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Prison and Youth Custody Centre Safety
Exerpts for David Hanson
Wednesday 19 July 2017

(2 years, 6 months ago)

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Commons Chamber
Ministry of Justice
Dr Lee Hansard
19 Jul 2017, 1:13 p.m.

My hon. Friend is very informed on this matter. Yes, he is right: the great majority of the reform package that was announced last year can be delivered without any further legislation. As I have said three times, we have not ruled out primary legislation in this area in the near future.

David Hanson (Delyn) (Lab) Hansard
19 Jul 2017, 1:13 p.m.

By what date does the Minister expect the first people to enter the new units that he has announced for the north and the south? Will he update the Justice Committee on the objectives that he has set for improving the situation, and will he agree to look again at the recommendations of Lord Toby Harris, to which the Government did not agree when they were produced early last year?

Dr Lee Hansard
19 Jul 2017, 1:15 p.m.

I think the right hon. Gentleman is referring to the secure schools. We are committed to opening one in September 2019. There is a possibility that it could be earlier, but it depends on finding the appropriate site; as Members can imagine, these sites have to be secure. We are working extremely hard and are in negotiations with various agencies. The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime is particularly interested in assisting us on this. When we know about the locations, we can be a bit clearer about the delivery date.

On the wider question, which I think is about the state of the youth justice system, he can probably tell that I think we need to move towards a different system of how we lock up young people. Sadly, we recognise that some young people will need to be locked up—we have a very small uptick in some serious sexual crimes at the moment—but the environment, the staffing and the manner in which we do so must change. This report confirms what we already knew, and my intention is to work hard to bring forward a plan so that in the future—in the next 10 years—we can get to a situation in which our young people are not only safe and secure, but properly rehabilitated.