Feltham Young Offender Institution - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 24th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice) 4:00 pm, 24th July 2019

I note the observations of my noble and learned friend. It may not be appropriate to generalise about the state of the youth custody regime. It is clear, and it should be acknowledged, that there have been real operational difficulties at Feltham A over several months—of that we can have no doubt. Indeed, there was a hiatus when a Feltham governor was promoted and, unfortunately, the incoming governor had to work out a period of notice before moving into post. Again, that created real difficulties. But there are also areas of success in the youth custody regime: for example, I will mention in passing Wetherby, where —my noble and learned friend made a good point here—a well-established governor has been in place since October 2016 and has therefore had the time and space to settle a once-troubled establishment. So I agree that continuity and consistency are important if we are to deal with these issues.