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Independent inspectors report on juvenile unit in South Wales

A report published today by independent assessors at a G4S-managed unit near Bridgend in South Wales for boys aged between 15 and 17 on remand or sentenced to custody has found that while there is much to commend at the facility, improvements in safety are required. 

Inspectors from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) said that education and resettlement had improved since the previous assessment of the 64-capacity unit but that violence had increased and a third of young people felt unsafe.  They reported that in the previous six months, although most were minor, there had been over 100 violent incidents and assaults on staff had increased from two to 22.  

The review found that the boys held in the establishment “presented significant individual and behavioural challenges” but that while staff were “generally caring” and there were “proportionate responses to challenging situations”, at times, staff lacked authority and confidence.      

The small facility is a discrete unit within the much larger Parc prison.  Responding to today’s report,   Director for HMP and YOI Parc, Janet Wallsgrove, said:

“Work has been underway for some time to review our team, our training and structures to look after boys who are more violent than cohorts we have seen in the past.  While the work can be rewarding, it is also incredibly difficult and complex and we have re-interviewed every member of staff on the juvenile unit to ensure they continue to share our mission to help young people to turn their lives around.  As part of that process two members of staff have left us, we have recruited 10 new colleagues and we are supporting more inexperienced officers with mentors and coaching.  

“Since December’s inspection, we have also made progress in changing our safeguarding arrangements, trained staff in a new developmental and psychological model – the Trauma Recovery Model – to help our team better support troubled young people, and rolled out new training in managing and minimising the use of restraint.    

“These measures are showing encouraging signs and our most recent data for the first three months of 2017 show that violent incidents are down by 10 per cent.  There is more to do and we continue to work hard alongside our local authority partners, the Youth Justice Board (YJB) and local youth offending teams to embed the substantial changes we have made and we will use the recommendations in this report to drive further progress over the coming months."