Young Offenders

Home Department written question – answered on 12th February 2004.

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Photo of Mr Simon Thomas Mr Simon Thomas Chief Whip, Spokesperson (Agriculture; Culture; Environment; Heritage; International Development; Sustainable Energy; Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many young offenders have been kept in solitary confinement for over (a) a day, (b) two days, (c) three days, (d) four days, (e) five days, (f) six days and (g) a week in each of the last five years.

Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office

The Prison Service does not restrain prisoners in 'Solitary Confinement'. Prisoners and Young Offenders can either be subject to segregation procedures, or they can be held in 'Special Accommodation' (special cells or unfurnished cells).

The Prison Service does not centrally monitor the use of segregation.

The forms used to authorise the use of Special Accommodation are in the process of being reviewed, along with a general review of the policy on Use of Force. Unfortunately, the current forms require very little detail about individual incidents, and therefore there are no data for how long prisoners and young offenders have been held in special accommodation. However, very few prisoners are held in special accommodation for periods exceeding 24 hours.

The following table therefore shows the total number of young offenders who have been held in special accommodation for the years for which figures are currently available.

Number of young offenders restrained in Special Accommodation 1997–2002
Males Females Total All types of establishments
1997 194 31 225 2,836
1998 270 4 274 2,557
1999 317 29 346 2,223
2000 447 8 455 2,215
2001 372 43 415 2,778
2002 264 17 281 2,245

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