The juvenile unit at Parc was working well with the young people it held, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing the report of an unannounced inspection of the young people’s unit at the prison and young offender institution in South Wales.

The juvenile unit at Parc is a separate part of the much larger Parc prison. It holds boys under 18 from an area that has increased to include not only South Wales but also parts of south west England. Its last inspection in 2012 found generally very positive outcomes. This inspection found that the young people held were well cared for.

Inspectors were pleased to find that:

Parc was a safe institution, with robust and efficient child protection arrangements and staff who understood their responsibilities well;
there was prompt support for those at risk of intimidation;
security was very good and levels of violence were nearly all very minor;
behaviour management strategies were in place and young people were clear about the standards expected of them;
levels of self-harm were very low and structures to support those that might be at risk were well integrated;
supervision was thorough and use of force was only applied as a last resort;
evidence found suggested hardly any use of illicit substances, but there were good support services for boys who needed them;
relationships between staff and young people were excellent;
access to outside areas and general amenities, such as showers and telephones, was good;
young people had good access to time out of their cells and prompt access to a range of learning and skills activities; and
work to support the resettlement of young people was reasonably good.

Nick Hardwick said

“Parc is a good and accountable facility providing a safe and respectful environment where learning and resettlement support can be provided. The unit is well led and the attitude of staff is key to its success. Young people are not collectively seen as a problem or blamed, and the culture is not punitive. On the contrary, staff set clear boundaries and work legitimately with young people. Staff set a good example, advocate on their behalf and listen to their concerns. An added strength is the size of the unit which allows for really good supervision, and this brings confidence and security to staff and young people alike.”

Sarah Payne, Director of the National Offender Management Service Wales, said:

“I am pleased that the Chief Inspector has highlighted the good work that is taking place at Parc.

“The Director and her staff have developed excellent relationships with the young people, and they deserve real credit for providing a safe and rehabilitative environment that will help to reduce reoffending.

“They will now use the recommendations to deliver further improvements.”

A copy of the full report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website from 27 August 2014 at

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