The Youth Justice Board is set to reduce the number of beds it
commissions from both prison service accommodation and local
authority secure children’s homes, it emerged this week.
The board instead will focus on the use of community-based
intensive supervision and surveillance programmes – available
across England and Wales from this week – and places within
privately run secure training centres.
The news came as YJB acting chairperson Sir Charles Pollard told
the board’s annual convention that, despite improvements, there was
“a long way to go to bring the standard of provision across the
whole estate up to that provided in the best”.
He trumpeted the achievements of youth offending teams working with
young offenders in the community, and called for a dedicated and
separate workforce trained specifically to deal with children in
prison and an increased interchange of staff between the custodial
sector and youth offending teams.
Pollard’s comments came as rehabilitation agency Nacro and justice
campaign organisation Inquest united to launch a call for a public
inquiry into the death of 16-year-old Joseph Scholes, who was found
hanging in his cell at Stoke Heath Young Offenders Institution in
Joseph was given a two-year custodial sentence despite the fact
that he had suffered a traumatic childhood, exhibited signs of
depression, had periodic suicidal tendencies and begun to