Owers criticises treatment of children in Hindley YOI

Chief inspector of prisons Anne Owers has raised concerns about the conditions for juveniles at Hindley Young Offender Institution, near Wigan.

In an inspction report, Anne Owers found that on the split site establishment, which holds young adults and juveniles, “surpringly…the arrangements for young adults were in some key areas better than those for juveniles”.

* The incidence of assaults and use of force was lower for young adults than for juveniles

* Hindley provided good quality work or education for nearly all young adults

* Young adults were out of their cells for around 10 hours a day and were engaged in purposeful activity

* Overall the establishment provided a reasonably safe environment for young adults.

“Safety and activity were, however, less good for juveniles, in spite of the considerable investment of resources for that population,” the report said.

* There was a rise in the number of juveniles who felt unsafe

* Assaults and the use of force were high

* Vulnerable juveniles were held in the care and separation unit without effective reintegration and care plans

“Race relations needed further investment: young people had little confidence in the complaints system, staff training had fallen behind and more staff time needed to be devoted to this work,” the report added.

The inspectorate did note that the standard of mental health was “impressive” and resettlement managed well on both sides of the establishment. Training and sentence planning were also carried out effectivbely.

Anne Owers said: “Hindley is not helped by the weakness of national strategies and policies on some key areas that affect the treatment of juveniles.”

However she concluded that the establishment had made progress in trying to manage a diverse and challenging population and some aspects of work were achieving some positive outcomes.

Reports from http://inspectorates.homeoffice.gov.uk/hmiprisons/


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