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We’ve signed a letter with 9 others calling for an independent inquiry into child prisons
14 January 2016
An independent inquiry into child prisons is needed so that we can understand the scale of abuse, campaigners say
Today, 14 January 2016, the following letter has been published in the Times.
Sir, Serious questions may have to be asked about G4S Children’s Services and other agencies working in Medway Secure Training Centre after allegations of abuse and mistreatment of children there (report, Jan 8). If the alleged ill-treatment occurred, why did it take undercover filming to expose it and why was it not found earlier by G4S managers, the Youth Justice Board and others, including the NHS and the charity Barnardo’s?
Investigations are under way by Kent Police and children’s services, and remedial action is taking place — but this does not address the longstanding risks to children’s safety and wellbeing. Arrangements must now be made for the planned transfer of children from G4S Medway, and other institutions like it, to settings where we can be sure they will be safe, respected and properly cared for. Then we need an independent inquiry into child prisons so that we can understand the scale of any abuse and learn how to look after children well.
Carolyne Willow, Director, Article 39
Deborah Coles, Co-Director, INQUEST
Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive, YoungMinds
Kathy Evans, Chief Executive, Children England
Natasha Finlayson, Chief Executive, The Who Cares? Trust
Pam Hibbert OBE, Independent Youth Justice Specialist
Louise King & Carla Garnelas, Co-Directors, Children’s Rights Alliance for England
Shauneen Lambe, Executive Director, Just for Kids Law
Bridget Robb, Chief Executive, The British Association of Social Workers
‘No other organisation has worked so closely with bereaved families throughout the investigation and inquest process. INQUEST has a unique insight into the daily difficulties families face while striving to cope in the aftermath of a death in custody. The Skills and Support Toolkit can provide you with practical advice needed to continue and maintain your day to day life at a time when even the simplest of tasks can seem insurmountable, or help you develop the skills needed to mount a campaign. ’
– Mother of a child who died in prison