WIGAN’S youth detention centre could become an adult prison, it has been revealed.
Hindley Young Offenders Institute (YOI), which is based at Bickershaw, will stop taking juveniles from March, prison officers were told yesterday morning.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice confirmed that although no decision has yet been taken, the 248-strong juvenile accommodation “estate” at Hindley (currently occupied by the 140 15 to 18-year-olds) is likely to be become a full blown adult prison.
There are no redundancies planned and the specialist prison officers affected currently at Hindley YOI will be redeployed.
It is understood young offenders are now likely to sent to surviving YOIs at Werrington (Stoke-on-Trent) and Wetherby (North Yorkshire).
The move will be unpopular with parents visiting their troubled teenagers because of the increased travel costs and inconvenience.
A spokesman for the Youth Justice Board for England said fewer youngsters were being taken into custody and that from March next year the youth detention centre would close.
“By March 2015, Hindley will be returned to the Ministry of Justice, who will decide on the future use of the site. Existing spaces currently used for young adult males will remain in place,” the spokesman added.
Hindley already houses some young adults and they will remain at the centre while the transition takes place. No decision had been taken on what cataegory of prisoner Hindley could imprison.