Press release

YJB response to HMI Prisons report on the backgrounds and needs of children and young people in custody

A report that looks at the perceptions of children and young people in secure training centres (STCs) and under-18 young offender institutions (YOIs) is published today.

Youth Justice Board for England and Wales

The report, ‘Children in Custody 2014-15: an analysis of 12-18-year-olds’ perceptions of their experience in secure training centres and young offender institutions’ is published jointly with the Youth Justice Board (YJB).

Lin Hinnigan, Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Board, said:

This important survey helps us listen to the views of young people in custody, so we can understand how best to improve the support they get. We are concerned at the number of young people who do not feel safe at some point during their time in custody. The purpose of custody is to help rehabilitate young people so that they can live crime-free lives, so reduced levels of purposeful activity are also troubling.

As the commissioner of places in under-18 custodial establishments, we are working closely with those running Secure Training Centres and YOIs to ensure they improve and meet the needs of each individual child in their care. The YJB is also committed to working with partners to address the issue of minority groups including Gypsy, Romany and Traveller being over-represented in the youth justice system.

Notes to Editors:

  1. You can read the report on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website
  2. This is the eleventh report published jointly with the Youth Justice Board (YJB) that details the perceptions of custody of 15- to 18-year-olds held in young offender institutions across England and Wales. It provides an opportunity to compare young people’s perceptions across establishments and over time.
  3. The report is based on the experience of 571 boys in five male establishments plus a separate survey of a specialist unit for boys considered to be vulnerable (the Keppel Unit) within HMYOI Wetherby. These surveys were carried out from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015 and received an overall response rate of 85%.
  4. This report covers the third year that HMI Prisons has examined the perceptions of children (mostly aged 15 to 17) held in four secure training centres in England. 203 responses were analysed, an overall response rate of 82%. 84% of respondents were boys and 16% were girls. The four STCs are operated by the private sector. The closure of Hassockfield was announced in October 2014 and it shut at the end of March 2015.

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Published 15 December 2015