Owers outlines fears for young people in prison

Anne Owers still remains concerned about escort arrangements for
young offenders being transported between courts and prisons,
despite new contracts being introduced earlier this year,
writes Maria Ahmed in London.

Speaking at the Youth Justice Board’s annual conference, the
chief inspector of prisons stressed the need to ensure protection
for young people at such a “vulnerable” time.

Owers also reiterated fears about provision for
18-to-20-year-olds and said it was “critically important” to ensure
steps were made to reduce the frequent movement around the

Her comments backed exclusive research carried out for Community
Care this week which outlined the appalling conditions endured by
young adult offenders. It highlighted how they spend their sentence
in a number of establishments creating a “churn” of movement around
the estate.

She also highlighted the difficulties of maintaining safety in
large juvenile establishments and expressed concern about under-18s
being placed far away from home.

Owers reiterated other concerns about strip-searching and use of
force on children in custody, particularly those with a history of

She called for a more “holistic” approach in dealing with young
offenders, focussing on care, before and after custody.

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