Commissioner slams youth prison closure decision

Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has criticised the decision to close Hindley Under-18 Young Offender Institution as detrimental to the rehabilitation of young offenders.

Tony Lloyd has written to the Youth Justice Board voicing his disappointment – and concern at the lack of consultation ahead of this decision.

The Youth Justice Board recently announced that they are withdrawing from all 248 places for under 18s at Hindley by March 2015.

It means young offenders from Greater Manchester will be sent further afield miles away from their families, impacting on work to rehabilitate offenders and prepare them for release back into their communities.

“When when we’re trying to rehabilitate our young people and steer them away from a life of crime, money cannot be the sole driver for decisions such as this,” Tony said.

“While there may be some short-term savings, there has been little consideration of the long-term impact on offenders and their families and a lack of consultation with those who are working to rehabilitate and resettle young people back into the community when they are released.

“There’s some good work going on in Greater Manchester to tackle the issues that drive these young people to crime in the first place including working with offenders and their families. The closure of Hindley threatens this work and I want to know how the Youth Justice Board and the government plan to mitigate this and what the resettlement programme will look like for Greater Manchester-based young offenders as they reach the end of their sentence.

“Our top priority has to be reducing reoffending as it makes our communities safer. There is a real danger that this closure will have the opposite effect, which is in no-one’s interests.”

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