Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Howard League Report - Friday 14th November 2008

As you will probably know by now, tomorrow is Judgement Day.

The Howard League will be publishing their report.

I will do a lengthy blog tomorrow when the embargo has ended. However, it is my belief that the report will, through it's findings, call into question the tenability of many civil servants and politicians.

From this, some should be suspended and some should resign, lets see? Yeah right!
It is expected that the report will throw up many question. My previous blogs have highlighted some of my concerns and those raised by Senator Syvret.

Since yesterday, when I restarted my blog the following has been asked;

Question 1.

"Was the Grande Prix system used or not? i am confused. Is Mr perchard saying "yes,this is the behaviour system they adopted, but they did'nt use it"?If this is the case, what behaviour system was used?All very confusing.How long has Mr perchard been assistant health minister? not very long is it?Perhaps Mr perchard can explain the definitions of exactly what did and did'nt happen at greenfields, he seems to have all the details.He must have been very busy reading all the files and records, and talking to everyone who was ever involved with Le Chenes and Greenfields, so perhaps he can explain what it means.So,Let's get this right, the Grande Prix, it existed in theory but was'nt put into practice?So were residents put in a cell for 24 hours on arrival or not?Were residents put into a cell for 3 days if they misbehaved or refused to do what was asked? Was that time extended if conduct wasn't complient in the cell? Didn't several residents spend weeks in a cell? Is that what they mean by a watered down version of Grande Prix?Who introduced Grande Prix? and When?When did it stop?I'm"

Answer 1

Yes, the Grand Prix system did exist. Yes residents were put in a cell for 24 hours. Yes residents were put into a cell for three days if they misbehaved or refused to do what was asked.

Yes, the time was extended if they failed to comply. Yes several residents did spend weeks in their cell. Senator Perchard will dispute this of course, a debate which will be had in due course.

For me, the real question is who is the liar? Is it me or Senator Perchard et al?

Two days ago, during a telephone conversation, Senator Perchard informed me that there was nothing illegal about the Grand Prix system!

My view is that the only way to uncover the truth is through the staff and young people who were there at the time. Without them the truth will be lost. Was I the liar along with Senator Syvret or was it them!!!

Can the staff speak out? Will they speak out? I doubt it, but lets hope and pray that they do. Now is the time to reveal the truth, they are protected more than ever before, do the right thing and tell the truth.

As and when the truth does emerge, it will prove that one of us is lying.

Question 2.

Do you know anything about the two 15year olds incarcerated at LaMoye .I know that a tutor is going up there to give them lessons but I still cannot understand how or why a child could possibly be held in an adult prison. I have since learnt that these children are not kept in solitary confinement but the really worrying issues are who’re they mixing with".

Answer 2

I have heard nothing of the two 15 year olds at La Moye. The Tutor however, is likely to be from the Alternative Curriculum.

If they (the young people) are sentenced then that is why they are at La Moye and not Greenfields. The law says that they have to be held in a YOI (Young Offenders Institution) hence Greenfields cannot hold them.

The esteemed Wendy Kinnard clearly felt that it was more appropriate to stick to the Jersey laws rather than the Euopean Convention on the Rights of the Child which is why sentenced children, often vulnerable children are incarcerated at the adult prison!

If you look at my previous blog I did refer to the case of a young girl who was held illegally in La Moye. I suspect that the Howard League report will support my earlier comments.

On 13th April 2008 I wrote;

"It did not take me long to realise that the States of Jersey’s had an odd view of what constituted good child care. My concerns were first raised when I reviewed the care status of the children in residence at the time. There was one resident that I was confused as to their legal status. They were not there on Remand, nor were they subject to a Secure Accommodation Order; these being the only two legal routes into Greenfields.After some probing questions I learnt that this child was subject to a Community Order (a non custodial sentence for a criminal offence) a requirement of this Order included a residency requirement (a requirement imposed to reduce the risk of re-offending such as residing with a family member or a specific children’s home). Having previously worked in a Youth Offending Team for two years in the UK I was well aware of such requirements, however, this one was different. This residency requirement was at Greenfields a secure children's home; a requirement which was clearly designed to remove the child’s liberty and keep them in a custodial setting.I later learnt that this was considered a positive choice by the States of Jersey as the child had previously been sentenced to La Moye, the adult prison. Given their age it was considered as inappropriate so the custodial sentence had been quashed. A sensible choice in my view. The decision to remove them from La Moye was good, the decision to remove their liberty with a residency requirement as part of a Community Order was illegal. The European Convention on Human Rights does not allow someones liberty to be taken away without a lawful Order, and certainly not because a country has decided not to invest in adequate care provisions for its young and vulnerable children.This is just one example of the poor and often unlawful practice which the States of Jersey is responsible for, practices which I soon realised were long standing in relation to their provision of social services and child protection systems."

As mentioned earlier and with regards to tonight's interviews, I cannot find the link but I was on Channel TV tonight at 7.30pm. It was in relation to the imminent release of the Howard League report.

If anyone can find a link please post it for me on here.

I will post more tomorrow.

Simon Bellwood
The Whistleblower!