Rainer warns it could drop backing for Offender Management Bill

Children’s charity Rainer is to withdraw its support for controversial legislation on offender management unless the government drops a measure to place young criminals in adults’ prisons when they turn 18.

The charity hopes that the government will make a decision on whether the measure in the Offender Management Bill will be kept after the bill’s second reading in the House of Lords today. 

Rainer, one of the bill’s key supporters, said the measure to end the practice of placing juveniles in young offender institutions after they turn 18 would have a “serious and negative impact”.

David Chater, head of policy at Rainer, said: “While we support the principle behind the bill, as a charity working with young people and young adults we can’t support a measure that would see vulnerable young adults sent to adult prisons. We hope to get a commitment from the government that this will be dropped.”

The charity’s concerns have been backed by penal reformers, the chief inspector of prisons and the parliamentary joint committee on human rights.

The government is reviewing provision for 18- to 21-year-old prisoners, who are more likely to have mental health problems than older inmates and have high re-conviction rates.

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