Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 15th July 2021.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the the Urgent Notification issued by HM Inspectorate of Prisons in December 2020, if he will make an assessment of the progress made against the joint action plan between MTC and his Department.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Following the invoking of the Urgent Notification protocol at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre (STC) last December, we ordered the provider MTC to take the immediate action necessary to address the unacceptable failings at Rainsbrook, including a focus on ensuring no child was isolated on arrival and all children in the Reverse Cohorting Unit had suitable access to services and a greater amount of time out of their room.

The Youth Custody Service (YCS) has continuously monitored progress against the Urgent Notification plan since publication in January. There was some early progress at the start of 2021, with Ofsted noting that ‘some early signs of improvement were seen’ in their monitoring visit from 26 January (report published on 22 February). They did, however, note that many of the actions included in the plan still needed to be implemented, with other actions yet to have been embedded. The serious concerns relating to children ‘reverse cohorting’ at the centre were addressed, and the YCS had strengthened its oversight of the STC, as acknowledged by Ofsted. It is, however, clear that significant issues around staffing, safety, and on-site operational grip remain, with a second Urgent Notification invoked on 18 June following a full inspection of the centre.

We are currently transferring children from Rainsbrook to alternative appropriate accommodation within the children and young people secure estate. Separate to this, we are also considering the future of the centre, with a further announcement to be made on this position in due course.

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