Staffordshire Council to probe child protection concerns at YOI

Staffordshire Council will look into child protection concerns raised about Werrington Young Offender Institution, where inspectors found instances of offenders being strip-searched in a report last month.

The council’s deputy corporate director (vulnerable children), Sally Rees, has responded to concerns raised by the Howard League for Penal Reform in the wake of the report by the chief inspector of prisons.

This found two cases in which boys had “unnecessarily” had their clothes cut of them while being restrained, causing them distress. It also said that the safeguarding of children had declined since the departure of a social worker placed at the YOI, due to uncertainty over the future funding of her post.

In a letter to Howard League director Frances Crook, Rees said she would be meeting the governor at Werrington to discusss the issues raised by the campaign body.

She added: “I have a responsibility to make sure that children within our boundaries are as safe as they can be and it is in that context that I will be discussing matters with the governor of Werrington.”

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