Win for child protection: huge child prison axed

The prisons minister, Andrew Selous, has confirmed in an answer to a parliamentary question that the government will not be pressing ahead with building a huge child prison in Leicestershire.

Legislation was passed last year that would have permitted the detention of children aged 12-17 years in ‘secure colleges’ – large prisons staffed by custody officers, probably run by private companies. The first ‘pathfinder’ prison was to be built on the grounds of an existing prison for young adults in Leicestershire, and was planned to hold 320 children.

Among European countries, only Russia and Turkey imprison more children than the UK.