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.

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Photo of Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede Labour 8:15 pm, 20th March 2012

My Lords, as I sit as a magistrate in both the youth and adult courts, I make one simple point. In the youth courts, we routinely say to youths, "You must behave. If you do not behave, you may come back to the adult court and of course that is a much more serious matter." What we do not tell them is that the reason that it is a much more serious matter is because there is much less support for them in the adult court system. Everything that the noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, said is absolutely right. We see a huge, disproportionate, number of young men from 18 to 24 years old. There are attendance centres, which do good work. I have been to a number. However, it is very minimal compared with the support that this group needs.