5 MARCH 1932, Page 3

Borstal Criticized Mr. Justice Humphreys at Leeds Assizes complained that

the Borstal authorities—acting, of course, under the direction of the Home Office—were releasing young offenders prematurely on compassionate grounds." He was trying two burglars, of twenty-eight and twenty- four, who had previously been sentenced to three years' penal servitude for shop-breaking and had been released on licence, only to resume their criminal courses. The Judge pointed out that the Prison Commissioners were advocating longer sentences, on the theory that to remit young men to Borstal for less than three years was to lessen their chances of reforming. That principle underlies the new Children Bill, which provides that the normal period of detention in an "approved school" is to be three years, subject to the Home Secretary's power to release offenders sooner. It would be a pity if the courts and the Home Office were to be in disagreement about the practice, where the principle is clearly admirable, for the judge's co-operation is necessary. In this particular ease Mr. Justice Humphreys sent the two men to prison for eighteen and fifteen months respectively. He evidently felt that Borstal methods were useless in their case.