Thursday, 1 October 2009

Children, prisons and forced migration.

I have been on an interesting holiday in the USA. I visited Maine staying a week on Peaks Island and a week on Mount Desert Island.It was the holiday of a lifetime and I certainly warmed to the gentle ,friendly people that I met wherever I went.

It was depressing coming home to the on going litany of how we as a country fail our children. In 2002 I read Margaret Humphrey's book,"Empty cradles".I was profoundly disturbed to learn how the government had connived with the churches and other agencies in emptying our orphanages, shipping children off to Commonwealth countries without ever following up on the treatment they received once they got there. Ed Ball, Minister for children was reported in recent newspapers as saying "this was indeed a stain on our society" An apology is to be made by Gordon Brown in the New Year for this forced migration of our children and for the suffering that was meted out to them

Perhaps Ed Ball would also look responsibly into a present day stain on our society? Many of our children are locked up unnecessarily in prisons routinely condemned by Anne Owers, Chief Inspector of Prisons, as squalid, insanitary and staffed largely by inadequately trained staff.