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Victoria Atkins questioned on failings at Oakhill and Rainsbrook STCs

22 November 2021

The Justice Committee takes evidence from Prisons Minister Victoria Atkins on Wednesday 24 November in one-off session focussing on failings at Oakhill and Rainsbrook Secure Training Centres.

Background

In October, Oakhill STC was issued with an Urgent Notification after a monitoring visit revealed serious concerns over the care and wellbeing of children under the age of sixteen housed there. The inspection revealed that children experienced frequent incidents of violence and lived in a dilapidated environment. Staff weren’t sufficiently trained, failed to challenge poor behaviour and used force without justification.

The notification is the latest in a catalogue of incidents raising serious concerns over the running of secure training centres. It follows the removal of all children from Rainsbrook STC in June after it had received two Urgent Notifications, just over a year after the contract to run the facility was extended.

Purpose of the session

The Justice Committee will question Victoria Atkins on the current situation at Oakhill, how it was allowed to happen and what action is being taken to address the failings. It will also seek an update on the future of Rainsbrook STC and the youth secure estate more generally,  as well as the effectiveness of Urgent Notifications in driving change.

Witnesses

Wednesday 24 November

From 10.45am:

  • Victoria Atkins MP, Minister of State for Prisons and Minister for Afghan Resettlement
  • Helga Swidenbank, Executive Director, Youth Custody Service
  • Jo Farrar, Chief Executive Officer, HMPPS and Second Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice

Further information

Inquiry: Parliamentary copyright