Children in trouble with the law are vulnerable and must be housed in a small, family-like environment


Warehousing children in massive prisons is wrong

Children in trouble with the law are vulnerable and must be housed in a small, family-like environment

Figures suggest prisons are seeing higher rates of death amongst the elderly.

Lock-up: the Government has proposed building the largest children’s prison in Europe Photo: Gareth Copley/PA

SIR – Government plans for the largest children’s prison in Europe are bad for children, bad for justice and bad for the taxpayer. Children in trouble with the law are some of the most vulnerable and challenging in our society. Many have been the victims of abuse and neglect.

Small, family-like, secure homes that focus on rehabilitation and tailored, individual learning are better at helping children turn their lives around. Instead we get a plan to create massive child prisons and no details on how they will be run. Proposals to house young children with older teenagers present serious safeguarding risks.

There are 40 per cent fewer children in prison today than when this policy of large prisons for children was first developed, and since 2002 youth crime has fallen by 63 per cent. The estimated £85 million of public money required for this project would be better spent on investing in what works rather than an expensive and dangerous child jail.

Warehousing children in massive prisons is the surest way to create more problems for the future.

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