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20 May 2008 : Column 282W—continued

Young Offenders: North West

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what provision has been commissioned by the Youth Justice Board for young offenders in the North West under the age of 18 considered suitable for an open young offenders institution place; and if he will make a statement. [206313]

Mr. Hanson: The under-18 unit at Thorn Cross Young Offender Institution showed the possible benefits of open conditions for some young people, but also demonstrated that a single large unit is not viable. Nor is a single unit drawing young people from the whole of England and Wales consistent with the Youth Justice Board's general aim of placing young people as close as possible to their homes.

The Youth Justice Board is developing a strategy for the provision, across the country, of open accommodation for young people in custody. It is likely that this will be linked to existing closed establishments.

Young Offenders: Prison Accommodation

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) male and (b) female young offenders aged 10 to 17 years old were held within an adult prison in the last 12 months. [206887]

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Mr. Hanson: Juvenile prisoners are usually held in designated juvenile units and prisons. In exceptional individual circumstances juveniles may be held separately within over-18 accommodation for a short period.

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Detailed information on whether any under 18s were being held in over-18s accommodation in each of the last 12 months could only be provided by manual checking of individual prisoner records at disproportionate cost.

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