Youth Justice Board denies breach of children’s rights

Two young offenders institutions are failing to provide the
quality of care for children laid out in the United Nations
Convention on the Rights of the Child, according to research by
penal reform charity the Howard League.

But a spokesperson for the Youth Justice Board, which is
responsible for monitoring the institutions, denied there were
problems. “We refute the points made,” she said. “For example, the
boys do not have limited access to open air. They play outdoor
sports on a daily basis.”

She said figures on the number of assaults had also been greatly

The research, based on conditions for 15 to 17-year-olds at
Lancaster Farms, Lancaster, and Castington, Northumberland, reveals
a lack of specialist training for staff, units too large to provide
individual care, limited access to open air, and difficulty
controlling bullying.

The Howard League acknowledges that changes to the youth justice
system, including the introduction of the Youth Justice Board, have
improved access to activities for children.

But spokesperson Charlotte Day said the character of prison
remained unchanged: “Prisons are designed for security rather than
care, and The Howard League is concerned they still fail to meet
the needs of children.”

The charity plans to carry out similar research into every young
offenders institution.

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