asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to provide separate accommodation in the north of Scotland for young persons remanded in custody.
Does not the Minister agree that young people committee on remand, whether for borstal reports or social inquiry, should be kept apart from the old lags, and that separate facilities should be made available so that the stigma of having been committed to prison does not attach to them?
I agree that, ideally, separate accommodation would be the best answer, but in the current situation of overcrowding and general lack of accommodation we must use the existing accommodation as effectively as possible. As the hon. Gentleman knows, in Inverness it is very unusual to have more than six young persons accommodated at a time. They are housed separately from convicted prisoners, and the younger age groups are kept apart. But I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for drawing attention to the matter.