Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has been given notice of the “chaos” situation at the Okhel Safe Training Center, which currently has 46 boys between the ages of 12 and 17, offset, HMI prisons and CQC. Security system was found for. In “Anarchy”
Campaigners have called on the government to “immediately reconsider” its approach to juvenile detention in the light of the dangerous consequences of the G4S-run Milton Keynes prison – the only facility of its kind. Which is still open after two other closures. Failures.
Earlier this year, ministers made that decision. Remove all children Due to “extremely serious failures” in the facility at Rusbrook’s Safe Training Center, in rugby, and in other concentration settings, including Okhel.
In March 2020, Affected by scandal At the Midway Safe Training Center in Kent, inspectors were shut down after excessive use of force against children and failure to manage incidents by staff.
During a visit to Okhel between October 4-8, inspectors found that children were subjected to “repeated incidents of violence and the use of force,” which were sometimes “unjustified and against the law.”
They found that the use of force and physical prevention of children was “ineffective”, “poor practice was not identified and not immediately resolved”, while staff often provided “all the information needed to keep children safe”. Was not adorned with. ”
Senior leaders have failed to ensure that concerns and allegations are handed over to law enforcement agencies. There is a backlog of security concerns awaiting action. Therefore, children are at risk of serious harm, “according to the inspectors.
The results, which Offset says will be published in full in due course, also show that frontline staff at Okhel have “poor management and support”, with records showing that every year About 30% of staff are lost, resulting in “unstable, temporary relationships with children.”
The decision to keep children locked in their rooms for an average of 19 hours a day in July and August was “completely inappropriate and risk-averse” and their experiments meant “minimal human decency,” observers said. To meet the standard. ”
He said that while the director of a new transitional center had “begun to catch on”, he was “not confident in the sustainability of development”.
“It’s a center of chaos, with children suffering from staff shortages and poor organization,” said Amanda Spellman, chief inspector of Offset.
Mr Raab now has 28 calendar days to respond to offset how childcare, safety and well-being in Okhel will be improved both in the immediate and long term.
Responding to the findings, the Secretary of Justice tweeted: “The situation in Okhel is unacceptable and the details of the offset report are truly astonishing. I am now immediately considering the next steps for Okhal’s future and a plan soon I will take action.
It is not clear where the children will go in Okhel if the center is closed. Concerns have been raised about the fact that some of those who were before the closure of Rainsbrook were transferred to YOIs, which are designed for older teens and young adults. , And they can be considered inappropriate.
The Conservative Manifesto in 2019 included a commitment to pilot “safe schools”, which would focus on education and rehabilitation and would be run by education providers rather than prison services. The Ministry of Justice has said that these plans are ongoing, but there is no clear timeline.
Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said the report showed that the whole view of child custody was “urgently needed” and questioned the government’s commitment to making schools safer.
“It looks like a dangerous window dressing when the first example is about five years after the government announced the move,” he added.
“Now is the time for the government to enlist the help of experts to develop a practical national strategy. Without it, they are condemning the abuse of more children in a broken system.
Francis Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Panel Reform, said: “The creation of safe training centers was a dangerous experience that ended in failure, hundreds of children were harmed and abused while private companies took their toll. Benefited. It’s time for a different perspective. ”
A spokesman for the Youth Custody Service said: “Improvements have been made since then and G4S has appointed an experienced interim director – but it is clear that it needs to move further and faster. Considering immediate steps and all options are on the table.
A G4S spokesman in Okhel said a number of problems at the center had arisen due to the impact of epidemics on staff levels and the work of the center, adding that it was “tackling these challenges” by forming an external response team. Is”.
As a result, stability and governance in Okhel are improving. Over the past month, our team has provided a full government of 13 hours per child on weekdays and 12 hours per hour on weekends.
From June to the end of September, total incidents decreased by 47% and ‘use of force’ by 61%, according to internal management data. We take the offset results very seriously and we are taking further action on the recent positive developments in Okhel.