Prisoners' Release: Coronavirus:Written question - 43758

(East Lothian)
Asked on: 05 May 2020
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners' Release: Coronavirus
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, for what reason Government guidance entitled Coronavirus Restricted Temporary Release measures states that children serving sentences for drug offences, including simple possession of a class A drug under s5(1) and (2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act, are specifically excluded from consideration for release.
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 18 May 2020

Protecting the health and well-being of our staff and the children in our care is paramount. Currently, the youth secure estate has sufficient headroom to enable every child to have their own room and physical distancing is being observed in line with Public Heath England guidance.

We will temporarily release a small number of children who are judged to be low risk and near the end of their sentence. Children who have committed drug-related offences are excluded from eligibility to ensure public confidence in the administration of justice. The threshold for custody is higher for children and young people so drug offences are likely to be more serious ones.

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