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The Sexual Abuse of Children in Custodial Institutions

An inquiry into the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation while in custodial institutions.

Children in detention are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse, but very little is known about their experiences or the extent to which institutions in England and Wales have discharged their duty of care to protect them.

This investigation will examine the nature and scale of child sexual abuse within the secure estate for children and young people. The Inquiry has identified Medomsley Youth Detention Centre, County Durham, as an initial case study in the investigation. The apparent scale of abuse at Medomsley demands a rigorous investigation into how multiple allegations, if true, could have gone uninvestigated and the offending undetected for so long. However, at this stage, the Inquiry is not inviting applications for core participant status in respect of the investigation involving Medomsley. While the Inquiry is anxious to conduct its investigation promptly, it cannot progress this currently due to potential criminal proceedings.

In addition to the Medomsley example, the Inquiry will consider the extent to which other custodial institutions may have allowed similar abuse to take place.

Current status:

Individuals and organisations that wish to be designated as a core participant in relation to this investigation should please submit their application by 4pm on 27 November 2017.

A preliminary hearing in relation to this investigation will be scheduled to take place at the Inquiry’s hearing centre at 18 Pocock Street, London SE1 0BW on 1 February 2018. Further details will be provided in due course.

The Inquiry has published an Update Note in relation to this investigation.

Applicants should also read the guidance for potential core participants and the Inquiry’s FAQs.

Any application submitted after 27 November 2017 will need to include an explanation as to why it has been submitted out of time. Delay in submitting an application, without good reason, will be taken into account and may cause an application to be refused.

Although the Inquiry is not yet accepting evidence from individuals for this investigation, the Inquiry is encouraging all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experience.

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