HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Peter Clarke, today wrote to the Justice Secretary David Gauke to trigger the rarely-used Urgent Notification process for Feltham A, the children’s unit of Feltham Young Offenders’ Institute.
Mr Clarke wrote: “We found that in the six months since the last inspection there had been what can only be described as a collapse in performance and outcomes for the children being held in Feltham A.”
Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham and Heston, said:
“The findings of the recent announced inspection and the ‘dramatic”’decline in the safety and well being of young inmates this year are a matter of grave concern. Problems at Feltham have been long standing and this situation should have been avoidable. This is a prison that was left without a Governor for five months last year.
“Ministers have much to answer for as to why the decline has been so fast, with a steep rise in violence against staff, allegations of assault and levels of self harm. This is not the time to be defensive or to pass the buck. The Government needs to get to grips with the causes of this rapid decline as a matter of urgency. This is fundamentally about children who are in the care of the State. The Government must respond quickly with a clear action plan and the skilled resources required to support the staff and to turn the situation around.”