Statement on HMIPS Inspection Report into YOI Polmont

21 May 2019

HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland reported today on its inspection of YOI Polmont. Our office was involved in the inspection process as a guest inspector focusing on the extent to which children’s human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled in the facility.

Head of Advice and Investigations for the office of the Children and Young People’s Commissioner, Nick Hobbs:

“Our office recently raised the issue of children being inappropriately detained in YOI in Scotland with the UN Committee Against Torture. International law is clear that no child should be detained except as a measure of last resort and those who are deprived of their liberty must be treated with humanity and respect for their human dignity.
"We welcome the recommendations in the inspection report of HMP YOI Polmont, to which our office contributed as a guest inspector, focusing on the extent to which children’s human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled in the facility.
"Particularly significant is the strong recommendation for the Scottish Government to review the appropriateness of Polmont as a location to detain children. Children should never be detained with adults. Instead, the Scottish Government should ensure that appropriate secure accommodation is available to meet the needs of these vulnerable children. This must include the type of care best suited to the child’s needs and designed to protect their physical and mental integrity and wellbeing.
This inspection report and the HMIPS report into Mental Health Provision at Polmont published today represent a timely and necessary expert review. Together, they cast doubt over whether current mental health provision meets the particular needs and vulnerabilities of children in detention.”

Read the inspection report here.