Remanding juveniles in jails 'should be stopped'

ALMOST 2,000 more young people will be remanded to 'suicide- inducing jails' before reforms take effect by 1995, the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders warns today.

Conditions for juvenile remand prisoners are among the worst in the prison system, the association says. Despite a 40 per cent drop in the number of under-17s remanded to adult prisons and remand centres between 1989 and mid-1992, there remained an urgent need to end juvenile remands in custody, Vivien Stern, Nacro director, says. 'Bullying and intimidation are often rife, regimes are very restricted, and 'slopping out' is frequently the norm.'

Where detention of juveniles was genuinely necessary, this should be in a local authority secure unit staffed by specialists.

The Government was committed to ending such remands but had estimated that insufficient council secure accommodation would be available until 1995.

A daily average of 56 juveniles are remanded in custody in England and Wales, and Nacro believes 'it should be possible to provide alternative facilities speedily'.