SCYJ response to the Joint Inspectorates’ ‘Proposed changes to the joint inspections of secure training centres’ Consultation

SCYJ has responded to a consultation on proposed changes to the joint inspections of secure training centres (STCs). The inspectorates describe the rationale for the changes as ensuring that children’s experiences and progress are central to inspections, and bringing greater consistency to the way in which the experiences of children in custody are viewed by more closely aligning the inspection of STCs with inspections of other children’s services.

We welcome the principle of closer alignment put forth by the inspectorates, however we note an obvious risk with regards to distancing the inspection of Youth Offender Institutions (YOI). We generally agree with proposals to revise the judgement structure for inspections, and plans for a more robust and consistent response to an ‘inadequate’ judgement following an inspection.

Read our full response here.

SCYJ Response to the MoJ ‘Secure Schools: How to Apply Guide’ Consultation

SCYJ has responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation on draft ‘Secure Schools: How to Apply’’ guidance. The guide sets out the expectations of Secure Schools and the procedure that prospective Secure School providers must take.

SCYJ applauds the detail included in the draft guide and welcomes a number of elements, including the recognition of the vulnerability of children in custody and the need to develop a child-focused, individualised provision with a specialized workforce.

However, we do have some concerns, particularly with regards to the place of cost in the assessment process, and we would welcome further details on aspects not yet covered by the guide. We have made a variety of recommendations and offered practical guidance to ensure that Secure Schools will be developed with a child-focused approach.

Read our full response here.

SCYJ submission to YOI inspection expectations consultation

SCYJ has responded to a HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) consultation on the third edition of its ‘Expectations for children’ document, aimed at locating its criteria for assessing the treatment of children and conditions in young offender institutions within the context of international human rights standards.

We believe their approach is largely very successful, and we congratulate HMIP on this. There are, however, both some gaps in the document and also some weaknesses in adopting a mainly outcome driven focus that we believe could be easily accommodated within this overall framework, and we would urge HMIP to consider doing this.

Read our full response here.