Care Leavers

Department for Education written question – answered on 4th September 2018.

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Photo of Emma Lewell-Buck Emma Lewell-Buck Shadow Minister (Education) (Children and Families)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the oral evidence of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families to the Education Committee on Accountability hearings on 18 July 2018, Q1389, HC 341, what evidence he was referring to when he stated that 30 per cent of care leavers end up as adults in prison.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

During my evidence to the Education Committee, I inadvertently said that around 30% of care leavers end up as adults in prison. The point that I was seeking to make was that care leavers are over-represented in the criminal justice system. This is based on the findings from a number of research studies which have reported on the backgrounds of prisoners. These include a Ministry of Justice report published in 2014, which indicated that 24% of the prisoners surveyed had been in care at some point during their childhood. It also includes a report published in 2011 by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons, which stated that 27% of the young men and 55% of the young women surveyed had spent time in care.

In relation to the proportion of care leavers overall who end up in prison, the latest data published by the department for the period ending March 2017 shows that 4% of care leavers aged 19 to 21 were in custody at the point when the data was collected.

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