Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Nacro, comments in response to the HM Inspectorate of Prisons report ‘Separation of children in young offender institutions’:
The findings in this report are deeply disturbing. It is wholly unacceptable that children are unable to access the basics of everyday life, including a daily shower and telephone call, and simply wrong that children are only able to leave their cells for 15 minutes a day. This reads more like the findings of a 19th century prison system than a 21st century system focused on rehabilitation and giving children the best chance of a future.
The Chief Inspector of Prisons is absolutely right to call for a completely new approach to the separation of children in custody. The government must commit to fundamental reform both in their use of separation but also in their whole approach to working with children caught in the youth justice system. Our justice system has for too long been under-resourced and overlooked. It’s time to treat children as children and give those who have made mistakes the best chance at a second chance.