Monday, 21 December 2009

Child imprisonment

Some of the Ph.D. candidates at the Institute of Criminology recently sent a letter to Mr. Lansley, MP for Cambridgeshire South whose constituency contains the Oakington immigration removal centre asking him to lobby the Government and his party to combat the rising numbers of young people being detained for immigration purposes, and to reduce the number of young people being imprisoned for criminal matters following the recent publication of research into the serious mental and physical health damages to children in prison, as reported in the most recent edition of Child Abuse and Neglect: the International Journal. The letter is below and we will post Mr. Lansley's response when we receive one.


Ruth Armstrong
[Address removed]

19 December 2009

Dear Mr. Lansley MP

As your constituent, I and my undersigned colleagues at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, would like to voice our grave concerns about the children in prison in your constituency.

Following the press reports on the untold serious mental and physical health damages to children in prison, as reported in the most recent edition of Child Abuse and Neglect: the International Journal, I would like to request that you, as my representative in Parliament, do everything within your power to stop the imprisonment of children in your constituency, and to put pressure on the Government to stop the imprisonment of children nationwide.

I would ask that you commit to promoting the Sanctuary Pledge at the 2010 General Elections, which includes a commitment to end the detention of children and families for immigration purposes.

I would also like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to recent coverage of this matter and the Observer newspaper’s campaign to reduce the use of imprisonment for children generally. We are an embarrassing leader in world child imprisonment, and this trend needs to be reversed to combat social and health problems of which it is both a cause and a result. This might be a very pertinent issue to be taken up by Mr. Duncan Smith MP and his Centre for Social Justice.

As Shadow Health Secretary and MP for South Cambridgeshire these matters should be high on your agenda and we trust you will apply your political weight to the necessary task of eradicating child imprisonment of all types in the UK.

Yours sincerely,


Ruth Armstrong,
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology

Jake Phillips,
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology

Vicky Gadd
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Alexandra Cox
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Beth Hardie
Research Manager PADS+
Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Alejandra Mera
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Anton Symkovych
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Sytske Besemer
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Margaret Wilson
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Laura Bui
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Elizabeth Gurian
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge


1 comment:

Post a Comment