In a written ministerial statement on 29 October 2008, Official Report, column 33WS, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Children, Young People and Families and I announced our intention to publish the report of the Joint Review of Restraint in Juvenile Secure Settings by 15 December, together with the Government’s response.
I have today laid before Parliament the Government Response to the Review of the Use of Restraint in Juvenile Secure Settings (Cm 7501). I am with my right
hon. Friend the Minister for Children, Young People and Families also today publishing the report of the Joint Review of Restraint in Juvenile Secure Settings. Copies of the Review have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses, the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office. They can also be accessed on the websites of the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Ministry of Justice: http://publications.dcsf.gov.uk and www.justice.gov.uk/publications/restraint-review.htm and www.justice.gov.uk/publications/govt-response-restraint-review.htm
The Joint Review looked in depth at the range of issues relating to use of restraint, particularly the question of safety. It recommends substantial changes in relation to the systems approved for use in young offender institutions and secure training centres. It also recommends that all systems used in the under-18 secure estate should be accredited and proposes significant improvements relating to training, monitoring, inspection and reporting.
We have accepted almost all of the review’s recommendations. We are very grateful to Peter Smallridge and Andrew Williamson, the co-chairs of the review, for the work they have done to illuminate this important and sensitive area of policy and for the practical proposals they have made. We believe that the Joint Review and the steps we are taking in response to it should make possible a broad measure of agreement on questions relating to use of restraint in the under-18 secure estate. We will make available an additional £4.9 million over the next two years to support the package of measures to drive change, including enhanced training in working with young people, defusing difficult situations and behaviour management, so that we can be certain that restraint is only ever used as a last resort and with vigorous safeguards.
A number of other documents relating to safeguarding in the under-18 estate are also being published today. The youth justice elements of the Government’s response to the 3rd Joint Chief Inspectors’ Report on Safeguarding can be accessed on the DCSF website http://www.dcsf. gov.uk/publications/safeguardingchildrenresponse/; the Youth Justice Board is publishing its review of safeguarding in the under-18 secure estate www.yjb.gov.uk/en-gb/safeguarding; and we are updating the action plan we published in March in response to the recommendations of the coroners following the inquests into the deaths of Gareth Myatt and Adam Rickwood www.justice.gov.uk/publications/response-coroners-inquests-dec08.htm