Teenage killers and other criminals offered yoga and mindfulness classes at £36m ‘secure school’ prison
- In a major shake up, the Government is building the UK’s first ‘secure school’
- It will cost £186,000 per pupil, making it more expensive than Eton College
- Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the costly plan was worth the investment
Teen criminals will be offered yoga and mindfulness classes in a new £36.5million prison for young offenders.
In a major shake up of youth prisons, the Government is building the UK’s first ‘secure school’ which will see criminals aged 12 to 18 live in boarding school style bedrooms kitted out with TVs and soothing ‘waterfall and rainforest’ surround sound systems.
Equipped with a basketball court, therapy rooms, and more than 200 staff to 49 pupils, the school will cost £186,000 per pupil per year – making it more expensive than Eton College.
Built near the site of the old Borstal Prison in Medway, Kent, Medway Secure School will house some of the most dangerous young offenders in the country, including those who have committed murder.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the costly plan for ‘a school within prison walls’ was worth the investment to help try and break the ‘carousel of crime’ that many young criminals get caught in.
Mr Raab said the initiative will help reach the 64 per cent of ‘stubborn’ young offenders who go on to commit further crimes.
Teen criminals will be offered yoga and mindfulness classes in a new £36.5million prison for young offenders (stock image)
He said: ‘We know that they haven’t benefitted from the educational opportunities that other young people have, whether that’s because they were truanting, expelled or suspended.
‘What we are doing here is creating a school within a prison, rather than an education unit within a prison.
‘We shouldn’t mince our words. They are in here for very serious stuff. With this group we are not talking about people who have tripped up into the young custody estate, they have done bad things. So there is an element of punishment, but also an attempt to stop them from spiralling into more and more offending.’
Under the new plan, the young offenders will be referred to as ‘students’ and they will live in small apartments rather than prison wings.
The flats will be made up of between two to six ensuite bedrooms, a lounge area and a kitchen.
The students, both girls and boys, will wake up at 7:30am and have breakfast before being offered a yoga and mindfulness class to ‘get their blood flowing’ and set them up for the day.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the costly plan for ‘a school within prison walls’ was worth the investment to help try and break the ‘carousel of crime’ that many young criminals get caught in
They will spend the morning leaning English and Maths before taking vocational subjects in the afternoon, such as construction, hair and beauty, art, music and sport.
They will also have the chance to compete in sports days and work towards their Duke of Edinburgh award.
The school won’t have any prison officers, but will be run by normal teachers, some who will join from mainstream schools, along with youth workers, social workers and therapists.
Mr Raab insisted the site is ‘very secure’ as it is equipped with an outer perimeter fence and 24-hour CCTV.
Endorsing the idea to offer the young offenders yoga and mindfulness in the morning, Mr Raab said: ‘For me it’s not about being in vogue, it’s about calming everything down because that’s how you get the best out of young people.
‘We want to bring the temperature down, because that’s the way they will learn, get qualifications, turn their lives around, go into work or training and our streets will be safer as a result.’
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