The Treatment of Young Offenders

Publication Date01 December 1959
DOI10.1177/026455055900900403
AuthorFrank Dawtry
SubjectArticles
50
THE
TREATMENT
OF
YOUNG
OFFENDERS
THE
Government
White
Paper
of
last
February
Penal
Practice
in
a
Changing
Society,
covered
a
wide
range
of
hopes
and
plans
for the
development
of
penal
methods
in
this
country.
It
included
some
detailed
proposals
made
by
the
Prison
Commissioners
with
regard
to
the
treatment
of
young
offenders.
These
suggested
the
use
of
detention
centres
for
young
offenders
sentenced
to
six
months
or
less,
and
the
integration
of
the
borstal
and
young
prisoners’
centres
to
form
a
new
custodial
training
scheme
for
those
who
warranted
sentences
in
excess
of
six
months.
The
suggestion
was
that
all
such
sentences
should
be
indeter-
minate,
with
release
according
to
response
to
training,
at
any
time
between
six
months
and
two
years.
The
Home
Secretary
made
it
clear
that
the
White
Paper
was
put
out
for
discussion,
that
many
of
its
ideas
were
based
on
a
long
view,
and
that
some
of
them
would
involve
legislation.
The
particular
ideas
with
regard
to
young
offenders,
however,
were
designed
to
meet
a
serious
current
situation
and
they
have
therefore
been
given
futher
immediate.
and
detailed,
examination
by
a
sub-
committee
of
the
Home
Secretary’s
Advisory
Council
on
the
Treatment
of
Offenders.
The
Council
has
received,
endorsed
and
published
the
sub-committee’s
report
(The
’Treatment
of
Young
Offenders,
H.M.
Stationery
Office,
Is.
9d.)
and
it
now
seems
that
its
recommendations
may
be
embodied
in
legislation
at
an
early
date.
No
More
Prison?
The
report
almost
entirely
supports
the
Prison
Com-
missioners’
proposals
and
if
it
is
accepted
it
will
put
an
end
to
the
use
of
prison
as
a
penalty
for
young
offenders,
except
for
the
most
serious
or
persistent
of
them.
The
sub-committee
suggests
the
retention
of
prison
for
offences
where
a
sentence
of
not
less
than
three
years
seems
appro-
priate,
and
also
for
those
who
return
to crime
after
a
period
of
custodial
training.
A
further
period
of
custodial
training
may
be
given,
it
is
suggested,
but
where
this
is
not
appropriate
the
offender
may
be
sent
to
prison
for
not
less
than
eighteen
months.
In
presenting
its
proposals
the
Committee
was
aware
of
the
limitations
they
would
impose
on
the
variety
of
seri-
tences
available
to
the
courts.
For
this
reason
they
recom-
mend
two
sentences
of
detention
centre
training - three
months,
and
six
months
- but
they
consider
that,
with
reference
to
custodial
training.
&dquo;it
is
a
fundamental
prin-
ciple
of
penal
treatment
that
the
treatment
of
young
offenders
should
be
primarily
remedial&dquo;
and
so,
once
the
court
has
decided
that
training
is
needed,
the
main
decision
about
the
length
and
nature
of
this
should
be
left
to
those
responsible
for
carrying
it
out.
Training
needs
flexibility,
and
the
indeterminate
sen-
tence
will
allow
for
this.
The
young
offenders
concerned
can
be
sent
to
the
most
appropriate
centre,
after
classi-
fication
(and
the
report
accepts
the
need
for
fuller infor-
mation
to
be
available
and
for
careful
classification,
which
were
points
emphasised
in
the
evidence
submitted
by
N.A.P.O.)
and
can
be
transferred
to
another
institution
if
the
first
choice
does
not
turn
out
to
be
the
right
one.
The
indeterminate
sentence
will
also
make
for
release
at
the
most
suitable
time,
and
its
principle
is
already
well
established
in
borstal
training.
The
term
&dquo;custodial
training&dquo;
was
used
to
describe
the
new
method
in
the
White
Paper
and
again
in
this
report,
but
the
sub-com-
mittee
agreed
that
the
system
will
be
based
on
the
prin-
ciples
of
borstal
training,
and
should
continue
to
he
known
by
that
title.
More
Detention
Centres
For
the
offenders
receiving
shorter
sentences
detention
centres
are
to
be
the
answer:
the
sentences
will
be
either
of
three
or
six
months
and
if
the
magistrates
think
a
month
in
a
detention
centre
might
do
some
good
they
will
now
have
to
think
again,
for
such
a
sentence
will
give
no
opportunity
for
training,
and
probation
or
a
stiff
fine
seem
to
be
indicated.
The
report
endorses
the
proposal
to
open
several
more
detention
centres
and
emphasises
their
more
recent
development
as
training
establishments
rather
than
places
of
(non-medical)
shock
therapy.
The
report
recom-
mends
the
removal
of the
present
limitations
on
the
use
of
detention
centres
for
repeated
offences
and
suggests
that
the
Magistrates
may
send
an
offender
to
a
centre
more
than
once,
and
that,
even
after
a
period
of
custodial
train-
ing,
a
detention
centre
sentence
might
be
used
where
appropriate
in
case
of
a
further
offence.
The
sub-committee
does
not
recommend
detention
centres
for
girls,
but
does
suggest
that
the
sentences
to
be
available
to
the
courts
should
be
similar
to
those
recom-
mended
for
males
-
three
months
or
six
months
&dquo;during
which
they
should
be
given
an
appropriate
course
of
training&dquo;,
or
indeterminate
sentences
of
custodial
training
replacing
the
present
borstal
and
young
prisoner
centres
for
girls.
The
report
does
leave
one
loophole
through
which
young
offenders
might
still
be
sent
to
prison
- that
is,
for
the
non-payment
of
fines.
It
sees
no
alternative
to
this
sanction
against
wilful
refusal
to
pay,
and
somewhat
spec-
iously
suggests
that
imprisonment
under
these
circum-
stances
is
not
punitive
but
merely
coercive.
It
will,
the
com-
mittee
considers,
rarely
be
used,
and
to
avoid
it
there
mav
be
an
increase
in
the
use
of
Money
Payments
Supervision
Orders.
After-Care
The
most
important
changes
recommended
in
the
report
are
those
relating
to
after-care.
N.A.P.O.,
in
its
evidence
to
the
sub-committee
(and
to
an
earlier
sub-committee
of
the
Advisory
Council,
which
was
considering
the
extended
use
of
after-care)
suggested
that
statutory
after-care
should
be
for
a
more
limited
period
than
is
at
present
usually
the
case.
The
Association’s
proposal
was
that
the
period
of
after-care
should
normally
be
one
year,
and
we
suggested
that
this
should
apply
also
after
detention
centre
training.
The
report
recommends
the
provision
of
after-care
fol-
lowing
detention
centre
training
for
a
period
of
one
year
from
the
date
of
release,
but
with
a
compulsory
review
of
this
after
six
months,
when
the
supervising
officer
may
recommend
the
termination
of
the
order.
For
those
leav-
ing
custodial
training
the
proposal
made
is
that
after-care
should
be
for
two
years,
with
compulsory
review,
and
the
supervising
officer
free
to
recommend
termination,
after
one
year.
In
both
cases
the
sub-committee
con-
sidered
making
the
shorter
period
normal
with
the
power

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT