The report argued that local authority secure units are the appropriate place for those children who have to be detained. The Government has already pledged to ensure 15- and 16-year-olds do not mix with older offenders.
The Prison Service said that the untried juvenile prison population - those on remand - rose by about 20 per cent between June 1995 and June 1996, from 409 to 485. And the number of sentenced juveniles - 15- to 17-year-olds - rose by 37 per cent over the same period, from 988 to 1,356.
The report argues that sending children into custody results in high levels of self-injury and bullying, and alarming reconviction rates. The Chief Inspector of Prisons has also identified this as a problem and has set up an inquiry. Jason BennettoReuse content