Young men on remand in prison are left bored and idle while nothing
is done to improve their prospects, the Howard League for Penal
Reform has said.
Research to be published by the charity next week finds that,
although most remanded men aged 18 to 20 are imprisoned for only a
short time, little is done to address their problems while they are
Describing the experience as “wasteful and unproductive”, the
charity reports boredom among remand prisoners in Hull prison,
where the research was carried out. Few worked and none were
involved in education. The only views expressed about their future
concerned their families and relationships. There was no mention of
future employment. Many of them suffered from anxiety.
Anne Owers, the chief inspector of prisons, has expressed “major
concerns” about 18 to 20 year olds in prisons (news analysis, page
16, 23 October). But the Howard League’s research shows that the
problems facing young men on remand are “particularly
Housing needs of remand prisoners are difficult to deal with
because of the uncertainty about how long they will spend in
prison, the report says. Specific welfare programmes for young
people, such as the New Deal and Connexions, are focused on
sentenced, rather than remanded, prisoners.
The young men at Hull were either disillusioned with past
interventions or unsure what help they needed. Staff recognised
their needs but felt restrained by a lack of resources and a
growing prison population.
“The group of young men did not seem particularly motivated and
were resigned to just waiting for their trial or sentencing and
then seeing what happened,” the report says.
The charity is calling on the Prison Service to look at ways to
provide the men with some of the “building materials” they need to
leave prison to help them integrate into society.
– Busy Doing Nothing from www.howardleague.org after 4