To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Answer of 23 January 2018 to Question 903506, what steps the Government has taken to address unsafe conditions in youth custody following the Youth Custody Improvement Board report published in February 2017.
29 January 2018
The safety of young people in custody is our highest priority, and we take the findings of the Youth Custody Improvement Board very seriously. We are investing £64 million as part of our work to reform youth custody. This includes expanding frontline staff capacity in public-sector Young Offender Institutions by 20% and introducing a new youth justice specialist role. We have already started to make progress and currently around 140 frontline staff are enrolled on a new vocational youth justice foundation degree.
To ensure a grip on safety and performance a new Youth Custody Service was launched in September 2017, headed by an Executive Director who is accountable to Ministers. This is the first time in the department’s history that such a role has existed and this demonstrates our commitment to improving youth custody.
We are working with NHS England to strengthen the provision of mental health care. We are also investing in the development of Enhanced Support Units to provide a better environment for young people with the most complex needs. The first of these is now operational at Feltham YOI.
We are currently implementing a behaviour management strategy to improve safety across the youth estate and progressing with a conflict resolution model.