Child protection training for staff

PRISON staff dealing with some of the country's most challenging young criminals are finally receiving child protection training.A team of inspectors led by Anne Owers, the chief inspector of prisons, was concerned to discover that no staff working in one of the country's three specialist units holding children and young people serving long-term detention had not received this training.

PRISON staff dealing with some of the country's most challenging young criminals are finally receiving child protection training.

A team of inspectors led by Anne Owers, the chief inspector of prisons, was concerned to discover that no staff working in one of the country's three specialist units holding children and young people serving long-term detention had not received this training.

When they visited the Carlford Unit, Warren Hill closed prison, near Woodbridge, in November they were told by officers that they had "taught themselves."

The inspectors warned, in their report on the prison, that there were significant child protection issues in the high security unit and staff needed comprehensive training.


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Stuart Robinson, governor, said: "Child protection training has started. It is for the whole establishment because all of our clientele are classed as children.

"All staff have to have the basic protection training and we are going through the staff at the moment with a programme of child protection training. We are about, I think it is, one third of the way through our frontline staff."

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Carlford has a capacity of 30 children and has a unit for children detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure - the equivalent of an adult life sentence.

The inspectors said places in local authority secure units for young people over 15 were being reserved for the most vulnerable criminals and it was expected more teenagers on life sentences would come to Carlford.

The unit can take sex offenders and children who have committed offences against other children.

The restoration of an old Colman's mustard wagon outside is one project designed to ensure inmates obtain fresh air. Teenagers had complained they had not been outside for several weeks and one boy said he had gone three months without fresh air.

Mr Robinson said activities were taking place outside including gardening and ecology.

The unit's staff, who have won the Terry Waite Award for their outstanding work, were praised by inspectors for their enthusiasm and confidence in dealing with serious criminals and their non-judgemental approach towards them.

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