Dr Robert Jones of the Welsh Governance Centre has produced an excellent document which pulls together all the available data on imprisonment in Wales.
Key facts about children’s imprisonment…
– The number of children in prison in Wales has fallen by 69% over the last ten years, down by 2,078 to only 870 in March 2018
– Between 2010 and 2017 the number of Welsh children in prison fell by 72%, compared to a 57% reduction in to total across England and Wales.
– In 2017, Welsh children were imprisoned as follows:
– Detention & Training Orders – 87%
– Section 90-91 Detention – 11%
– Section 226b Recall – 2%
– In 2017, Welsh children were imprisoned in the following places:
– Young Offenders Institutions – 73%
– Secure Training Centres – 15%
– Secure Children’s Homes – 12%
– The YJB’s decision to close custodial facilities and decommission beds has meant increasing numbers of children being sent to distant places to prison:
– 45% of all Welsh children in custody are being held in England
– The majority are held in HMYOI Werrington
– Each 25-mile interval that a child was held from home was associated with one less from a family member or friend…
– …and one less visit from a professional responsible for the care of children in the community
– Rates of self-harm have marginally increased to 9 per 100 children annually
– One third of all boys imprisoned felt
– HM Inspector of Prison concluded in 2017 that they had no visited a single establishment ‘in which it was safe to hold children.‘
Whilst the huge drop ion the numbers of children in custody – particularly in Wales – is a good news story, the overall picture for children in prison is a grim one.
There is a need to completely re-think the provision in line with the rights children have under the UNCRC (articles 20, 25, 37 and 39 particularly, and article 30 for welsh-speaking children) and what we know about effective rehabilitation.
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© Jonny Matthew 2018