asked the Minister for Justice if he will set up a rehabilitation centre or a similar form of rehabilitative process to help young prostitutes who wish to give up this type of life.
Written Answers. - Rehabilitation of Young Prostitutes.
Prostitution is not in itself a criminal offence. In practice, of course, it frequently involves criminal activity. That, however, does not mean that it is for my Department to deal with the variety of factors which may be said to contribute in some degree to the existence of prostitution, as indeed to some other forms of criminal or anti-social behaviour. Those factors could include various environmental factors, including housing or other accommodation, and also educational and medical—including psychiatric—factors. Improvements in those areas are clearly not matters for my Department but are the responsibility of other agencies, public and voluntary. There are, in fact, services which make special provision for prostitutes—including the provision of hostel accommodation. Some voluntary services for prostitutes are in receipt of funds from my Department to the extent that they cater for some people who have committed offences.