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AIBU?

To wonder about Secure Units and Teenagers?

72 replies

dottypotter · 12/02/2024 20:50

Re Brianna Gheys killers being in a secure unit until they are 18 and James Bulgers killers etc.

What happens to them in there?
They have a school attached to them do they carry on their lessons.
How big are the classes?
What else do they do if anyone knows?
Do they get taken out?
Do they get anything bought for them on their birthdays?
What if they need a dentist or doctor?
Do they visit or do they get taken to them?
What sort of things do they do on weekends?
Do they have to see visitors?
Sorry for all the questions?
You very rarely hear about them but you hear plenty about adult prisons?
Is it really a big punishment?
I guess the focus is more on rehabilitation?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

34 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
41%
You are NOT being unreasonable
59%
FreshHellscape · 12/02/2024 21:01

School within the same buildng/complex.
Small classes. Most have SEN.
Exercise and evening activities such as games and tv.
Medical professionals visit. Escorted to external appts such as hospital in the same way as prisoners are.
Not taken out (at the security level you are talking about).
Visitors come to them.
Yes, it is a punishment.
Yes, there is a focus on care and rehabilitation.

misssunshine4040 · 12/02/2024 21:07

All prisons youth and adult focus on rehabilitation. The punishment is the loss of liberty.

If an inmate needs medical attention they can't get onsite they are taken to hospital etc with an escort and handcuffed to them.

Visitations are allowed, why wouldn't they be?
Most young offenders have serious trauma and troubled lives so time is spent unpicking this and helping them prepare for release in the community, however long that takes.

dottypotter · 12/02/2024 21:23

misssunshine4040 · 12/02/2024 21:07

All prisons youth and adult focus on rehabilitation. The punishment is the loss of liberty.

If an inmate needs medical attention they can't get onsite they are taken to hospital etc with an escort and handcuffed to them.

Visitations are allowed, why wouldn't they be?
Most young offenders have serious trauma and troubled lives so time is spent unpicking this and helping them prepare for release in the community, however long that takes.

I didn't say visitations shouldn't be allowed.
I meant what if their parents wanted to visit and they didn't want to see them?
Where does the money come from for all the teachers, the school etc.
Alot of schools are suffering from a lack of money?

OP posts:
Invisimamma · 12/02/2024 21:30

I visited secure units as part of a previous job. It is very much like a prison for children. Rooms are locked up at night and those rooms that very much resemble a cell with the hatch on the door, bars/grates on the windows.

Education happened in the unit usually in a separate wing or part of the building with classrooms. Outdoor time was very strictly monitored in an enclosed yard. They have social/recreational spaces but again heavily supervised.

Young people arrived by van straight from court and into the unit via a garage, fully searched on arrival and placed in a holding-type empty cell.

Visiting was very similar to prison visiting arrangements, depending on the level of security for that young person i.e. those who were transitioning to open units may get to go 'out' for a couple of hours, others can't leave the visiting room and were fully supervised.

Some young people were there on mental health grounds if they are a danger to themselves and can't be accommodated in hospital. One girl I worked with had a severe eating disorder and was on suicide watch.

Generally they are not happy places. The staff were very dedicated, kind and cared a lot about helping the young people but it was really oppressive and felt like such sad places, filled with trauma. There is no escaping the locks on the doors and lack of knives at meal times, no matter how many nice posters you display or craft workshops they put on.

Google image search 'secure unit' for an idea of what they look like inside.

HelloMiss · 12/02/2024 21:35

Op the money is there for education in prison and secure units.

Are you trying to cause an argument?

Invisimamma · 12/02/2024 21:35

There is a focus of rehabilitation and therapy, coping mechanisms and working through trauma. It is a very intense environment.
At weekends there would be organised activities: sports, craft, baking, movie night etc. Levels of engagement differ depending on the young people.
If someone kicks off everyone might end up locked up in their rooms for safety. This happens often, especially when staffing levels are low and they cant facilitate safe social time.

There is usually an onsite nurse and a GP who will visit but young people will be able to get treatment outside if they need it and transport and escort would be arranged.

misssunshine4040 · 12/02/2024 21:40

@dottypotter sorry for the misunderstanding.

They would have the right to refuse visits from parents or anyone they didn't want to see.
Money comes from local government and tax surely?
Would you begrudge these individuals an education?
As unpleasant as the thought is, one day they will be released and will need to be able to face life and function.
To protect society, we have to ensure they have the required rehabilitation.

FreshHellscape · 12/02/2024 21:40

dottypotter · 12/02/2024 21:23

I didn't say visitations shouldn't be allowed.
I meant what if their parents wanted to visit and they didn't want to see them?
Where does the money come from for all the teachers, the school etc.
Alot of schools are suffering from a lack of money?

Visits are supported, not forced. Many families don't visit for various reasons.
Funding comes from government.
What's your point about schools lacking money? Do you think education funding should be merit based? How odd.

HelloMiss · 12/02/2024 21:43

Visitors can get financial help in order to visit their family members

Zanatdy · 12/02/2024 21:44

Who pays for this? Well the tax payer of course in the same way prisons are paid for. They are children at the end of the day and I don’t know what purpose is served by not trying to educate them or deny visitation etc

Darkenergy · 12/02/2024 21:44

They are quite bleak places as the threshold for entering one is so high (higher than an adult prison where people can be in for relatively petty crimes). So all the young people are very troubled or have done something very serious and is in need of a high level of monitoring and support. I have known of child-on-child violence - despite the best efforts of the staff.
Worth bearing in mind that some secure units (not all) take children who have not committed any crime but who need to be locked up for their own safety. These can be children who are persistent runaways and heavily involved in gangs or various types of exploitation, or children with complex mental health needs. It's not a great mix to have them alongside children who have been convicted of offences.

girlfriend44 · 12/02/2024 21:55

misssunshine4040 · 12/02/2024 21:40

@dottypotter sorry for the misunderstanding.

They would have the right to refuse visits from parents or anyone they didn't want to see.
Money comes from local government and tax surely?
Would you begrudge these individuals an education?
As unpleasant as the thought is, one day they will be released and will need to be able to face life and function.
To protect society, we have to ensure they have the required rehabilitation.

Except in john venables case it didn't happen?

HRTQueen · 12/02/2024 22:01

No it didn’t happen in John Venables case

not everyone can be rehabilitated but we have to try

titchy · 12/02/2024 22:01

Except in john venables case it didn't happen?

What do you suggest then - if they can't be rehabilitated shoot them?

HRTQueen · 12/02/2024 22:05

have visited and found them be chaotic and highly charged

more so in my experience than adult rehabilitation forensic mh wards

misssunshine4040 · 13/02/2024 07:25

@girlfriend44 of course not no. Not all prisoners young or old will be rehabilitated.
That's the way it is.
Doesn't mean that rehabilitation isn't the aim.

The punishment is loss of your liberty, not to be further punished inside .

SgtJuneAckland · 13/02/2024 07:30

Very few of the children in secure units or YOIs come out with anything vaguely resembling decent qualifications. There is aggression, poor behaviour, at night there is often screaming and crying. Some YOIs have been on 22/23 hours a day bang up for years due to staffing issues. They are full of damaged and dangerous young people. Psychologically they are very very difficult environments. Very few won't end up in the adult justice system.

Hippywannabe · 13/02/2024 07:36

So are you saying that an anorexic teen under section could end up in a secure unit with murderers??
That is dreadful.

itsgettingweird · 13/02/2024 07:57

They focus on therapy, education and rehabilitation.

They are often secure in that walking down corridors you have to close one door before opening another.

Ones I've been in have visiting hairdressers etc and they get their care needs met.

It'll very much depend on what the child needs and can manage. Some children will be ready to mix with others safely and some won't be risk assessed as safe to be around others.

People sent to prison, secure units etc for decades are in their for public safety. They get what they need within it and they will try and rehabilitate with the aim of release at the end of term. However again that may or may not be successful.

They plan may be to send them to adult prison at 18 but it may be assessed they need medical secure prison when they reach that age and so transfer onwards will depend on the outcome of their rehabilitation in a young persons unit.

Londonrach1 · 13/02/2024 08:02

I have visited one to see a patient...they not nice place. Money from the prison budget. Don't see why you made a comment re school budget.

Anjea · 13/02/2024 08:31

Do they separate the girls/boys?

soupfiend · 13/02/2024 08:37

Yes they are incredibly expensive, resource intensive provisions. They need to be to provide everything that is required.

There are also a high number of allegations made so staffing is very difficult. The young people often need physical restraint and will often say that so and so assaulted me and each time that happens it needs investigation, staff member removed to other duties etc etc.

Theres not very many of them and they never have any vacancies. We can wait for months and months for a secure unit for children who are at risk to themselves and others, sometimes the risk reduces so much that you dont need the resource in the end anyway but obviously the priority is making sure that if there are children who have committed crime who need to be in there, spaces need to be prioritised for that

Spendonsend · 13/02/2024 08:38

@Invisimamma Is this where the 200 autistic teens detained under the mental health act are too? Thats terrible if so.

soupfiend · 13/02/2024 08:40

Hippywannabe · 13/02/2024 07:36

So are you saying that an anorexic teen under section could end up in a secure unit with murderers??
That is dreadful.

Secure units are not hospitals though.

Unless OP is asking about both

WarningOfGails · 13/02/2024 08:41

I find it odd how people think prison has to be more punishment than ‘just’ being locked up 24 hours a day for years. That’s the punishment.

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