board (YJB) is providing £8.5million funding each year to give all 155 youth offending teams across England and Wales access to an allocated named drugs worker. The drugs worker is able to assess the needs of young people and ensure that they receive appropriate treatment or other interventions. This project is currently being evaluated by the Home Office.

An arrest referral scheme for young people is currently being piloted, to get young offenders into treatment or other appropriate interventions as early as possible. £6 million is being invested to pilot arrest referral for young people in 10 high crime areas across England including Liverpool and Manchester. Trained staff in the police custody suites identify if young people have a substance misuse issue and refer them to appropriate treatment or intervention.