Joint Committee On Human Rights Tenth Report


3  CHILDREN AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Article 37

  31.  Article 37 of the Convention requires that—

    No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;

    Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child's best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;

    Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action.

  32.  We approach the question of the rights of children within the criminal justice system recognising that the prevention of crime, the reduction of the fear of crime and the tackling of the causes of crime, are legitimate and pressing social needs which any government has to address. A significant proportion of crimes are committed by young people and there is widespread public concern about young offenders.[57] Young people themselves are also particularly at risk from crime.[58]

  33.  We also, however, approach this issue from a children's rights perspective. Kathy Evans of the Children's Society, reflecting the views of many of our witnesses, said—

    ... from the Children's Society point of view we would probably see the biggest children's human rights issue at the moment as being the treatment of children in the youth justice system and in the prison service in particular.[59]

This view was confirmed by the UN Committee, which made more critical observations about children in the criminal justice system than in any other area. Though welcoming positive developments such as restorative justice, the UN Committee noted—

    … with serious concern that the situation of children in conflict with the law has worsened since the consideration of the initial report.[60]

  34.  We are therefore encouraged by the Government's statement that—

    ... reducing and preventing youth crime and delinquency, and reforming the youth justice system are a major part of the Government's effort to build safer communities and tackle social exclusion. The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 established preventing offending as the principal aim of the youth justice system.[61]

However, we concentrate in this section of our report on custodial arrangements for young offenders because of the widespread evidence that the human rights of this vulnerable group are insufficiently protected.[62] First, we consider whether very young children should be involved in the criminal justice system at all.

The Age of Criminal Responsibility

  35.  The UN Committee was—

The age of criminal responsibility in the UK (10 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 8 in Scotland) is the lowest in the European Union.[64] Article 3 of the Convention requires the best interests of the child to be a primary consideration in all actions taken by courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, which raises the question of how the age of criminal responsibility in the UK can be justified as being in a child's best interests. The Minister for Children and Young People argued—

    … one of the things you can sometimes do through the criminal justice system is to ensure there is some sort of intervention in the young person's life, either what you do with them or what you may do with their parents, for example the implementation of the parenting order may follow from a case taken through the criminal justice system. I think it is very important to make sure that we have the ability to get effective preventive interventions in place and, on occasion, having the gateway through the criminal justice system can support you in doing that. It is not purely about the age at which punishment, if you like, kicks in, it can be the ability to take effective measures which may include sanctions but may well include supportive measures too.[65]

  36.  We are not persuaded by the argument that criminalising children is the best route to rehabilitation. As the Children's Rights Alliance for England put it, responding directly to the Minister's comment—

    The UK has a well­developed child welfare system that is more than capable of assessing and meeting the needs of children without them having to be charged or treated as criminals. The [JCHR] will be aware of the recent very critical joint report from eight Inspectorate and regulatory bodies into how well children are being safeguarded. Of the youth offending teams' work with children in prison, the report concludes, "the focus was almost exclusively upon the offending behaviour of the young people, and there was little evidence of welfare needs being considered and addressed." This should give a red signal to a government so intent on responding to children in trouble—especially the youngest ones —through the criminal justice system rather than through our child welfare system.[66]

  37.  The UN Committee recommended that the UK raise the age of criminal responsibility "considerably". The case for the UK being so out of line with prevailing practice in Europe is difficult to understand or defend. Alternative methods of ensuring that children take responsibility for their actions need to be more thoroughly and openly explored, drawing on the positive lessons from reparation and referral orders and other recent restorative justice schemes for offenders commended by the UN Committee. It might also be an area where "listening to children" could pay dividends. The conclusions of the Howard League's survey in eight London comprehensive schools of young victims of crime were that—

    The respondents felt that they are not listened to on issues of crime. They are seen as the offenders and not the victims … [they] suggested [that] greater interaction between young people and the police and authorities would encourage young people to become part of the solution to crime and crime prevention … yet they feel adults rarely listen to their suggestions about how crime could be prevented.[67]

  38.  We also note, as did the UN Committee, that the Government has abolished the common law principle of doli incapax (the rebuttable presumption that children aged 10-13 years are incapable of criminal intent).[68] The effect of this has been described as follows—

    This … means that a 10-year-old child—still in primary school—is presumed to be as criminally responsible as a fully mature adult. This cannot be right.[69]

In the light of the removal of this safeguard, we recommend that the Government review the effects of the low age of criminal responsibility on children and on crime. The criminalisation of young children has to be justified by very convincing evidence—it is not sufficient to assert that it is the best, or the only, way of diverting them from a future life of crime. Unless evidence of the effectiveness of the present age of criminal responsibility in reducing crime and disorder can be presented, and can be shown to be convincing, we conclude that to bring it more in line with our European neighbours would meet both the requirements of effective criminal justice and our duty under the UNCRC to uphold children's human rights. We recommend that the age of criminal responsibility be increased to 12 years.

Children in Custody

AS A MEASURE OF LAST RESORT?

  39.  UNCRC Article 37(b) requires that—

The numbers of children being locked up and rates of re­offending do not suggest that the Government's crime prevention strategy for young people is working.

It was not surprising therefore that the UN Committee expressed itself as—

    … particularly concerned that more children between the ages of 12 and 14 are now being deprived of their liberty…

and

    … deeply concerned at the high and increasing numbers of children in custody, at earlier ages for lesser offences, and for longer custodial sentence imposed by the recent increased court powers to give detention and training orders. Therefore, it is the concern of the Committee that deprivation of liberty is not being used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, in violation of Article 37(b) …[71]

  40.  When we asked the Minister for Children and Young People about the use of detention and training orders he told us—

    … the idea behind [them] … is really to try to make sure that we bring a more structured approach into the education and training and supervision of young people than would happen normally in a traditional detention in a young offenders institution.[72]

However, as the Chief Inspector of Prisons has observed, the detention period has to be used constructively if it is to be seen as an opportunity rather than simply a punishment—

    It is becoming clear that a number of Magistrates are increasing the use of DTOs, and its offer of a period of time in custody. This is particularly true of the short 4 and 6 month sentence, of which only 2 or 3 months are spent in each phase. I suspect that one of the reasons is that they see it as an opportunity for [youth offending teams] to secure the re­engagement of children with mainstream services who, in many cases have abandoned them. This is a very short period of time in which to assess the needs of, treat and prepare for release of a juvenile…[73]

  41.  The UN Committee welcomed—

    ... initiatives to introduce restorative justice and other constructive community based disposals for juvenile offenders ...[74]

The Minister for Children and Young People told us—

    We have been developing a range of alternatives to custodial sentences, including intensive supervision and surveillance orders, for example, which are designed to be an alternative to custody but also to deliver some of the support and the structured response to the needs of the young person which are needed. I think we have to recognise, though, that there are rights of other young people who have been the victims of crime who are rarely spoken about and rights of the wider community on occasion to be protected from young people who will otherwise be serious offenders or serious repeat offenders. I think if you look at our strategy overall you can see that the Youth Justice Board in particular has introduced a range of measures which are intended to give the courts alternatives to custody which they can use where appropriate.[75]

We also welcome the Government's efforts to develop alternatives to custody for young offenders. Measures similar to community orders, which might provide the opportunity for young offenders to undergo periods of training and intensive supervision within particular public services could be a valuable development. The statistical evidence relating to the detention of children cannot be held to be consistent with a claim of compliance with the requirement of the Convention that this should be used as a measure of last resort. We urge the Government to re-examine, with renewed urgency, sentencing policy and practice (and in particular the use of detention and training orders) and alternatives to custodial sentences, with the specific aim of reducing the number of young people entering custody and with a commitment to implementing Articles 37(b) and 40(4) of the Convention to the fullest extent possible.

TREATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NEEDS OF A PERSON OF HIS OR HER AGE?

  42.  UNCRC Article 37(c) requires that—

Article 40(1) expands this obligation—

    States parties recognize the right of every child [who has] infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child's sense of dignity and worth, which reinforces the child's respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others and which takes into account the child's age and the desirability of promoting the child's reintegration and the child's assuming a constructive role in society.

Clearly there are cases where young people convicted of crimes must serve custodial sentences for reasons of public protection. But as the Children's Rights Alliance has put it—

This common sense view is shared across the political divide. As the Minister for Children and Young People has said—

    … while the Government have made it clear that we will not tolerate youth crime … neither will we tolerate writing off young people and not working with them to ensure that they do not continue with a life of crime.[77]

In his turn, the Conservative Party leader in his speech to his party's conference on 10 October 2002 said—

    … crime is not a single act, it is a conveyor belt stretching right back to a child's early years at home. And we need to give young people every opportunity to opt out of a life of crime and to opt back into society.

Regrettably, however, re­offending rates are particularly high for young people emerging from custodial sentences. Over 84 per cent of male juveniles released from prison in 1997 re­offended within two years of release.[78]

  43.  The UN Committee was "extremely concerned" at the "inadequate rehabilitative opportunities" in young offender institutions.[79] The Huntercombe Board of Visitors recently expressed concern about distances between the young persons' homes and their places of custody. They commented—

    This makes the resettlement effort and liaison with communities which will receive these lads almost impossible to deliver…[80]

Research studies have shown that child imprisonment is generally counter­productive—

    …more and more studies have demonstrated the tendency of these institutions to increase the reconviction rates of their ex­inmates, to evoke violence from previously non­violent people, to render ex­inmates virtually unemployable, to destroy family relationships and to put a potentially victimised citizenry at greater risk.[81]

When one considers the typical circumstances and life experiences of young people as they enter custody, coupled with the conditions prevailing within custodial institutions, the high rates of re­offending may appear to be almost inevitable. For all imprisoned children rehabilitation must be the primary function of the agencies with responsibility for them during their period of incarceration. This is what compliance with Article 29(1)(d) UNCRC ("the education of the child shall be directed to …preparation … for responsible life in a free society") should mean as demonstrated in practice.

  44.  Children in detention are among the most vulnerable people in society and most in need of the protection of their human rights. The Government's Social Exclusion Unit recently found that—

    —  nearly half have literacy and numeracy levels below those of an average 11 year old; over a quarter have literacy and numeracy levels of seven­year olds;

    —  over 50 % have been in care or involved with social services;

    —  two out of five girls and one out of four boys report suffering violence in the home;

    —  one in three girls and one in 20 boys report sexual abuse;

    —  around 85% show signs of a personality disorder;

    —  over half the girls and two­thirds of the boys had alcohol problems before entering prison.[82]

In addition, significant numbers of juveniles in prison are parents. At present their needs and those of their children largely go unmet. They are often held a long way from their homes, making visits unlikely and the ability to exercise the right to family life difficult.

  45.  We share the concern of the UN Committee that rehabilitative opportunities in young offender institutions are inadequate to meet the requirements of Article 40.1 of the CRC. We recommend that the Government initiate a review of the range of rehabilitative opportunities available to those in young offender institutions.

TREATED WITH HUMANITY AND RESPECT?

  46.  Article 37(c) of the Convention requires that—

It is not simply minimising the number of young people who lose their liberty, or the duration of their incarceration, that are central to the question of compliance with the Convention. There is abundant evidence that detention precipitates the loss of other fundamental rights. In this report, we have addressed only some of these rights (such as the right to life, the right not to suffer inhuman or degrading treatment and the right to an education). The loss of those rights seems to us likely to entrench alienation and inspire a commitment to a life outside the law.

Self­inflicted death and self­harm: the right to life

  47.  Article 6 of the CRC and Article 2 of the ECHR guarantee the right to life. This right is precarious for young people in custody. Between April 1998 and October 2002, thirteen boys aged 16 or 17 years old killed themselves in prison, all by hanging.[83] Between January 1998 and January 2002, there were 1,111 reported incidents of self-harm by children in young offender institutions.[84]

  48.  We asked the then Minister for Children and Young People (who was also a Home Office Minister at that time) what was being done to address these problems. He told us—

    We are implementing … a three year strategy to reduce suicide and self harm which the Home Secretary announced in February 2001. That is being piloted at the moment in five institutions … it includes better screening, better risk analysis, more support for the first night in accommodation and so on. More generally there are other strategies in place, including counselling, support groups [and] psychological supports ... The work that the YJB did with the prison service in 2001 looked specifically at juvenile self­harm and suicide. I understand that the recommendations for its report are being implemented now across the under 18 prison service.[85]

In his supplementary note to us, the Minister for Children and Young People gave more details about implementation of the Safer Custody strategy including the provision of funding for new protection and prevention initiatives.[86]

  49.  We welcome the work being undertaken by the Youth Justice Board but we share the "extreme concern" expressed by the UN Committee about the loss of life amongst children in custody. We conclude that the right to life of vulnerable children could be still more adequately protected by the juvenile detention system. These deficits in the protection of this most fundamental human right should be addressed as a priority. We recommend that the Government, in its response to this report, set out the achievements of the safer custody strategy in reducing suicide and self­harm amongst juveniles in detention, and its strategy for the further elimination of these incidents.

Assaults, injuries, control and restraint and segregation

  50.  The CRC requires that children in custody should be treated with humanity. The state is also required to protect all children from physical and psychological assault. Children in custody inhabit an environment of violence, and physical attack is frequent.

    —  Young offender institutions experience the highest levels of assaults among prisoners, staff and others of all prisons in England and Wales. From 2001­2002, the five prisons with the highest assault rates all held young people, the worst being Ashfield (assault rate of 74 %).[87] In contrast, the Prison Service has a national Key Performance Indicator target for assaults of 9 per cent. This is also the average assault rate for adult male local prisons.[88]

    —  976 juveniles were held in segregation (typically solitary confinement) for more than a week between April 2000 and April 2002. Between April 2000 and January 2002, 3776 children were held in segregation cells at various times.[89]

    —  Control and restraint (the use of a pain reliant system of physical restraint by staff) was used 3,615 times on children in prison between April 2000 and January 2002, resulting in recorded injuries to 296 juveniles, 5 of whom required outside hospital treatment for fractures or suspected fractures.[90]

  51.  The UN Committee expressed itself as—

    … particularly concerned at [these] recent figures ... [and] concerned at the frequent use of physical restraint [ ] in custody as well as at the placement of children in juvenile detention and in solitary confinement in prisons.[91]

and also—

    … extremely concerned at the conditions that children experienced in detention and that children do not receive adequate protection or help in young offender institutions (for 15- to 17 year­olds), noting the very poor staff­child ratio, high levels of violence, bullying, … the solitary confinement in inappropriate conditions for long time as a disciplinary measure or for protection.[92]

In the same month that the UN Committee's observations were issued, a joint report by chief inspectors found that—

    Young people in YOIs still face the gravest risks to their welfare, and this includes those children and young people who experience the greatest harm from bullying, intimidation and self­harming behaviour.[93]

  52.  The level of physical assault and the degree of physical restraint experienced by children in detention in our view still represent unacceptable contraventions of UNCRC Articles 3, 6, 19 and 37. These statistics do not provide reassurance that the Prison Service is implementing fully its responsibilities to respect the rights of children in custody.

Application of the Children Act to children in custody

  53.  The High Court recently decided that the Children Act 1989 applies to children held in prison custody.[94] In his judgement, Mr Justice Munby said, in relation to the evidence he had heard—

    [there] are things being done to children by the State—by all of us—in circumstances where the State appears to be failing, and in some instances failing very badly, in its duties to vulnerable and damaged children.

The judge went on to say that the Prison Service may also be breaching the Human Rights Act—

    If it really be the case, as the Chief Inspector of Prisons appears to think, that there are YOIs which are simply not matching up to what the Children Act 1989 would otherwise require, if it really be the case that children are still being subjected to the degrading, offensive and totally unacceptable treatment described and excoriated by the Chief Inspector… then it can only be matter of time … before an action is brought under the Human Rights Act 1998 by or on behalf of a child detained in a YOI and in circumstances where, to judge from what the Chief Inspector is saying, such an action will very likely succeed.

  54.  The Howard League and other organisations which supported the judicial review believed that the court's decision should mean—

    ... greater social services involvement in ensuring children in prison are treated humanely and that their welfare is safeguarded. We hope this involvement will end some of the worst aspects of imprisoning children—the use of solitary confinement and high levels of bullying and self­harm.[95]

We note these organisations' concern that—

    ... because as a matter of law, the Children Act does not confer any duties directly on the Prison Service we have a nonsensical situation whereby social services have a statutory duty to safeguard the welfare of children in prison but the Prison Service does not. The Children Act needs urgent amendment and we hope to work constructively with the Government to achieve this.[96]

  55.  In the light of the decision of the court that the Children Act applies to children in custody we recommend, in order to ensure that those with responsibility for children in custody will now treat these young people "in a manner which takes into account [their] needs" as required by UNCRC Article 37(c), the amendment of the Children Act at an early opportunity, to place this duty on the Prison Service, as well as local authorities, on a statutory footing. Measures must also be taken to make a reality of the obligation which has now been placed on social services.

THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION

  56.  It is a matter of general agreement that the most effective route out of crime is through better education and training opportunities. The UN Committee, however, was—

There were 493 young people in custody under school leaving age last Autumn.[98] Research done by the Howard League reveals the general inadequacy of educational provision for young people in custody.[99] We asked the Minister for Children and Young People why educational provision for children in detention was so patchy, given the Government's commitment to the rehabilitation of young offenders into the mainstream of society. He told us—

    I think we are a bit disappointed in this area that some of the changes we have made have not been picked up more widely. The responsibility for providing education for young people in custody has been transferred to the Prisoners Learning and Skills Unit which is part of the Department for Education and Skills and they fund the Youth Justice Board now to provide education. It is on the back of that the majority of juveniles in custody now have access to 15 hours of learning a week and that will increase to 30 hours a week by the end of March [2004].[100]

  57.  The UN Committee recommended that the UK—

    ... ensure that children in detention have [an] equal statutory right to education ... [101]

We asked the Minister for Children and Young People what was the justification for offering no statutory right to education in young offender institutions, and how he reached the conclusion that this was a reasonable interpretation of compatibility with Articles 2, 28, 29(1)(a) and (d) of the CRC and Article 2 of the First Protocol to the ECHR taken together with Article 14. He argued—

    I think we can demonstrate that irrespective of whether the law does or does not apply we are making moves in the right direction.[102]

and added—

    I do not think I will end up justifying a difference in practice on the basis of any principle.[103]

  58.  Of particular concern is the position of young offenders with special educational needs. In the Howard League's recent report, based on visits to 13 establishments holding boys, they recounted finding—

    ... boys with special educational needs, such as emotional and behavioural difficulties, were being placed in solitary confinement in prisons as a response to their behaviour.[104]

We asked the Minister for Children and Young People for some indication of the Prison Service's commitment to both assessing and meeting these needs. He told us—

    Special education needs are important. It is true that many offenders have learning difficulties or other disabilities and the DfES is developing a special educational needs policy in partnership with prisons and also juveniles in custody. I understand that special educational needs co­ordinators and learning support assistants with a ratio of one to ten are being appointed now in all young offender institutions which are caring for juveniles. I think there is progress in this area.[105]

In his supplementary memorandum, the Minister for Children and Young People told us—

    A recent Youth Justice Board audit of education provision in custody indicated that as many as 50% of all young people in custody would qualify as having special educational needs (SEN). However in only 1% of cases was there evidence that LEAs had made formal SEN statements.

  59.  We do not find the arguments presented by the Minister for Children and Young People against giving detained juveniles the same rights to education as other children persuasive—indeed we find them puzzlingly contradictory. He argues that such guarantees are unnecessary because the Government is doing all that is required. The same sorts of arguments were made against the application of the Children Act and the consequence was a judicial finding against the Government. We consider that the persistence of the Government's resistance to placing the educational rights of young offenders on a statutory footing is a contravention of the UK's international obligations. We conclude that voluntary educational provision in custodial settings is insufficient to comply with the equal right of all children and young people to education. We recommend that, as a matter of urgency, the Government bring forward legislative proposals to provide children in custody with a statutory right to education and access to special needs provision equal to that enjoyed by all other children.

CHILDREN IN DETENTION WITH ADULTS

  60.  Article 37(c) of the Convention states—

On ratification, the UK entered a reservation to this Article in the following terms—

    Where at any time there is a lack of suitable accommodation or adequate facilities for a particular individual in any institution in which young offenders are detained, or where the mixing of adults and children is deemed to be mutually beneficial, the United Kingdom reserves the right not to apply article 37 (c) in so far as those provisions require children who are detained to be accommodated separately from adults.

  61.  Adult prisons provide 'overflow' accommodation for male juveniles on an ad hoc basis but the main problem preventing full implementation of Article 37(c) is finding suitable accommodation for the increasing numbers of girls being given custodial sentences.[106] In March 1999, the then Home Secretary committed the Government to removing all under 18 year old girls from the prison system to local authority care by April 2000. This was not achieved. Instead, in April 2000 with the setting up of the Youth Justice Board, a deadline of March 2001 was set. This was not met. Between April 2001 and March 2002 the number of girls under 18 being remanded or sentenced to prison custody rose from 89 to 119. As the Children's Rights Alliance points out—

    The main difficulty for girls under 18 at present is that, because they are floating in some kind of unofficial limbo within the Prison Service, they are not receiving the benefits of reforms for under­18s brought about by the Youth Justice Board.[107]

Following the critical report of the Chief Inspector of Prisons on Holloway Prison in February 2003, the Prison Service has recently restated its commitment to remove all girls under 17 from Prison Service accommodation during 2003.

  62.  We recommend that the Government reinforce its efforts to ensure there are sufficient suitable places under local authority care to allow the removal of all girls under 17 from prison custody into local authority secure accommodation by the end of 2003, and so enable the reservation relating to Article 37(c) of the Convention to be withdrawn.

RESPECTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF CHILDREN IN CUSTODY

  63.  What would a rights­based approach to children in custody be? The Children's Rights Alliance for England offered a definition in its recent report,[108] from which we freely borrow in proposing the following set of principles—

    —  With the obvious exception of the right to liberty, children in custody should be entitled so far as possible to the same rights, services and safeguards that can be claimed by children who are not locked up.

    —  Such rights should be enshrined in primary legislation whenever possible.

    —  The enjoyment of their rights by children in custody should, so far as possible, be consistent regardless of where they are placed.

    —  Children in custody should know what their rights are.

    —  Children in custody should have independent assistance in informing them of their rights and, where necessary, in enforcing their access to them.

  64.  In 1997, the then Chief Inspector of Prisons recommended that the Prison Service relinquish responsibility for children under the age of 18.[109] Since then changes have been made (notably the establishment of the Youth Justice Board) which have improved the situation of children in custody. But the evidence is that not enough has been done. The Howard League's conclusion in a report published in 2002 is that the—

    ... juvenile prison … system ... is simply not designed, equipped or resourced to meet the welfare needs of young people.[110]

  65.  A number of campaigners have argued that children in custody should become the responsibility of an organisation entirely separate from the Prison Service and the Home Office. We recommend that the Government revisit the idea of completely separating the organisation responsible for the custody of offenders under the age of 18 from the Prison Service. These young people should be looked after by a group of people whose outlook is firmly grounded in a culture of respect for children's human rights, devoted to rehabilitation and care. As a starting point, the Government should also take steps to transfer responsibility for 15 and 16 year-olds in custody from the Prison Service to local authorities as soon as possible.



57   25% of "known offenders" are under 18 (Home Office, 1998) cited in Tough Justice, The Children's Society (2000), p 10. Back

58   Howard League for Penal Reform, Citizenship & Crime Project, Youth Crime Survey 2000­02, 96% of young people reported having been a victim of crime; 50% stated that the crime took place at school; 61% feared being robbed in the street. Back

59   Q 30 Back

60   See Annex 3, para 57. Back

61   See Annex 4. Back

62   The adverse conditions endured by children in custody have been the subject of a number of reports from the Howard League on Penal Reform, Children in Prisons: Barred Rights (2002), the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, In Our Care: Promoting the Rights of Children in Custody, March 2002, the Children's Rights Alliance for England, Rethinking Child Imprisonment: A Report on Young Offender Institutions, November 2002. the Prison Reform Trust, Prison Overcrowding: The Inside Story 2002 and the Children's Society Tough Justice: Responding to Children in Trouble, 2000. Back

63   See Annex 3, para 57. Back

64   The age of criminal responsibility in the other EU member states is as follows: Ireland, The Netherlands and Greece (12), France (13), Germany, Italy and Austria (14), Denmark, Finland and Sweden (15), Portugal and Spain (16), and Belgium and Luxembourg (18). Back

65   Q 70 Back

66   CRAE, Ev 52-60. Back

67   Howard League for Penal Reform, Citizenship & Crime Project, Youth Crime Survey Results, 2000­02. Back

68   Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Section 34. Back

69   The Children's Society, Tough Justice: Responding to Children in Trouble, 2000, p 5. Back

70   Howard League for Penal Reform, Children in Prison: Barred Rights, 2002 p 3. Back

71   See Annex 3, para 57. Back

72   Q 77 Back

73   HMIP report on Brinsford, May 2001, quoted in CRAE, Rethinking Child Imprisonment, p 16. Back

74   See Annex 3, para 57. Back

75   Q 75 Back

76   Rethinking Child Imprisonment, op cit., p 11 Back

77   HC Deb., 24 October 2002, c 142WH. Back

78   Prison Statistics England and Wales 2000, Cm 5250 August 2000 quoted in CRAE Rethinking Child Imprisonment, p 8. Back

79   See Annex 3, para 57. Back

80   Information provided by the Prison Reform Trust. Back

81   Pitts, J. Working with Young Offenders (1990) quoted in Tough Justice, op. cit., p 8. Back

82   Reducing re­offending by ex prisoners, July 2002 quoted in Rethinking Child Imprisonment, op cit., p 6. Back

83   ibid. and information from the author. Back

84   ibid, p 64. Back

85   Q 80 Back

86   Memorandum from Rt Hon John Denham, Home Office, Ev 30. Back

87   Incidents of assaults (as proven at an adjudication) are measured as a percentage of the prisoner population. Back

88   Prison Reform Trust, Monitoring Prison Regimes, August 2002. Back

89   Howard League for Penal Reform, Barred Rights, 2002 p 12. Back

90   ibid., p 13. Back

91   See Annex 3, paras 33 and 34. Back

92   See Annex 3, para 57. Back

93   Safeguarding Children, joint report of chief inspectors of social services, health improvement, constabulary, CPS, magistrates' courts services, prisons and probation, October 2002, Conclusion 8.19, p. 72. Back

94   R (on the Application of the Howard League for Penal Reform) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2002] EWHC 2497 (Admin). Back

95   Howard League for Penal Reform, Press Release 12.11.02. Back

96   ibid. Back

97   See Annex 3, para 45. Back

98   Memorandum from Rt Hon John Denham, Home Office, Ev 29. Back

99   Howard League, Missing the Grade: Education for Children in Prison, 2001. Back

100   Q84 and Memorandum from Rt Hon John Denham, Home Office, Ev 29. Back

101   See Annex 3, para 46(d). Back

102   Q 79 Back

103   Q 88 Back

104   ibid. Back

105   Q 84 Back

106   At the time of agreeing this report, the total number of 15 and 16 year-old boys in Young Offender Institutions was 908, in Secure Training Centres was 594, and in local authority secure children's homes 134. The number of girls aged 16 in Young Offender Institutions was 116, and aged 17 was 104 (all figures for the Prison Service for England & Wales and for local authorities for England). Back

107   Rethinking Child Imprisonment, op cit, p 32. Back

108   Rethinking Child Imprisonment, op cit, p 13. Back

109   Young Prisoners: A Thematic Review. Back

110   Howard League, Children in Prison: Provision and Practice at Hollesley Bay, 2002. Back


 
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