The voices of young people under supervision of the Youth Offending Team

Published date01 June 2019
AuthorBecky Shepherd
Date01 June 2019
Subject MatterResearch & reports
Prisons. The purpose of this report was to continue obtaining valuable data, par-
ticularly in relation to children’s perceptions at the time of the inspection and to
identify any trends that had developed or may be developing. This independent
report was commissioned by the Youth Justice Board (YJB) and 686 surveys were
undertaken at the STCs and YOIs and analysed. The findings subsequently enabled
comparisons to be made against the results from previous inspections.
Whilst there was some improvement with the inspection findings, it was noted
that there was no statistically significant shift with the children’s perceptions in both
STCs and YOIs. Below are a few of the key findings identified regarding the profile
of children in custody during 2017–18:
42%of children in STCs identified as being from a black or other minority
ethnic background. The YOI findings disclosed 51%of boys identified them-
selves as falling into this category.
The proportion of children in STCs who said they came from a Gypsy,
Romany or Traveller background was 11%and 6%identified in the YOIs,
compared with estimates of 0.01%in the population.
56%of children reported being physically restrained in STCs and 50%of
boys in YOIs reported being restrained in their establishment.
Children in STCs (44%) held during 2017–18 reported they had been in
local care authority. This varied over the YOI estate, ranging from 31%to
56%depending on the unit surveyed. This group was identified as more likely
to report having children, less likely to be from a minority ethnic group, and
more likely to report having emotional or mental health problem.
Worryingly, too many children (34%) in STCs and 40%of boys in YOIs
reported feeling unsafe since they entered custody. In addition, there were
a number of children and boys who felt victimised within their establishments.
As noted above, the findings identified some welcome improvement given the
shortage of staff. Nonetheless, the findings breakdown the self-reported character-
istics and open the need for further in-depth research and analysis on the profiles of
children in custody.
Children in Custody 2017–18: An Analysis of 12–18 Year Olds’ Perceptions of
Their Experiences in Secure Training Centres and Young Offender Institutions. Joint
HMI Prison and Youth Justice Board 2019. Available at: https://www.justicein
Sharon Brereton
NPS (London)
The voices of young people under supervision of the
Youth Offending Team
This e-survey took place as part of HM Inspectorate of Probation’s Inspection of
Youth Offending work. The findings combine three years’ worth of electronic
Research & reports 253

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