Committee (10th Day)
Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill
Lord Ramsbotham (Crossbench)
My Lords, briefly, I support the government amendments that have been tabled and echo the many warm things that have been said about the noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, for his persistence in pursuing this matter.
I merely mention that in 2001 I was invited to inspect the young offender institutions in the Caribbean. In Barbados, I found a system in which, at the age of 18, every child automatically had their convictions looked at and the slate wiped clean of all except those that it was deemed in a schedule should be carried forward. I brought that information back and fed it into the team studying Breaking the Circle at that time. Given all the points that have been made by the noble Lords, Lord Dholakia and Lord Thomas, it seemed particularly important that this should apply to young offenders so that they were not hampered, particularly in their further education, by crimes that they had committed as children.