Chapter

Child deaths in the juvenile secure estate

Barry Goldson and Deborah Coles

in Children and young people in custody

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9781847422613
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301752 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847422613.003.0006
Child deaths in the juvenile secure estate

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This chapter is about one of the most controversial issues in contemporary youth justice: child deaths in custodial institutions. First, it describes recent trends in child imprisonment in England and Wales and reviews what is known about the biographies of child prisoners, together with the treatment and conditions that they experience within the juvenile secure estate. It presents an overview of ‘safer custody’ reforms and their limitations alongside a critical assessment of the investigation and inquest processes that typically follow child deaths in penal custody. It argues that knowledge of child deaths in the juvenile secure estate is conventionally fragmented and limited in scope. More recent recognition of the issues involved, however, has led to demands for closer scrutiny and public inquiry. Building upon this, the chapter concludes by summarising the case for comprehensive independent inquiry into child deaths in the juvenile secure estate and related questions of contemporary youth justice policy.

Keywords: England; Wales; youth justice; child deaths; imprisonment; child prisoners; secure estate; safer custody; public inquiry

Chapter.  6025 words. 

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