New unit for vulnerable boys opens at Wetherby YOI

A unit for vulnerable boys in custody has officially opened at Wetherby young offender institution in West Yorkshire.

The Youth Justice Board said the Keppel Unit, holding up to 48 boys aged 15-17, offered enhanced support including individual care plans.

Specially recruited staff from among prison offers, education and healthcare professionals have been jointly trained to run the regime, which began in October last year.

The unit is targeted at boys, mainly from the north of England, who are considered unlikely to engage with the standard YOI regime, including those who show emotional or physical immaturity or at risk of being bullied.

John Drew, chief executive of the YJB, said:“Through targeted support, this new unit is helping those young people who might otherwise struggle while in custody, to better understand the reasons behind their offending and get the help they need to move their lives forward in a positive way.”

Will Styles, governor of Wetherby YOI, said: “Some of those in our care are amongst the very most vulnerable, disadvantaged and difficult to reach young people in our society. Keppel gives us an excellent resource to provide the highest levels of care and opportunities for rehabilitation to them.”

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