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Werrington Young Offender Institution

Volume 481: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the Independent Monitoring Board Annual Report on HM Young Offender Institution Werrington, what assessment he has made of the availability of places for young offenders from the Potteries area; and if he will make a statement. (228580)

The Youth Justice Board considers there to be adequate local provision for young people from the Stoke-on-Trent area, who are usually placed in the closest suitable establishments—the young offender institutions at Stoke Heath, Brinsford and Werrington. On occasion, young people from the area may be placed further away, where there are good reasons for doing so, such as the need to access the regime in a secure training centre or secure children’s home.

During the period covered by the Independent Monitoring Board’s report (1 June 2006 to 31 May 2007), population pressures on the under-18 estate made it necessary to move some young people from the south of England to the Midlands. For that reason Werrington received a number of young people from the south of England. Since the opening of Cookham Wood as a young offender institution earlier this year, such placements have not been necessary and, other than in exceptional circumstances, the Youth Justice Board does not envisage a need for them in the foreseeable future.