The intensive supervision and surveillance programme is a Youth Justice Board initiative funded by the Home Office. It is targeted at the 3 per cent. of young people who are responsible for about 25 per cent. of juvenile offences, providing the courts with a robust community-based alternative to custodial sentences and remands.
I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Is she aware that my colleagues and I in Leeds are holding an inquiry into drug abuse in Leeds, and that one of the issues that has already been raised is the fact that the families, and especially the parents, of drug users experience great stress, particularly when their offspring go to prison? We therefore truly welcome the type of initiative that she has outlined.
I thank my hon. Friend for his support. The initiative is very important for the reasons that he has identified. The programme has two elements—intensive monitoring by electronic tagging or voice verification and very highly structured individual programmes with intense supervision and surveillance. It is a very robust alternative to custody. I hope that the initiative will prove as successful nationally as the Rotherham pilot showed it to be locally, not only in keeping young serious offenders out of custody but in substantially reducing their offending.