Inspector finds lack of purpose at young offenders institution

The chief inspector of prisons has found evidence again of
little purposeful activity in young offenders institutions
following her latest inspection in Reading, writes
Clare Jerrom

Most prisoners at the Young Offenders Institution and Remand
Centre Reading had little meaningful work and spent too much time
in cells, Anne Owers found.

This is not the first time Owers has criticised the lack of
provision for purposeful activity for young offenders. She urged
the government to provide additional resources to allow
establishments to improve purposeful activity, education and
training following inspections of Onley YOI in Warwickshire and
Hindley YOI near Wigan, in May.

Following the latest inspection of Reading, Owers said: “There
is a need at Reading to build resettlement, purposeful activity and
respect for prisoners’ basic needs into the culture of the

The inspection also revealed dirty and cold cells, showers in an
appalling state and the need to develop an effective anti-bullying

Inspectors did find, however, that many of the previous
inspection’s recommendations had been followed up, and that
Reading overall was a safe place.

They found the new governor was well aware of the prison’s
weaknesses and was determined to tackle them.

Owers concluded: “We commend the efforts of the recently
appointed governor, and his determination to address many of the
prison’s problems. We expect to find a greatly-improved
prison on our next inspection.”






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