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Controversies of child imprisonment


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Presentation from seminar looking at the controversies of child imprisionment and the implications for policy and practice.

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Controversies of child imprisonment

  1. 1. The Controversies of Child Imprisonment: Messages from Research Thursday 10th December 2015
  2. 2. Professor Philip Brown Making Research Count at The University of Salford
  3. 3. • National initiative across ten universities in England • A knowledge broker • Bringing together academics, practitioners, carers and users to facilitate the dissemination of social care research and theory • The University of Salford is the regional hub for MRC in Greater Manchester • Support the learning needs of a range of organisations in the sub- region Making Research Count (MRC)
  4. 4. Jameel Hadi, University of Salford Welcome
  5. 5. Carolyne Willow ‘The rule of optimism and child prisons: why we must decide enough is enough’
  6. 6. CAROLYNE WILLOW THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD 10 DECEMBER 2015 The rule of optimism and child prisons: why we must decide enough is enough
  7. 7. 10 December 1948 Childhood ‘entitled to special care and protection’ Article 25(2), Universal Declaration of Human Rights THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 7 67
  8. 8. Getting it right for children in need ‘… succumbing to that optimism bias can mean that the children - who are always our first concern - can be left at risk and in danger when we need to intervene to rescue them from an abusive environment just as determinedly as we would seek to rescue them from the scene of any natural disaster.’ Michael Gove, NSPCC, London, 12 November 2013 THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 8
  9. 9. Rule of optimism ‘The liberal compromise, that the family will be held open for inspection provided that the State undertakes to make the best of what its agents find…’ Dingwall, R., Eekelaar, J. & Murray, T. (1983) The protection of children, Basil Blackwell THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 9
  10. 10. Rule of optimism in practice ‘A frequent lesson from the [147 serious case] reviews is that practitioners had been affected by what is known as the ‘rule of optimism’… In these conditions, workers focus on adults’ strengths, rationalise evidence to the contrary and interpret data in the light of this optimistic view.’ Ofsted (2010) Learning lessons from serious case reviews 2009-2010 THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 10
  11. 11. Children who are locked up Characteristic % Belongs to a minority ethnic group 41 Has a disability 19 Been in local authority care 33 Emotional or mental health problems 23 Aged 14 or younger when last at school 38 Ever excluded from school 88 HM Inspectorate of Prisons & Youth Justice Board (2014) Children in custody 2013–14. An analysis of 12–18-year-olds’ perceptions of their experiences in secure training centres and young offender institutions THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 11
  12. 12. Children who are locked up Characteristic Custody % All children % Abuse in the family 39 16 Living in care 27 0.6 Ever run away 47 11 Death of parent and/or sibling 12 4 Jacobson, J., Bhardwa, B., Gyateng, T., Hunter, G. & Hough, M. (2010) Punishing disadvantage. A profile of children in custody, Prison Reform Trust THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 12
  13. 13. Child kicked in calf ‘Documentation did not always show justification for the use of force, particularly in response to non-compliance. In one incident, a boy was restrained for refusing to leave a room after an ACCT review. Force was instigated quickly and escalated to the infliction of pain by an officer kicking a boy in the calf with his heel.’ HM Inspectorate of Prisons (2015) Report on an unannounced inspection of HMYOI Cookham Wood ACCT = Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (self-harm and suicide prevention) THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 13
  14. 14. Child’s nose broken ‘[The boy] complained about an incident during which a ‘nose distraction technique’ had been used. This had led to his nose being broken. [The child] said he had been misbehaving with others during an education session and three officers had asked him to return to his cell. The officers accompanied him, one on either side and one behind. [The child] alleged that one of the members of staff prodded him in the back several times. He said that, when he turned to protest, one officer held his nose and face, pushing his head to the floor, while the others held his arms and legs. [The child] described this as an extremely painful experience.’ Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (2010) Annual report THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 14
  15. 15. Confined to cells: latest inspections Feltham young offender institution 180 boys at time of inspection; inspection undertaken July-August 2015 ‘The average amount of time boys had out of their cell had reduced since the last inspection and averaged just 5.5 hours on week days and 4.35 hours at weekends … CQC [Care Quality Commission] colleagues were shocked by how little outside exercise the boys had – 30 minutes a day or less – and the detrimental impact this was likely to have on the health of the adolescent boys.’ ‘We remained very concerned that at least eight boys said that they were too frightened of other boys to leave their cells. They had no access to a structured regime and remained locked in their cells for on average, 23 hours a day.’ THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 15
  16. 16. Confined to cells: latest inspections Cookham Wood young offender institution 135 boys at time of inspection; inspection undertaken May 2015 ‘In principle, a boy who was fully occupied could experience about nine hours out of cell a day, while those with no activity had only two hours. The establishment reported an average of five hours out of cell, which was low.’ ‘Access to daily exercise was limited to 30 minutes and exercise was cancelled in inclement weather. Exercise yards had seats but were otherwise stark.’ THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 16
  17. 17. Confined to cells: latest inspections Wetherby young offender institution 204 boys at time of inspection; inspection undertaken January 2015 ‘We calculated that most boys had just over seven hours out of cell Monday to Friday and about six hours at the weekend.’ ‘We estimated that at the time of the inspection, about a quarter of the mainstream population were on some form of regime restriction. Some, who had been excluded from work and education, received as little as an hour a day unlocked from their cells.’ THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 17
  18. 18. Confined to cells: latest inspections Werrington young offender institution 104 boys held at time of inspection; inspection undertaken September 2014 ‘Over the previous six months, the establishment had recorded an average of 7.1 hours out of cell, significantly less than our expectations. We estimated that most boys received about eight hours.’ ‘We spoke to two boys who rarely left their cells because they were afraid of other boys… Although we were confident that these boys were being supported by staff they still felt unable to participate in the regime and alternative arrangements should have been made.’ THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 18
  19. 19. Confined to cells: latest inspections Parc young offender institution 50 boys held at time of inspection; inspection undertaken April-May 2014 ‘The amount of time all children spent out of their cells was very good and better than we usually find. The average was 10.5 hours on weekdays and nine hours at weekends.’ ‘Although children had exercise periods every day, access to outside areas was generally restricted to small exercise yards which were stark and cramped.’ THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 19
  20. 20. THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 20 ‘There is no place for this in our society.’ Theresa May, 18 December 2014
  21. 21. Segregation units ‘Over a quarter of boys reported having spent a night in a segregation unit, where conditions remained mostly poor. Some remained in segregation for far too long – 133 days in one case at Cookham Wood… At Feltham special accommodation (in essence an empty cell) had been used several times with no clear or justifiable reasons for its use recorded.’ HM Inspectorate of Prisons (2015) Annual report THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 21
  22. 22. Child’s account of segregation ‘It was a lot of emotions going through my head at once really, I was upset, angry. I’ve gone from being out of my pad all day to being isolated, well locked up really for three days straight so there was a lot of emotions going through my head. I didn’t really know what was going on. I was up and down I was angry smashing up my pad and stuff like that. I ended up tying something round my neck and dropped to the ground.’ Associate Development Solutions (2015) Isolation and solitary confinement of children in the English youth justice secure estate. Office of Children’s Commissioner for England THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 22
  23. 23. Joseph Scholes ‘I was told he was put in a safe cell, so it's again, it's this use of language … they should've said, “Yvonne, he's in a cell, he's stripped naked, he's got a horse blanket-like garment on, fastened with Velcro. It's filthy and squalid, I mean, the window's about two or three inches deep in dirt between the pane and the bars and the outer pane. He's on a concrete plinth with a thin plastic mat”, that would've been the truth, but instead I was told he would come to no harm, he's in a safe cell, he's in safe clothing.’ Willow, C. (2015) Children behind bars. Why the abuse of child imprisonment must end, Policy Press THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 23
  24. 24. Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment ‘the Special Rapporteur holds the view that the imposition of solitary confinement, of any duration, on juveniles is cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and violates article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and article 16 of the Convention against Torture.’ UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, 5 August 2011 Solitary confinement = physical and social isolation of individuals who are confined to their cells for 22 to 24 hours a day. THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 24
  25. 25. Jake Hardy ‘…mum thay kepet giving me shit I told the staff and thay did not do no think a bout the problem. So mum if you are reading this I not alive cos I can not cope in prison people giving me shit evan staff …’ THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 25
  26. 26. Adam Rickwood THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 26 ‘There was no right to hurt such a child in these circumstances.’ Mr. Justice Blake, [2009] EWHC (76) Admin
  27. 27. Review of MMPR ‘Restraint policy agreed by ministers states that staff should only use pain as a last resort to prevent an immediate risk of serious physical harm, but we found that pain-inducing techniques were used frequently in YOIs, and that in most cases staff were not compliant with this requirement.’ Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (2015) Behaviour management and restraint of children in custody. A review of the early implementation of MMPR by HM Inspectorate of Prisons MMPR = Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 27
  28. 28. Infliction of pain as restraint ‘Pain compliance and the infliction of pain is not acceptable and may be unlawful.’ Berriew, A. (2006) An independent inquiry into the use of physical restraint, solitary confinement and forcible strip searching of children in prisons, secure training centres and local authorities secure children's homes, Howard League for Penal Reform ‘There can be no justification for [restraint] practices which involve the deliberate infliction of pain…and we therefore recommend their abolition without delay.’ Joint Committee on Human Rights (2008) The use of restraint in secure training centres ‘[The UK should] discontinue the use in juvenile establishments of manual restraint based upon pain compliant methods.’ European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (2009) Report to the government of the United Kingdom THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 28
  29. 29. Infliction of pain as restraint ‘[The UK should] ban the use of any technique designed to inflict pain on children.’ UN Committee Against Torture (2013) Concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of the United Kingdom ‘[P]ain should never be deliberately inflicted in order to restrain a child.’ UK Children’s Commissioners (2015) Report of the UK Children’s Commissioners. UN Committee on the Rights of the Child examination of the fifth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 29
  30. 30. Use of pain in other contexts ‘The hell started on the day I walked into the place. I had just left home and was naturally upset. I was quiet and tearful. Although I must have been there for a long time it just seemed like minutes later that they got hold of me. Accusing me of chucking out angry feelings, of hating my mother and sisters. When I tried to explain that I missed my mother they trapped me between their legs and dug their fingers into my ribs and made me scream and cry out in pain.’ Kirkwood, A. (1993) The Leicestershire Inquiry 1992. The report of an inquiry into aspects of the management of children’s homes in Leicestershire between 1973 and 1986, Leicestershire County Council THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 30
  31. 31. Strip-searching under restraint ‘When they got me to the special cell they asked me to take my clothes off. I said I would, though I did say it in an aggressive attitude but you would [respond aggressively] as you are not going to respond nicely to a question like that; anyway I would have taken them off. They took me straight to the floor, before I had a chance to do it myself. Someone put a knee in my back, which did hurt a lot. They took my shirt off completely, then my trousers, boxers and shoes. They chucked a jumper on me to cover my bum.’ Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (2015) Behaviour management and restraint of children in custody. A review of the early implementation of MMPR by HM Inspectorate of Prisons THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 31
  32. 32. Strip-searching as sexual abuse ‘As well as words like rape and sexual abuse, children reported during the YJB review that strip searching made them feel humiliated, embarrassed, intimidated, paranoid, dirty, strange, stressed, vulnerable, scared, violated and weird. I heard children using very similar words when I was a child protection social worker interviewing them about sexual abuse. Those children also told me about threats. It is clear that strip searching provokes the same devastating feelings among children as other forms of sexual abuse.’ Willow, C. (2015) Children behind bars. Why the abuse of child imprisonment must end, Policy Press THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 32
  33. 33. 30 hours of education ‘Since April [2000] all providers of secure accommodation have been contractually required to ensure that young people are unlocked for a minimum of ten hours a day and engaged in education, offending behavior management and other personal development activity for a maximum of 30 hours per week. This will rise to 45 hours per week over the course of 2001.’ Youth Justice Board (2001) Annual report ‘30 hours education a week for young offenders New and improved education contracts for under-18s in 4 young offender institutions (YOIs) awarded today will double the amount of hours young people spend in classes.’ Ministry of Justice, 15 December 2014 THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 33
  34. 34. Gareth Myatt THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 34 ‘If you can talk then you can breathe.’
  35. 35. Children cannot breathe ‘Kids sometimes just say stuff so that you let them go, like they can't breathe, but you know that they are having you on.’ ‘I couldn’t breathe. It felt like someone had their hands around my throat. I was telling staff that I couldn’t breathe but they weren’t listening. I didn’t pass out on this occasion but I have passed out in the past.’ Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (2015) Behaviour management and restraint of children in custody. A review of the early implementation of MMPR by HM Inspectorate of Prisons THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 35
  36. 36. Published by Policy Press THE CONTROVERSIES OF CHILD IMPRISONMENT 36
  37. 37. Professor Barry Goldson University of Liverpool ‘‘Why are children imprisoned and why do child prison populations vary over place and time?’’
  38. 38. Refreshments and Networking Break
  39. 39. Ian Cummins, University of Salford ‘Vulnerability and Police Custody’
  40. 40. • Confait Case • Maxwell Confait murdered in London 1972 • Three youths ( 18, 15 and 14 ) –one had a learning disability were convicted. • Convictions largely on the basis of confessions • Convictions were subsequently overturned • Fisher Inquiry (1977) followed by a Royal Commission The murder of Maxwell Confait
  41. 41. • Implemented 1986 • Codes of Practice • Legal advice • Taping of interviews • Created the role of the Appropriate Adult - additional protections for those groups seen as most vulnerable – all juveniles / adults with mental health problems or a learning disability • AA role to “facilitate” interview • Pierpoint ( 2006) – mission creep AAs were offering welfare advice and support • AA – do not enjoy legal privilege • Debates about the nature and effectiveness of the role – very few adults interviewed with AA present Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984)
  42. 42. • Custodial environment itself • Impact of custody on an individual’s mental health • Suggestibility and the risk of confessions • Being drawn into the Criminal Justice system and mental health needs not being addressed. Risk factors and Police custody
  43. 43. • Self-harm and custody – based on research study of 168 incidents • Women are at greater risk in custody • Custody suites lack the resources to meet the needs of the most vulnerable • Most common methods of self-harm are ligatures or heading and punching walls • Risk factors; custody itself, alcohol and substance misuse, the nature of the offence • Most common police responses: increase observations or put the detained person in a paper suit • Police officers receive little training in mental health issues • Police officers feel frustrated and unsupported by community based mental health services • Systems for sharing information about these incidents with social work agencies or health care providers are inadequate Vulnerable adults in police custody
  44. 44. • E + W – one of the lowest ages of criminal responsibility • Netherlands 12/ Germany 14 / Finland 15/ Denmark 15 • 16/17 year old confusion over how society views and treats them • UNCR + CA 1989 - child if u 18 • HMIC (2011) “The only place within the CJS that a 17 year old is treated as an adult is in a police station” • 17 year olds – not being offered the protection of an AA • Parents / carers not being informed of their detention Young people and the CJS
  45. 45. • Approx. 75,000 17 year olds arrested and detained in police custody each year • Police custody – unique social + legal context • Adult: Child • Subject: Authority • Adolescent reasoning – focus on short-term rather than longer term • Kemp ( 2011) – number of requests for legal advice dropped noticeably at 17. Parents/AAs much more likely to arrange for one • US context – trial and imprisonment of juveniles as adults • Danger that children regarded as adults because of the nature of the alleged offence 17 years old and police custody
  46. 46. • Campaign following three tragic cases • Edward Thornber (2011) – hanged himself following arrest for a small amount of cannabis • Joe Lawton (2012) shot himself following arrest for drink driving • Kesia Leatherbarrow – hanged herself after being detained in police custody #stillachildat17
  47. 47. • 4 weeks after his 17th birthday • Arrested on suspicion of robbery • Attending college • Living with his grandmother during the week so that he could attend college • Asked for his mother to be informed • Refused on the grounds that it might hinder the search for property H. C Case (I)
  48. 48. • His mother became aware that he was in police custody after 4.5 hours • Phoned the station – told he was ok but not allowed to see him • She arranged for a lawyer • Interviewed • Bailed at 04:00 – detained for 12 hours • Bail cancelled – no charges H. C Case (II)
  49. 49. • Code C of PACE does not prevent 17 years old being treated as vulnerable but this is most unlikely unless they have a mental health problem or a learning disability • Broad consensus that 17 year olds should be regarded as children and offered special additional protections • Moses LJ – “ The wish of a 17 year old in trouble to seek the support of a parent and of a parent to be available to give that help must surely lie at the heart of family life which, quite apart from Article 8, the government seeks to maintain and encourage” • ACPO issued guidance 2013 Key points in the judgement
  50. 50. • Young Minds (2014) • 77% of NHS clinical commissioning groups (responsible for allocating health budgets) had frozen or cut their child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) between the 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial periods. • A further 59 out of 98 (60%) of local authorities in England had cut or frozen their CAMHS budgets since 2010/2011 • (55%) that had supplied data had cut, frozen or increased below inflation their budgets between 2013-2014 and 2014- 2015. Young people and mental health
  51. 51. • Section 136 • Police power • Allows for an officer to take a person, who is in a public place and appears to be mentally disordered to a place of safety • MHA code of practice emphasises should be a health facility. • If someone is detained under this power, they must be assessed by a psychiatrist and an approved mental health professional. Section 136 MHA
  52. 52. • In 2013-14, a total of 753 children were detained under section 136. • 236 were detained in a police cell Young people and section 136
  53. 53. Police force 2013-14 Devon and Cornwall 30 Lincolnshire 25 North Yorkshire 20 Hampshire 20 Sussex 20 Children detained under s136 and held in a police cell
  54. 54. • The fact that children are still detained in police cells under section 136 reflects a clear failure of commissioning by NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups. The de facto use of police cells as an alternative relieves the pressure on CCGs to commission appropriate levels of provision for children experiencing mental- health crisis. We support the Government's proposals for a change in the law to ensure that children can never be held in a police cell under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983, which we recommend should be included in the next Queen's Speech. In the interim, guidance on the detention of children in police cells under s. 136 must be made clear—that it is unacceptable and must stop. This guidance needs to be distributed to those working in the police and in the health service. Home Affairs Select Committee
  55. 55. • Jameel Hadi, University of Salford (chair) • Ian Cummins, University of Salford • Professor Barry Goldson, University of Liverpool • Professor Neal Hazel, University of Salford • Carolyne Willow Panel discussion
  56. 56. Jameel Hadi, University of Salford Conference Close