The Bishop of Derby received the following written answer on 17th May 2023:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds asked His Majesty’s Government how many children are being held on remand in the most recent period for which data is available; and whether they are taking steps to reduce this.
Lord Bellamy (Con, Ministry of Justice): As at 31 March 2023, there were 244 children and young people remanded to custody in the Youth Secure Estate (this figure includes 18-year-olds). Remanding a child to custody must always be a last resort, however that option must remain open to the courts where it is necessary to protect the public.
In 2022, the Government strengthened the tests the courts must satisfy to remand a child to custody, through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act, and published a review of the use of custodial remand for children. We continue to work through the review’s recommendations with youth justice partners to ensure custodial remand is used proportionately. This includes launching a consultation in summer 2023 on options for reforming remand grant funding to facilitate better use of community provision and services for children at risk of custodial remand.
The Government commissioned a forthcoming HMI Probation, HMI Prisons and Ofsted independent joint thematic inspection on youth remand, which will help identify further opportunities for reducing the number of children on remand.
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