The Chief Inspector of Prisons has today published a very damning report about HMYOI Glen Parva as no doubt readers of this post will have seen in the media.
This doesn’t surprise me at all, in fact from my own research I would suggest that this represents just the tip of a very big and dangerous iceberg.
I would suggest that a similar situation exists in every YOI in the country and the situation is going to get very much worse.
As regular readers of this blog will know I regularly lay the blame for what is happeing at the feet of Chris Grayling and his Ministry of Justice. On this occasion though I have to say that the problem has existed for many years before the present MoJ was even opened.
Glen Parva’s problems started the day it opened and even before that serious problems of a similar nature existed at places like Feltham.
Once again this illustrates a total lack of forensic forward planning. In the heady days of the fifties and sixties prisons were reasonably quiet and in some senses effective. Simple logic then if they work for the adult prison population a similar system will work for young offenders. Wrong, very wrong, the two groups are totally different and need different treatments.
Has no one at the then prison department been made aware of the differences between adult offender and youngsters? It’s hardly rocket science to realise that what is good for one isn’t in any way suitable for the other.
Then to add further fuel to the fire someone had the bright idea that larger establishments were more effective. Again, as has been demonstrated so many times since that theory is totally at odds with reality. Of course there then followed privatisation, a totally destructive cancer which is more and more working its way through the system.
We have to make radical changes to the thinking in this particular sphere of public management. No longer can we add piecemeal projects to the system and hope that all will become right with time. It won’t, things will continue to go downhill until before very long the wholesystem implodes upon itself.
The whole thing needs to change but specifically in the young offenders field action is very urgently needed.
Society cannot lock thousands of young people into a melting pot like Glen Parva without there being consequences. The youngsters have on the whole come from an undisciplioned society where they are allowed to run free and allow their animal instincts to run wild without any fear of penalties, to be suddenly locked away with many hundreds of others with the same lack of controls and guidance is a disaster.
We ahve to get back to a society where discipline isn’t a dirty word, where parents can chastise their children without fear of being dragged before a court of law and where no means no.
Childhood is a period of learning and of growing and of training for the future.Part of that revolves around discipline and society must reintroduce discipline into every day life. Teachers and schools must be allowed to instil and maintain discipline and if this means returing the cane to schools then so be it. It is not in a child’s interests to allow it to run free until he or she has learned the parameters of behaviour that normal people in society expect. No doubt I will be called a reactionary but in fact I am a realist, a child without discipline is missing a massively important part of his education.

3 thoughts on “GLEN PARVA”

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