There was widespread outrage last year when Chris Grayling as Secretary of State For Justice cited a 69% rise in prison suicides, as a ‘blip’ and since then, suicides in juvenile detention centres and prisons have ranked high on the media’s list of concerns.
So serious is the ongoing maltreatment of children inside the juvenile justice system, that the Joint Committee On Human Rights called for a review of the system, and in 2014 the Children’s Rights Alliance for England published a report denouncing the use of force against children in prisons and the need to better train all those working inside the sector. There are also clear barriers to mental health and other forms of support, which are denying children their right to basic good health whilst in detention.
It is clear from these reports that not only are UK prisons failing to implement recommendations to make their services human rights compatible, they are also flouting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which came into force in the UK in 1992.
In response to the ongoing concerns about children’s health and safety inside our juvenile justice system, Researching Reform proposed a petition last week, through the Government’s Petition website. That petition has now been accepted, and we would be very grateful if you might consider signing it. You can do so, here.
We essentially propose making the juvenile justice system human rights compatible, as soon as possible, by changing the way the system handles children generally so that is it supportive, rather punitive. The template we offer is taken from a ground breaking project in Spain, called Diagrama. You can read a little more about the programme here.
Due to the new petition submission and format rules, very little text can be added, so our post here aims to offer some background to this petition.
We very much hope you will sign the petition and thank you for taking the time to read this post.