Review of prisons’ children services

The high court has granted a judicial review
into the alleged failure of the Home Office to implement the
provisions of the Children Act 1989 in young offenders’

Howard League for Penal Reform lodged a claim for the judicial
review last month after they produced research showing that
children in custody are not being protected from bullying, assault
and self-harm.

16-year-olds have committed suicide in prison since January 2000
and there were 554 recorded incidents of self-harm by young people
in prisons between April 2000 and November 2001.

the claim was lodged, the high court has received a supported
statement from former chief inspector of prisons Sir David
Ramsbotham, and a damning report on Onley Young Offenders’
Institution by the current chief inspector of prisons, Anne

“Overall, we felt that Onley was
a long way from providing a safe environment for all its young
people; indeed for some vulnerable children we did not believe that
it would have met the requirements of the Children Act,” Owers said
in the inspection report of Onley YOI.

were also no proper child protection procedures in place,” she

Justice Silber granted permission after considering the papers from
the Home Office and the Howard League.

next step is a full oral hearing of the arguments, expected in


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