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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse of Children in Custodial Institutions: 2009-2017 Investigation Report

B.2: The custodial institutions

10. Children remanded in custody or detained after sentence are generally detained in a YOI, STC or SCH.

11. When a child is remanded in custody or sentenced to youth detention, the Youth Custody Service placement team will decide on the type of establishment to which the child will be sent. There are no fixed criteria, except that boys cannot be accommodated in YOIs unless they are aged 15 or over, and there is no YOI accommodation for girls. The Youth Custody Service will consider a range of factors in deciding on the appropriate placement. The Youth Custody Service’s placement procedures indicate, for example, if the child is young, immature or requires a high level of support that a SCH or STC may be more suitable. A YOI might be suitable for someone who is emotionally mature and resilient.[1]

Young offender institutions

Feltham YOI Exterior

Feltham YOI

12. Most children detained are in YOIs, which were created by the Criminal Justice Act 1998 and operate under the Young Offender Institution Rules 1988 and 2000.[2][3] There are currently five YOIs that hold children operating in England and Wales: Cookham Wood, Feltham, Werrington, Wetherby and Parc.

13. These institutions hold boys aged from 15 to 17. YOIs can accommodate 40 to 440 children, usually split into smaller units of 30 to 60. They typically hold children considered to be more resilient, who may be older and who “externalise their risk”. There is a relatively low staff to offender ratio of around 1:10. Places currently cost around £81,000 each per annum. As at December 2017, there were 641 boys detained in YOIs across England and Wales, approximately 70 percent of the total number of children detained. Only Parc is privately run.

Werrington YOI Exterior

Werrington YOI  

Secure training centres

Medway STC Exterior

Medway STC

14. Secure training centres were created by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and operate under the Secure Training Centre Rules 1998. There are three STCs operating in England: Medway, Rainsbrook and Oakhill. There are none in Wales. The STCs accommodate boys and girls aged from 12 to 17. One STC is male only and Rainsbrook has a separate mother and baby unit. Each STC accommodates 50 to 80 children, with accommodation usually split into smaller units of five to eight. They typically hold those children assessed as more independent, who are motivated to attend school or who have risk factors which make it inappropriate for them to be placed in a YOI. There is a higher staff to offender ratio than is present in YOIs, of between 2:5 and 3:8. Places cost around £178,000 each per annum in 2014. At December 2017, there were 169 children held in STCs across England, approximately 18 percent of the total number of children detained. Medway was privately run by G4S until 2016, when it returned to the public sector. Rainsbrook was also run by G4S until 2016 but the contract was then transferred to MTC Novo. Oakhill is still run by G4S.[4]

Rainsbrook STC

Rainsbrook STC

Secure children’s homes

Aycliffe SCH

Aycliffe SCH

15. Secure children’s homes were created by the Children Act 1989 and operate under Part 2 of the Care Standards Act 2000 and applicable regulations. There are currently seven SCHs in operation in England which accept children detained for criminal justice reasons: Adel Beck, Aldine, Aycliffe, Barton Moss, Clayfields, Lincolnshire and Vinney Green. There is one in Wales: Hillside. SCHs accommodate boys and girls aged from 10 to 17. Uniquely, SCHs detain children who are on remand or convicted (on ‘justice placements’) and also children placed there for the protection of themselves or others (on ‘welfare placements’).[5] Welfare placements can be arranged by a local authority if it considers that a child who it is looking after[6] is likely to abscond in any other form of accommodation and may cause harm to themselves or others.

16. SCHs accommodate eight to 40 children, with accommodation usually split into smaller units. They typically hold those considered to be the most vulnerable, who have more complex needs and who are younger. Of the three types of institution, SCHs have the highest staff to offender ratio of between 1:2 and 6:8. Places currently cost around £231,000 each per annum. At December 2017, there were 114 children detained in SCHs on justice placements, approximately 12 percent of the total number of children detained. All SCHs are run by local authorities.[7][8]

SCH, STC and YOI provision mapped across country

This includes all SCHs, including those which do not detain children for criminal justice reasons.

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