It was a pleasure to visit Sonia Brookes OBE, the Governor of HMYOI Werrington. Sonia has spent her entire career in the pursuit of helping young people to get back on track. I was humbled by the commitment and care that all her team showed to the children that were in her custody. I was also impressed by the facilities that Werrington offered too.
It is vital that we get the balance just right between the punishment of the custodial sentence, and the opportunity to kick start the rehabilitation of these young people. What I witnessed at Werrington demonstrated that this balance was being achieved incredibly well by all stakeholders.
May I thank all our serving prison officers, not only in HMYOI Werrington but in all of this Counties Prisons. These men and women are instrumental in delivering the challenging responsibility of ensuring offenders are punished for their crimes but also facilitate the rehabilitation of those who seek to move away from the criminality that lost them their freedom in the first place. Let us not forget that their crimes created victims of innocent people along the way, who also must be supported in many cases.