JERSEY’S youth justice system needs overhauling, as the number of children held in custody is ‘unacceptably high’, according to an independent report released today.
The Howard League for Penal Reform’s long-awaited report into Jersey’s youth justice system says that the Island has a higher custody rate than many of its European neighbours. Greenfields remand home also comes under fire in the report, which reveals that the controversial and ‘unlawful’ ‘Grand Prix’ system – in which solitary confinement was allegedly used to counter bad behaviour – has left some staff ‘divided’ with a ‘great deal of distrust’ in some of the management.
The Howard League team, a prison reform charity, is now urging the Island to immediately sign up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which gives all children and young people more rights.
Jersey’s custody rate is slightly higher than England and Wales, more than four times that in France and more than 100 times that in Finland.
The Howard League for Penal Reform have made over 20 recommendations for reform and say that the use of custody for children should be eliminated and holding children at La Moye prison should stop. They also recommend that the legal age of responsibility be raised to 14 and that the Island’s Youth Court become far less formal.
• Picture: A prison van leaves Greenfields remand home