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ConnectYard - Tecnológico de Monterrey

ConnectYard - Tecnológico de Monterrey

3. A lack of realismThe

3. A lack of realismThe government plans to fund Secure College places at a similar level to existing YoungOffender Institutions. These existing prisons are unable to meet even their derisory target of15 hours of education per week, averaging just 12 hours. As such, the government’sassertions that the Secure College will be able to offer specialist provision seem whollyunrealistic, given that nothing close to it is achieved at similar institutions.Further claims that the size of the institution will make it easier to offer a broad curriculumfly in the face of all evidence. Secure Children’s Homes are able to offer this supportalready with fewer than 30 children in their care, while far larger Young Offenders’Institutions are unable to do so. Whatever their intentions, large custodial institutions fortroubled children always end up focusing on maintaining order rather than any otheroutcomes.These plans for renewed focus on education, without any additional money available, comeagainst a backdrop of significant staff cuts across the custodial estate, which has led to fallsin opportunities for education and training. This is evident from almost every report from HerMajesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons in both the adult and youth estate.The plans are not clear as to whether very young girls will be held alongside boys. SecureChildren’s Homes are able to care for girls safely because they are intensively staffedwhereas a massive institution with mixed girls and boys would put girls at risk.Use of force on children in Secure CollegesParagraphs 8 and 10 of Schedule 4 of the Bill make provision for the use of restraint onchildren in Secure Colleges. Included within this, is the ability to use restraint to enforce'good order and discipline', which allows officers to use force against children simply for notdoing as they are told, in addition to actions which are genuinely harmful to themselves orothers.Using force against a child in the care of the state is a very serious matter that can havelasting consequences. As Lord Carlile has argued, in any other setting an adult or groups ofadults assaulting a child would lead to a child protection inquiry. 1 As such, force must onlybe used where the state can justify its absolute necessity, and that is why the current legalposition for children in Secure Training Centres is that restraint cannot be used to makechildren do as instructed.The inclusion of this provision in primary legislation opens the door to authorising restraintfor good order and discipline in Secure Colleges. The Prisons Minister has insisted that thiswill not be the case, as the Secure College rules will not allow for it, but there is noguarantee this will be the case or justification for its inclusion in the Bill.As Mr Justice Blake observed in his judgment on the need for a second inquest into thedeath of Adam Rickwood, a 14-year-old boy who took his own life following a restraint forgood order and discipline, 'hurting children as a disciplinary measure is a controversialsubject in any sphere of social life, but especially in newly privatised training centres to be1 The Carlile Inquiry, Page 9https://d19ylpo4aovc7m.cloudfront.net/fileadmin/howard_league/user/pdf/Publications/Carlile_Report_pdf.pdfChair: Sue Wade Chief Executive: Frances Crook OBE Charity No. 251926 Company limited by guarantee No. 898514The Howard League for Penal Reform works for less crime, safer communities, fewer people in prison

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