MTC UK Finds Creative Ways to Serve Youth During Pandemic
In addition to providing re-entry services to more than 30,000 probationers and parolees in the United Kingdom, MTC UK also provides rehabilitation services to more than 200 youth at the Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre (STC) in Willoughby, England.
And while the COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the way all correctional facilities operate to ensure maximum safety to staff and clients, MTC staff at the Rainsbrook facility are finding creative ways to continue to serve the youth in their care.
“We put together an Exceptional Regime Management Plan,” explains Head of Rainsbrook STC, Brian Anderson, “which gives us an idea of how things are going to run.”
The plan uses green, amber, and red stages, with red being total lockdown and green being business as usual.
“We’ve been running in an amber regime,” Brian explains, “we’ve been doing exceptionally well in finding a regime that works for the young people.”
MTC UK staff are working exceptionally hard to ensure the young people can get out of their living areas for as long as possible and still be safe. In similar centres, young people can get around half an hour a day out of their rooms. In Rainsbrook STC, they are getting up to six hours, daily.
“We’re running education, structured activities and time in the open air,” Brian says. “It’s not a normal regime, but it’s better than being on lockdown.”
Exercise is taken by one young person at a time, and they can talk to their friends through the gates while social distancing. There are also shielding cohorts for young people who are exceptionally vulnerable to the virus’ effects and an additional cohort for those who have had to leave the centre to visit the hospital or court and need to self-isolate for 14 days.