Courts and Tribunals: Recovery

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:50 pm on 3rd December 2020.

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Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 12:50 pm, 3rd December 2020

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for her concern about children in the system. She will know that there are existing protocols applied by the courts to ensure that cases involving children are heard as early as possible, which is particularly important when it comes to the Crown court. The overall number of children in a secure setting, whether it is a young offenders institution or other secure accommodation, has continued to fall. It is now around 600. The numbers on remand remain about the same as they did before the pandemic but are proportionately higher because of the overall reduction in the sentenced population. We have been dealing as carefully as possible with the regime that is applied to ensure that young people are safe but that their frustrations when it comes to exercise and activity, which are natural, are dealt with. I am particularly interested in ensuring that education and skills training is improved during the pandemic, bearing in mind that in the first wave, apart from one institution, we were not able to run those programmes. I will keep her updated.