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6 Jul 2005 : Column 549W—continued

Young Offenders

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of provision for young offenders; and if he will make a statement. [4788]

Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 16 June 2005]: The key measure of the effectiveness of the youth justice system is a reduction in the rate of re-offending. To measure the extent to which offenders re-offend we measure whether or not they are reconvicted within one year. Our target is to reduce juvenile re-offending rates by 5 per cent. by 2004.The latest results, published in February 2005, show that the rate of juvenile
6 Jul 2005 : Column 550W
reconvictions has reduced by 4.9 per cent. between 1997 and 2003. This is good progress towards our target and evidence that this Government's policies are making an impact.

Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men, (b) women and (c) young offenders are in prison; and how many on average were in prison in each category in each of the last 10 years. [5779]

Fiona Mactaggart: On 31 May 2005 there were 61,416 adult males aged 21 years and over, 4,017 adult females aged 21 years and over, and 10,708 young persons aged under 21 held in prison establishments in England and Wales, as recorded on the Prison Service IT system. Averages for each of the last 10 years, as recorded on the Prison Service IT system, are provided in the following table. Figures for young persons include some 21-year-olds who have not been reclassified as adults, and includes both male and female inmates.
Average population in prison establishments(90),by age group and sex
England and Wales

Adult malesAdult femalesYoung persons

(90)Excluding police cells