Visit to Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre
The Human Rights Commission has today visited Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre. The focus of the visit was the Centre’s education facility.
Speaking after the visit NIHRC Chief Commissioner, Les Allamby commented:
“The Commission would like to thank Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre for the opportunity to visit today. We welcome the progress being made to transfer responsibility for the provision of education from the Department of Justice to the Department of Education.
We have seen first-hand the operations of the Centre and met with the children and management team. The Commission was impressed with the ratio of staff to children.”
The Commission continually recommended for the provision of education to children in custody to fall to the Department of Education. In addition in its last report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child the Commission advised that the UN Committee should ask the UK Government, including the Northern Ireland Executive to:
- Take immediate action to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 to at least 12 years of age.
· Take immediate action to ensure that children are held in pre trial detention only in circumstances where it is a measure of last resort.
Chief Commissioner added:
“The remand of children in Woodlands remains a concern. Northern Ireland needs legislative reform to ensure that children are only held in pre-trial detention as a last measure and to ensure appropriate investment in alternative to custody arrangements.
Today’s visit will help us to benchmark education in Woodlands and we look forward to visiting again once the new arrangements are bedded in. It will also inform our engagement with the Government and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.”
03 Apr 2017