Due to the welcome and continued reduction in the number of young people in custody, the Youth Justice Board (YJB) will be reducing the number of commissioned places.
Since 2009, significant decommissioning has taken place but vacancies still exist across the youth secure estate. This is not an effective use of public funds and the YJB has therefore decided to withdraw from all 58 places at Hassockfield secure training centre (STC), County Durham, and all of its 248 places for under-18s at Hindley under-18 young offender institution (YOI), Wigan.
The decisions have been taken following careful consideration of a number of factors. These include the current alignment between the supply of and demand for custodial places. The decisions were not taken because of any concerns with the establishments’ performance, where hard-working staff have engaged effectively with young people.
Individual relocation plans will be prepared for young people at Hassockfield and Hindley if their sentences extend beyond the date that the YJB vacates the establishments.
The plans will minimise the impact of any necessary transfers, with the personal circumstances and welfare of each young person being carefully considered. This includes the continuation of education and interventions, and the ability of youth offending teams and parents and carers to maintain contact.
Assisted visits schemes are available for families where support is required for travel expenses incurred when visiting young people in the secure estate.
By March 2015, Hassockfield and Hindley will be returned to the Ministry of Justice, who will decide on the future use of the sites. Existing spaces currently used for young adult males at Hindley YOI will remain in place.
Notes to editors