Lights out - and no reading under covers: Young offenders twill be sent to bed early
Government hopes boarding school-style policy will introduce discipline to criminals’ lives
For David Cameron and his cabinet colleagues who grew up with the rigours of a boarding school education it was a normal fact of daily life.
Dormitory “lights out” meant exactly that – and woe betide anyone who infringed the rules. Now, in a clear case of “what worked for us might work for you”, ministers are planning to extend the discipline of fixed bed times to teenage criminals in young offender institutions.
From August, governors have been told that they must strictly enforce a 10.30pm cell lights-out policy and remove privileges from anyone breaking the new rules.
After that time televisions – or reading under the covers – will be strictly banned and staff will be expected to carry out patrols to make sure the new edict is enforced.
At the same time – perhaps to make them more ready for bed – the Government plans to more than double the number of hours of education and training that the 827 under-18s currently in custody receive each week.
At the moment, teenagers in custody receive an average of twelve hours of education a week – but this will rise to 12 under the new plans.
The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, who didn’t himself attend boarding school, said the move was less about punishment and more about discipline.
“The public expects that serious offenders face prison,” he said.
“But it is also crucial that young people, most of whom have had chaotic and troubled lives, finally get the discipline so badly needed to help turn their lives around.
“In some prisons young people are allowed to go to bed when they please.
“I don’t think that is right. Stopping this inconsistency and introducing a strict lights-out policy is all part of our approach to addressing youth offending. Those who fail to comply will face tough sanctions.”
But the shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan described the move as a “gimmick”.
“Routine is crucial for those with chaotic lives, but to think that turning the lights off at the same time in every youth prison is all that’s needed to turn them all into law-abiding citizens is a joke,” he said. “This looks like a gimmick to cover the cracks caused by Grayling’s cuts.”
Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said they felt the move was entirely inappropriate.
“A new lights-out policy will only exacerbate the problem of overuse of physical restraint in the youth secure estate, which indicates a lack of trained, experienced staff with enough time to supervise and support the challenging children and young people in their charge,” she said.
“As most parents of teenagers know, common-sense discussion, constructive activity, setting reasonable boundaries and encouraging personal responsibility all work better than new hard-and-fast rules backed by petty restrictions and harsh punishments.”
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...