Child locked up ‘by mistake’ for 62 days at adult immigration jail (UK)

New report from HM Inspectorate of Prisons on Camps-field House, run by outsource Mite, reveals: 16 year old detained ‘by mistake’Torture victims held in defiance of Home Office rules Dirty, overcrowded accommodation.

Still from Standoff Films: Campsfield House: An Immigration Removal Centre'

Still from Standoff Films: Campsfield House: An Immigration Removal Centre’

When prisons inspectors paid a surprise visit to Campsfield House immigration lock-up last August they found asylum seekers living in dirty, overcrowded conditions and torture survivors locked up in violation of Home Office rules. And they discovered that a child had been wrongfully imprisoned for 62 days.

Still, their report on Campsfield, which is run by the outsourcer Mitie, concludes that “overall this was a very positive inspection”, giving some indication of the standards expected of the Home Office’s commercial contractors.

In their report, published this week, the inspectors noted that three children were held at Campsfield between 2012 and 2013 in contravention of government policy. One boy was assessed by social services as being an adult and held for 62 days. He was released only after he obtained legal representation and his solicitor threatened the social services department with a judicial review. Social workers then made a second assessment and concluded that the boy was 16 years old.

The inspectors said that he “was held by mistake and should never have been detained”.

They said Mitie’s policy on safeguarding children was “up to date and comprehensive”, but there was no named member of staff who took the lead on safeguarding children.

Mitie told the inspectors that some staff had “taken an e-learning package” in child safeguarding, but the company was “unable to provide exact figures”…Continue Reading  go to – https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/phil-miller/child-locked-up-%E2%80%98by-mistake%E2%80%99-for-62-days-at-adult-immigration-jail

Mentally ill children locked up in JAIL because of “woeful lack” of facilities – charity claims

16:12, 3 March 2014 – By Chris Bradley

GettyChild in jailBehind bars: Mentally ill children are being held in jail because there is nowhere else to put them

Children with severe mental health problems are being locked up in police cells due to a “woeful lack” of facilities, a charity claims.

A Care Quality Commission report revealed children as young as 11 were put in custody because there was nowhere else for them to go.

Charity YoungMinds has also hit out over families having to travel hundreds of miles to get a hospital bed…Continue Reading  go to – http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/mentally-ill-children-locked-up-3203660

Exclusive: Children are still held in adult detention centres despite Coalition pledges to end the practice

Theindependent 24 FEBRUARY 2015

Scores of children and young people are still being held in adult immigration detention centres despite Coalition pledges to end the practice, The Independent has learnt.

Young asylum-seekers are being held in adult detention for weeks on end before the authorities decide that they are in fact children, according to the Refugee Council.

The charity found more than 40 children and young people in the adult detention estate in 2013 were wrongly assessed as adults.

The Government promised to end child detention in 2010 and has since trumpeted its success at doing so. But  this fresh evidence shows the practice has not yet been  abolished for those who cannot immediately prove their age, something which can be challenging for children fleeing conflict without proper documents.

Child welfare experts believe that anyone whose age is in question should be given the benefit of the doubt until their age has been carefully established by an independent professional. They argue that otherwise children forced to share rooms with adults could be at risk of abuse.

In 2013 the charity secured the release of 36 young people found in detention who had been wrongly assessed to be adults. They are aware of six other young people who have been released from detention into local authority care pending a new age assessment….Continue Reading  go to – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-children-are-still-held-in-adult-detention-centres-despite-coalition-pledges-to-end-the-practice-9050170.html