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 Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice 2:22 pm, 24th July 2019

The hon. Gentleman highlights an important point that links in with points made by other hon. Members—namely, that those in the cohort of young people in custody are not only the perpetrators of serious crimes but often the victims of crime who in many cases suffer from mental health challenges or a range of other issues. If we overlay that with the constraints of a custodial environment, that is extremely challenging, which is why we are working hard to divert young people and others, where appropriate, away from custody into community sentences and towards the support and medical support they need. Within custody, were working to improve conditions and ensure that the support is there to drive down the self-harm and suicide rates, but it is also vital that we remain focused on the longer term and on the current Government’s approach to changing the nature of youth custody, where it does have to occur, and moving towards a secure schools model.