In 2016, the Taylor Review of the youth justice system recommended reforms to youth custody, including the introduction of secure schools – which would be small local establishments, governed and inspected as schools – to replace other custodial provision for young people, including secure training centres (STCs). STCs were designed to accommodate and educate more vulnerable young people.
The government originally committed to establishing the first secure school in 2020, but it is delayed. Meanwhile, joint inspections have highlighted declining conditions in the three STCs. Medway STC closed in March 2020. The two remaining sites – Rainsbrook and Oakhill – were subject to adverse inspections in 2021. The joint inspections highlighted increasing levels of bullying, violence, and unacceptable practices.
This report will set out the facts around:
- youth offenders in secure custody;
- the Ministry of Justice’s (the Ministry’s) recent challenges with STCs; and
- the Ministry’s progress with establishing a secure school.