Welsh council failed teenager in prison

A High Court judge has criticised the “serious failings” of a
Welsh council in its treatment of a looked-after teenager while he
was in prison.

Mr Justice Munby told the court last week there was “confusion”
over the role of the 18-year-old’s personal adviser and said
Caerphilly Council had embarked on a pathway plan for the teenager
far too late.

He described the steps taken to involve the teenager in the
process as “inadequate”.

Justice Munby said that the man, who was taken into care in 2001
and had had repeated periods in secure accommodation, had been
unco-operative but said that was no reason for the council not to
carry out its obligations.

The Howard League for Penal Reform, which backed the judicial
review challenge, described the judge’s ruling as landmark.

Chris Callender, head of the league’s legal team, said: “This
judgement will send out a message to all local authorities that
assessment and planning is not simply about ticking boxes but a
thoughtful and detailed process helping children to map out their

A spokesperson for the council said: “We recognise the
criticisms and the need to improve our processes which will help us
avoid situations like this reoccurring in the future.”


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