England and wales have probably the most varied

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England and Wales have probably the most varied juvenile penitentiary system. The secure children’s homes (SCHs) are run by local authority social services departments and are overseen by the Department of Health and the Department for Education. SCHs generally accommodate girls aged 12- 16, boys aged 12- 14, and boys assessed as ‘vulnerable’ aged 15 -16, who have been sentenced to custody or remanded to secure accommodation. They can also be used as secure accommodation for children solely on welfare grounds. They have a high ratio of staff to children and tend to be small facilities, ranging in size from six to 40 places. Secure training centres (STCs) are provided by private contractors commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and are for vulnerable children up to 17 years who have been sentenced to custody or remanded to secure accommodation. They differ from Young offender institutions (YOIs) in that they have a higher staff-to-young offender ratio (three staff to eight children) and are smaller in size, ranging from 50 to 80 places. YOIs are run by the Prison Service and the private sector and accommodate 15 to 17 year olds who have received custodial sentences or have been remanded to custody. Separate YOIs accommodate young people who are 18 to up to 21. YOIs tend to house from around 200 to over 800 children and young people and have a lower ratio of staff to children than either STCs or SCHs. YOIs are considered to be inappropriate accommodation for more vulnerable children. Minors in Scotland should go to a secure unit or to a young offender institution, but this depends on various factors such as the age and whether or not they are subjected to a supervision requirement. In Northern Ireland the youth justice follows what we can call a “justice model” rather than a “welfare model” (which operates in Scotland for those under 16). As we see, almost every country seeks to follow the European Prison Rules by separating minors from adults. As highlighted in several national reports, the legal prescription (not only the ones of the European Prison Rules but also those of the countries) to separate minors form adults is disregarded in many cases. The French report say, for example, that young girls are rarely separated from the women, because they are few in number and are generally grouped together with the women, in the same establishment and in the same units, in adjacent cells. In Portugal the seventeen and the eighteen years old are treated by their criminal justice system in the same way as the adults and incarcerated in
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European Prison Observatory Prison in Europe: overview and trends 51 their prisons. In Greece the minors are detained with young adults and sometimes with men up to 25 years old.
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