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Youth Custody: Manpower

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 14 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the ratio of staff to prisoners is in each (a) secure children's home, (b) secure training centre and (c) young offender institution. (308815)

The Youth Justice Board does not specify the levels of staff required at secure children's homes (SCHs), instead specifying the service to be delivered. However, many SCHs are able to deliver one-to-one supervision to large numbers of young people for substantial parts of the day.

The YJB does not set precise staff to trainee ratios for secure training centres (STCs); instead, they agree with providers the minimum staffing levels necessary to ensure effective supervision. Broadly speaking, the minimum staffing levels are three members of custody staff to young people living in a group of eight, and two members of custody staff to young people living in a group of six. In practice, during the core part of the day when young people are in education or activities, there are likely to be more staff engaging with them.

The following table shows the overall staff to young person ratio for each young offender institution (YOI) at 30 November 2009. Young offenders held in adult categorised establishments are not included. Unified staff relates to those staff that are officer or governor grades. The data have been supplied by the National Offender Management Service and have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing and may be subject to change over time.

The figures for SCHs, STCs and YOIs are not directly comparable. The figures for YOIs relate to all unified staff employed in the establishment, while the ratios for SCHs and STCs relate only to staff engaging directly with young people.

Establishment

Category

Staff in post (Unified)1

Prisoner population

Ratio of unified staff to prisoners

Ashfield (Contracted)

YP

200

259

1:1.30

Aylesbury

YOI

173

436

1:2.49

Brinsford

YOI/YP

250

529

1:2.12

Castington

YOI/YP

231

320

1:1.39

Cookham Wood

YP

135

104

1:0.77

Deerbolt

YOI

192

501

1:2.61

Feltham

YOI/YP

431

666

1:1.55

Glen Parva

YOI

253

782

1:3.09

Hindley

YP

274

300

1:1.09

Huntercombe

YP

158

244

1:1.54

Lancaster Farms

YOI

250

503

1:2.01

Northallerton

YOI

70

224

1:3.20

Portland

YOI

216

538

1:2.49

Reading

YOI

106

267

1:2.52

Rochester

YOI

263

712

1:2.71

Stoke Heath

YOI/YP

246

600

1:2.44

Swinfen Hall

YOI

214

616

1:2.88

Thorn Cross

YOI

112

286

1:2.55

Warren Hill

YP

147

177

1:1.20

Werrington

YP

94

137

1:1.46

Wetherby

YP

236

316

1:1.34

Total

4,253

8,517

1:2.00

YOI=Young Offender Institution. YP=Young Person's establishment. 1Headcount (part-time staff count as one).