Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News Shorts And Other Busyness

Dramatic Rise In Number Of Juveniles Imprisoned On Remand

Squall 11, Autumn 1995, pg. 5.

The number of 15 and 16-year-old children imprisoned whilst awaiting trial has risen by 85 per cent according to a report published jointly by NACRO (National Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of Offenders) and ACOP (Association of Chief Officers of Probation) in July.

Both the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Judge Tummin, and Lord Justice Woolf have argued strongly that remand prisons are an unsuitable environment for 15/16-year-olds; identifying serious problems of bullying, self-harm and suicides. Alternative options to remand prisons include bail with appropriate accommodation, reporting requirements or counselling, local authority secure accommodation and remand fostering. Despite this, however, the report reveals that the average amount of time spent by juveniles in remand prisons has also gone up by a staggering 154 per cent. These comparative figures come from March 1993 and September 1994.

Another alarming feature of the report is the percentage of black 15/16-year-olds on remand. In Feltham Remand Centre, which serves the London region, 53 per cent teenage remand prisoners are black; with 51 per cent in Birmingham and 43 per cent in Manchester.