Plan to place young offenders in prisons attacked

MPs and peers today slammed government proposals to allow young offenders to be placed in adult prisons when they reach 18.

In a report, the joint committee on human rights questioned the suitability of the proposal, under which 18-year-old offenders on a detention and training order could be transferred from a young offender institution to an adult prison.

The government has said it would only use the provision, contained in the Offender Management Bill, after it had decided whether YOIs would continue to house 18- to 20-year-olds, but would produce guidance on excluding vulnerable young people from the measure.

But the committee said: “We query whether such guidance would be sufficient to protect this group of offenders who are peculiarly vulnerable because of their age. We also question the appropriateness of introducing such a significant measure on a contingency basis.”

It called for the plan to be put on hold until the future of young adults in YOIs was more certain.


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