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Youth Custody

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 24932, tabled on 30 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) in England 2019-20 annual report, published by Independent Monitoring Boards in June 2021, what recent estimate he has made of the number of young people held in segregation for more than a week while awaiting transfer to the adult estate.

Answered on

8 July 2021

The Youth Custody Service (YCS) is working in partnership with HM Prison and Probation Service colleagues to develop a national transitions pathway that will ensure more efficient and timely transfers for all young people being transitioned to the young adult estate.

This will be underpinned by a transitions policy framework to bring consistency and alignment in the approach taken across the children and young people secure estate.

A pilot with young adults from Wetherby Young Offender Institution (YOI) transitioning to HMYOI Deerbolt is underway, with the intention that an agreed national transitions policy will be published by the end of the summer, with implementation to follow thereafter.

We are committed to minimising the use of separation in our YOIs and are creating a new system of separation as part of the development of the new framework. Children should only be separated as a response to risk, for only as long as it is necessary to manage that risk, and with decisions to separate children subject to regular review and oversight. Planning for the child’s reintegration should start from the point at which separation is considered, as part of our wider approach to integrated care. To this end, we have engaged with a range of stakeholders to ensure the framework is fit for purpose and addresses the concerns raised by HM Inspectorate of Prisons and others.

The Youth Custody Service internally captures and records incidents of separation in YOIs and we expect to begin publishing sufficient, suitable and accurate separation data, to effectively inform practice, on a quarterly basis in 2022/23 and onwards.