Inspection finds Wetherby Young Offenders Institution is ‘well-led’ but has problems with attacks

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A prison for young people near Leeds is managed well but may have growing problems with attacks by groups on individuals, an inspection has found.

Wetherby Young Offenders Institution was “well-led and effective” Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons said in a report out today.

But inspectors also raised concerns that there was evidence that assaults by groups of inmates on individuals were on the increase.

Chief inspector of prisons Nick Hardwick said: “Our overall assessment was that Wetherby was a well led and effective institution.

“It was safe and respectful, and although the challenges and risks of such a volatile and vulnerable group of young people were ever present, there was confidence and focus among managers and staff that ensured the needs of young people were being met.”

The report followed an unannounced inspection at the institution, which holds about 230 juveniles, in October.

It said the vast majority of inmates felt safe and were generally respectful of staff and bullying incidents were relatively rare.

The premises were clean and the use of on-site social workers helped with child protection.

But inspectors also found problems with self-harm rates and said conditions in the separation and care unit were “bleak”.

Michael Spurr, boss of the National Offender Management Service, said: “The governor and her staff should be commended for creating a safe and respectful environment, with good education and resettlement services that are helping to rehabilitate a challenging population.

“They will now take the recommendations forward.”

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