Leeds & West Yorkshire

Wetherby Young Offenders Institute sees 'improved safety'

Wetherby HMYOI Image copyright Google
Image caption Inspectors found improvements at HMYOI Wetherby on the outskirts of Leeds

A young offenders institute in West Yorkshire is a well-run institution delivering "useful outcomes for children", a report by inspectors says.

Wetherby Young Offender Institute had been criticised in a previous inspection in 2015 over levels of violence and assaults on officers.

An unannounced inspection carried out in March found the site generally good with a reduction in violence.

Inspectors said there were, however, "examples of force being used".

Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons, said the overall the quality of relationships between staff and young people "remained a real strength of the institution".

He said that staff had expressed pride in their work and knew the children well.

Mr Clarke said that young people also spoke positively about the influence of the governor, which was "unusual and impressive".

The inspectors also said Wetherby, for boys and young men aged 15 to 18, was the only young offenders site to offer fire and army cadet courses while the Keppel unit housing the most challenging youngsters hosted a Parkrun within the site.

Inspectors said: "Early days work at Wetherby and its Keppel unit was very good.

"Child protection systems were effective and the management of children in crisis was good.

"Behaviour management processes focused too heavily on punishment, although numerous incentives were available to motivate good behaviour."

But the inspection team said the use of anti-ligature clothing and bedding for children deemed to be a serious risk of self harm had become "too routine"

Since the last inspection outcomes for children had improved in safety, and stayed the same in care, purposeful activity and resettlement, the inspection team concluded.

Inspectors said that "children were negative about the quality and quantity of food" and the negative perceptions "needed further investigation"

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