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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Prison Service has a service level agreement with the Youth Justice Board, which requires the Prison Service to provide a level of service in young offender institutions in accordance with certain operational specifications.
The Prison Service will shortly be conducting an assessment of each establishment's ability to meet those requirements. If it was to conclude that services cannot be delivered to the required standard within current staffing ratios, the board would have to consider appropriate remedial steps.
What steps they are taking to reduce the number of 16 and 17 year-olds inappropriately placed in young offender institutions despite attempts by the Youth Justice Board and youth offending teams to place them appropriately. [HL1503]
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Youth Justice Board recognises that a minority of older boys in juvenile young offender institutions need additional support on account of their vulnerability. In its recent consultation on the future of the secure estate, the board put forward a proposal for developing special units within establishments to provide for these young people. The board's draft strategy for the secure estate is currently under consideration.
16 year-old girls are placed in secure training centres or secure children's homes, not in young offender institutions. We are building special units in which 17 year-old girls can be accommodated, ensuring separation from older offenders. The first of these,
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at Downview in Surrey, opened in December 2004. The remaining four are due to be in operation by 2006.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Courts sentencing young offenders take into account the young person's mental health condition. On occasion, young people with mental disorders have been sentenced to custody. The Department of Health (DoH) now has responsibility for health provision for young people in young offender institutions. The Home Office and the Youth Justice Board are working with DoH to ensure there is adequate provision of secure hospital places for young people and that young people with less severe mental health problems also receive the care they need.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Advisory Panel on Country Information (APCI) undertook a detailed examination of the October 2004 Zimbabwe Country of Origin Information Report. Comments from the APCI were taken on board in the April 2005 Zimbabwe Country of Origin Information Report. The April 2005 Zimbabwe report is currently being
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examined by the APCI, and feedback from this will be incorporated into the October 2005 Zimbabwe report.
Whether they will place a copy of the Home Office country information report on Zimbabwe for 200405 in the Library of the House, together with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office report on international human rights for the same period. [HL1389]
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The April 2005 Home Office Country of Origin Information Report on Zimbabwe and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2004-05 human rights report are available in the Library of the House. The next version of the Home Office Country of Origin Information Report on Zimbabwe, to be published in October 2005, will also be sent to the Library immediately on publication.
Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 19 July (WA 238), whether specific instructions have been given to immigration officers regarding the treatment of failed asylum seekers from Zimbabwe. [HL1420]
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: In recent weeks, staff have been reminded that there has been no change in the Government's policy towards returns to Zimbabwe and have been notified of the deferral of some removals and the introduction of a final check before the enforced removal of failed asylum seekers.
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