With 35 others, yesterday Article 39 sent a joint open letter to the Justice and Children’s Ministers urging them to close Medway secure training centre and discontinue plans to make it the country’s first experimental secure school.
Article 39’s Director, Carolyne Willow, said:
“Whenever there is institutional failure stretching back many years, there comes a point when someone in charge has to take decisive action and say ‘enough is enough’. The serious case review and the latest inspection report show deep fault lines in protecting children.
“If this child prison was a children’s home or a school, its gates would have been closed shortly after the shocking BBC Panorama exposé of physical and emotional abuse three years ago.
“Ministers must stand up to the false optimism that the institution can reform itself, and local and national agencies will properly scrutinise and protect children. The continuing revelations show that this is not possible. A change of name to secure school and a small refurbishment is not going to address the systemic failings. The centre must be closed for good.”