Young Offender Institutions: Crimes of Violence

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Jo Stevens Jo Stevens Labour, Cardiff Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many recorded violent incidents per head of population in young offender institutions there have been in each year for which figures are available.

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

Incidents of assault by children and young people in Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) is published as part of the annual Youth Justice Statistics, the latest of which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/youth-justice-statistics-2017-to-2018. The following has been taken from supplementary table 8.14:

Incidents of proven assault by children and young people (YOIs) years ending March 2012 to 2018

Average number of children and young people per month(1)

Average number of proven assaults by children and young people per month

Average number of children and young people involved per month as perpetrators

Proportion of children and young people involved as perpetrators

Number of proven assaults per 100 children and young people in custody per month

Number of proven assaults per children and young people involved

Year ending March

Young Offender Institutions

2012

2,209

143

133

6%

6.5

1.1

2013

1,738

124

120

7%

7.1

1.0

2014

1,163

133

132

11%

11.4

1.0

2015

1,000

117

118

12%

11.7

1.0

2016

904

137

129

14%

15.2

1.1

2017

861

82

85

10%

9.5

1.0

2018(2)

853

99

113

13%

11.6

0.9

(1) This is based on the number of children and young people in the month, which is the population in custody at the beginning of the month plus new admissions during the month. This figure includes 18 year olds.

(2) The counting rules for assaults were updated from April 2017 onwards and are therefore not directly comparable with previous years. Please see the Guide to Youth Justice Statistics for more information.

The safety and welfare of young people held in custody is our highest priority and we are committed to improving their safety and life chances. That is why we began a youth justice reform programme in 2017, investing in staff, education and psychology services. We are making progress delivering these reforms, but we are clear that there is still much more to do. We are also expanding frontline staff capacity in public-sector YOIs. At the end of March this year, the Youth Custody Service had 348 more frontline officers than at the start of the reform programme – an increase of 40%.

The Youth Custody Service have started implementing a new evidence-based behaviour management strategy aimed at incentivising good behaviour and building positive relationships. This will sit alongside a new wrap-around approach to mental health provision developed by NHS England.

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