Report (5th Day)

Part of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – in the House of Lords at 8:15 pm on 20th March 2012.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Linklater of Butterstone Baroness Linklater of Butterstone Liberal Democrat 8:15 pm, 20th March 2012

My Lords, I rise very briefly to endorse every word that the noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, has said. How much it resonated with me. The older end of YOIs are famously inadequate and have been so for some time, no doubt partly because they are also a famously difficult group. The noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, highlighted the fact that these are very often young people in transition. Transitions are difficult and absolutely awful to go through. I have always said that I am never off my knees in gratitude that I will never have to be a teenager again. There is merit in the idea that they could be, as it were, somehow incorporated-that, if the arms of the YJB became wide enough, they could encompass them in some way. I am not entirely sure how much the YJB is in favour of such a proposition, but maybe there are ways of choreographing that. However, I have simply risen to say that the noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, has put his finger on a very real and challenging problem.

The other day, I was visiting Merseyside Probation Trust, which is doing an incredible range of first-class work. Its IACs-intensive alternatives to custody-are particularly impressive. I spent some time with one girl who had been through it. She had form like you had never seen and she came singing the praises of the person from the probation service who had been working with her through this process. It was truly worth while in that case. Maybe it is very expensive-it is certainly very time intensive-but it is something that I, along with what the noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, want to endorse.