Shift away from offender institutions is under way

The Youth Justice Board is to cut back on the number of places in
young offender institutions. From April, a total of 272 YOI places
will go, the YJB has announced.

Some 190 new places have opened this year at secure training
centres and local authority secure units. A new 80-place secure
training unit is due to open in Milton Keynes in the summer.

But Sir Charles Pollard, acting chairperson of the Youth Justice
Board, said there were still concerns about standards in secure
accommodation for young offenders.

“The reduction in the number of young people being sent to custody
has allowed the YJB to focus even more on ensuring that young
people are placed in safe, secure establishments as close as
possible to their homes. These latest changes are a step forward,
but there is still a long way to go to bring the standards seen in
the best establishments to the rest of the secure estate.”

He added: “So far, the pace of reform in the secure sector has not
matched the achievements made in the community to deal with young
offenders. Although significant improvements have been made in the
past few years more needs to be done. The YJB is currently working
on a new vision for the juvenile secure estate to address our

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