Young Offender Institutions: Staff

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 15th May 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the (a) numbers and (b) performance of specialist staff trained in therapeutic and welfare-based approaches in UK young offenders institutions.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Ministry of Justice is committed to improving the safety and life chances of young people in custody. We recognise that in recent years the youth secure estate has experienced difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff. We are expanding frontline staff capacity in public-sector Young Offender Institutions: at the start of 2019, the Youth Custody Service had 315 more frontline officers than 12 months previously – an increase of 35 per cent. We are also providing funding for every Prison Officer in the Youth Custody Service to undertake a youth justice qualification and, on completion, move to a new youth justice specialist role on promotion and at a higher pay-grade. Over 400 frontline staff are currently enrolled on this qualification.

We are working with the National Health Service to deliver an integrated framework of care, encompassing education, health and behavioural support, to ensure young people receive full needs assessments and tailored care and support plans. This is in addition to opening Enhanced Support Units for young people with the most complex needs, and increasing psychology staffing across the estate.

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