§ 50. Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criminal justice policy objectives are secured by keeping 14-year-old boys in penal custody; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. John Patten
The courts must have the powers they need to deal suitably with offenders. It is desirable to use non-custodial disposals for offenders under 17 whenever possible. However, some juveniles, including a number of 14-year-old boys, commit serious offences for which in the last resort, only a custodial sentence is an adequate punishment.