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Wednesday 14th of November 2018

Press Room

UK government releases independent review on sport and healthy eating within young offenders’ institutions

Tuesday 14th of August 2018
Juvenile Justice in the world

The UK Ministry of Justice has published a report written by Professor Rosie Meek of the University of London that highlights the positive impacts of sport, exercise and healthy living on young offenders imprisoned in the country. 


The review underscores the great value of sport in transforming lives of young offenders, and the transferable life skills they acquire within sporting programmes, such as self-discipline, team work and leadership and communication skills. This document also draws attention to developments of community partnerships with established rugby league, football and other professional sports clubs, and calling for further links of this kind.

At the heart of this document is an appeal to prison administrators and staff for greater coordination in the provision of sporting opportunities to inmates, since there has been a general failure between different personnel to work together, to the detriment of detainees.

Professor Meeks equally identifies the issue of “keep apart” lists, which prevent certain individuals from being in contact with one another, as damaging to the equality of opportunities for physical exercise for young prisoners, and highlights the low rate of take-up of such activities among ethnic minorities.

The British government has welcomed the review, and the Ministry of Justice has said it will review guidelines on physical activity and existing policies within young offender institutions (YOIs).

The report equally touches on the lack of healthy options for nutrition.  The government in its response unveiled blueprints for education within YOIs on the value of healthy eating and plans to offer a bigger variety of healthy snacks to prisoners.


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