52 incidents of abuse and neglect have now been reported from the Youth Detention Centre Oakhill in Milton Keynes.
In 2020, the training centre had seen a record of 52 accounts of abuse and neglect recorded in the last three years, which is now sure to have increased.
Oakhill secure training centre in Milton Keynes houses 46 boys aged between 12 and 17.
With the disturbing news now being released of how the youths are being held in confinement for up to 23 hours a day.
It has been reported through three separate inspector reports that the privately run prison have locked the youth inmates, aging from 12-17 have been locked in their rooms for up to 23 hours a day in uncomfortable conditions.
The inspectors made an unannounced visit to the privately run prison Oakhill and their findings were most disturbing.
the Prison Inspectorate and the Care Quality Commission warns “widespread failings” are having a “significant impact” on the care and well-being of child inmates.
Children have spent approximately 19 hours per day on average locked in their rooms, increasing to 23 hours on some days, according to records published by the centre.
The data, which has now been revealed could be wrong, could mean the hours spent locked in their rooms, could be a lot higher.
This comes just 10 months after the disturbing findings at Rainsbrook in Rugby, where the young inmates were subject to a “spartan routine” and locked in their rooms for more than 23 hours a day.
The government removed all 45 children living in that centre to other custodial settings.
Campaigners have said the recent bombshell Oakhill report should be the “final straw” and that secure training centres be shut down to ensure children in trouble are “given the care and support they need”.
Anna McMorrin MP, shadow minister for victims and youth justice, said there was an “alarming pattern of failure” across the youth justice system and accused ministers of “repeatedly failed to act on past warnings”.
Back in 2020, the Oakhill Training Centre was put under investigation for abuse and neglect of its inmates. The children’s detention facility held 27 members of staff who were the subject to the police investigation.
The reports showed that there were at least 98 allegations of abuse and neglect at the centre between 2016 and 2019 – and 52 of them were deemed to be substantiated after investigation.
Now the centre is back under siege again for further neglect cases within its walls.
The latest report now shows how the temperatures in children’s living units and in other parts of Oakhill were “too high”, leading to an environment during the summer months that is “not conducive to positive care”.
The report states: “There was no means of cooling the children’s living units or staff administration areas. This makes living and working at the centre very uncomfortable at best.”
The last Ofsted report, in April 2019, deemed the centre to be requiring improvement. Inspectors said there had been 132 assaults on children, 214 assaults on staff and 11 fights in the last six months.
Their report stated: “A high proportion of these incidents are of a comparatively lower level, but too many resulted in injures requiring medical treatment.”
Carolyne Willow, director of Article 39 charity, said: “If families or children’s homes were subjecting children to this level of risk, they would have child protection social workers knocking at their doors.”
Inspectors conclude that children’s day-to-day experiences are “very poor” and that “little progress has been made” since similar concerns were raised by inspectors in May 2021.
They said that since the Ofsted visit, Oakhill’s operating regime for children had “improved” and that over the past month children had been able to spend on average 12 hours out of their rooms daily and education in classrooms had been “restored”.
A spokesperson for Oakhill said: “The safety of children at Oakhill secure training centre is paramount. Earlier this year, staff numbers at Oakhill were severely depleted by the impact of Covid-19 as significant numbers of staff were required, under prevailing regulations, to self-isolate at home.
“Since the Ofsted visit Oakhill’s operating regime for children has improved and, over the past month, children have been able to spend on average 12 hours out of their rooms daily. Education in classrooms has been restored and children are now receiving a full educational programme.”