Commenting on the Charlie Taylor Review of the Youth Justice System in England and Wales and the Government’s response, Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England said:
‘I welcome Charlie Taylor’s review and the government’s response, which commits to improving the educational opportunities within the youth justice system. However I believe that the government should go further and commit to abolishing young offender institutions as soon as it is possible to place children in more suitable forms of establishment.
Education is vital, but we need also to think in its broadest sense including health, wellbeing and recovery, and our own work shows that we are best able to do this through smaller secure children’s schools. We know that operating on a smaller scale – institutions housing around 20 children – can deliver impressive results in terms of improved educational outcomes, high-quality care and extensive support for mental ill health, all in order to better prepare children for a positive future upon release.
We have a better chance than ever to implement fundamental reform of the youth justice system to ensure that it meets the needs of children. We need to capitalise on this opportunity by providing effective intervention to children in conflict with the law and offering opportunities to promote healthy long-term development.”