Steve Chalke

Charity to bring Christ-centred approach to youth prison school

The UK's first 'secure school' for youth offenders is to be launched by Christian social justice charity Oasis, under a Christ-centred ethos.

Oasis Charitable Trust has been appointed by the Ministry of Justice to re-develop The Medway Young Offenders Centre in Kent, as an education-focused alternative to youth jails.

The re-appointment of leadership comes after the sacking of the detention centres' former management, following a police investigation which exposed the mistreatment of inmates in 2016.

  

Founder and Leader of Oasis, Rev Steve Chalke told Premier that the Christian academy trust want to take a different approach to prison reform.

He said: "The emphasis is on education and care rather than on locking up, although everybody of course will be locked up - it is a secure unit.

"It's a new direction. And it is a great privilege to be given this responsibility, but it is a ginormous responsibility, because it's about path finding a different way of doing this."

Mr Chalke said the institution would focus on the support and successful rehabilitation of young offenders to reduce the rates of re-offending.

"Youth jails detention centres don't work," he said.

"This is a great opportunity for us to show that a Christian ethic, a Christ-centred ethic produces a different result."

The secure school is due to open in Kent in autumn 2020.

 

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