Feltham a Young Offenders Institution

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:22 pm on 24th July 2019.

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Photo of Ruth Cadbury Ruth Cadbury Labour, Brentford and Isleworth 2:22 pm, 24th July 2019

I thank my fellow Hounslow MP my hon. Friend Seema Malhotra for asking this question today. I visited Feltham as the Hounslow lead member for children’s services in around 2003, not long after another murder there. The Howard League has today re-released its July 2018 report on Feltham. For 30 years, there have been critical inspections of the regime at Feltham and nothing has got any better over those 30 years. Does the Minister not agree that to lock up in a prison environment 15, 16 and 17-year-olds, who are children, is fundamentally wrong? We are the only equivalent country that does this. Yes, some them have committed terrible crimes, but they are children with mental health problems or addiction problems, or they may be neurodiverse or have learning disabilities. Should we not learn from other countries and provide a better therapeutic regime to support these children to turn their lives around?