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Medway Secure Training Centre

Volume 589: debated on Thursday 30 April 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether children detained in the Medway Secure Training Centre will have access to the Prisons Ombudsman. [HL1562]

Complaints from those detained in a secure training centre are outside the remit of the Prisons Ombudsman. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 makes provision for the appointment of independent persons to whom representation may be made by those young offenders detained in secure training centres. Voice for the Child in Care, an organisation with experience in representing young people in secure accommodation, has been appointed to provide the independent person service at Medway. An independent person will visit within 24 hours of a request and will assist in making formal representation or complaint. Young offenders also have access, through their Member of Parliament, to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration.

asked Her Majesty's Government:What assistance, financial, or otherwise, will be available to parents for visits to children detained in the Medway Secure Training Centre. [HL1563]

The Home Office will pay for the cost of weekly visits to the centre by two visitors. This includes the return fare by public transport to the secure training centre or a contribution towards fuel costs if the family travels by private motor vehicle, including road/bridge tolls, as long as these are not more than the cost of public transport—once a week. There is also limited provision at the centre for overnight accommodation should this prove necessary, and a contribution to other reasonable expenses would also be considered.