Dr Robert Jones of the Welsh Governance Centre has produced an excellent document which pulls together all the available data on imprisonment in Wales.

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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%

Image courtesy of ©Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff University

– In 2017, Welsh children were imprisoned in the following places:

– Young Offenders Institutions – 73%

– Secure Training Centres – 15%

– Secure Children’s Homes – 12%

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–  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

Safety inside…

– 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.

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Final word

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.

‘There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats its children.’ Nelson Mandela

Previous related posts

– In prison a long way from home – what are the effects on kids in custody?…

– Report – Repairing Shattered Lives: Brain Injury – Implications for Criminal Justice

– Why youth offending teams should also handle 18-21 year olds…

– Custody for kids: good & bad. Part 1…

– Custody for kids: good & bad. Part 2…

– Why secure care can work…for some

– Child first, offender second…

– Crime & punishment 3 – “Give a damn!”

– Crime & punishment 2 – cause & effect…

– Crime & punishment 1 – Why punishment isn’t enough…

– Troubled youth: re-writing the ending…

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© Jonny Matthew 2018