Category Archives: Children in Prison

HMYOI Wetherby Keppel Unit – High standards of care in well run facility

The Keppel Unit at HMYOI Wetherby was extremely well run and provided a model for other specialist units for young people, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the special unit at the young offender institution in West Yorkshire. HMYOI Wetherby’s Keppel Unit, which opened… Continue Reading

Children and Young People in Custody – Some Improvements, Some Concerns

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN CUSTODY – SOME IMPROVEMENTS, SOME CONCERNS Most young people’s perceptions of their treatment and conditions in custody had improved but there were indications that establishments were struggling to manage some of the most challenging or vulnerable, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons, publishing two thematic reports on the results… Continue Reading

Legal Action Over Child Jail Complaints System

A charity has threatened legal action unless the Government brings in “an effective and independent” complaints procedure for children detained in privately run secure training centres (STCs). The Howard League for Penal Reform challenged Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, in an open “letter before action”, to confirm that he will implement plans to change the system… Continue Reading

Ashfield – high levels of violence and use of force by staff

Nick Hardwick, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, in a report to be published at midnight, says that in his final inspection of HMYOI Ashfield before it is re-roled from a juvenile institution to a category C adult male prison for sex offenders, he found there were high levels of violence, self-harm, along with high levels… Continue Reading

Youth Custody Deaths – Action Needed

Campaigners have called for urgent action in the wake of a report into the deaths of three children, including one in West Yorkshire, who apparently took their own lives while in custody. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman looked at the deaths of Alex Kelly, 15, at Cookham Wood in Kent; Jake Hardy, 17, at Hindley in Wigan,… Continue Reading

Ashfield Prison punished children unlawfully, High Court rules

A privately-run children’s prison unlawfully punished seven boys after they were involved in a protest over conditions on their wing, a High Court judge ruled today (Thursday 7 March). Ashfield Prison, near Bristol, also violated the right to a fair trial, protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies found. The… Continue Reading


Seventeen-year-olds suspected of crime are wrongly being treated as adults and losing vital protection when they are arrested, the High Court was told today. A teenager backed by several children’s rights campaign groups is seeking a landmark ruling that, at 17, young people should still be treated as children when taken into custody. This would… Continue Reading


Children are jailed too easily and at too young an age in the UK, Europe’s human rights watchdog said today. Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, told Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke that the UK’s justice system for juveniles was “excessively punitive”. He warned that the system might breach human rights laws… Continue Reading