Briefing by Luke Clements ~ updated August 2017. For corrections or suggested additions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2014 Act provides welcome clarification as to local responsibilities for prisoners who have care and support needs and provides that for adults the responsible local authority for ‘ordinary residence’ purposes is the one in which the prison is located (section 185). For young people in custody the responsible local authority for ‘ordinary residence’ purposes is generally the local authority they were based in (or receiving support from) immediately before detention (section 186).
Detail on the new obligations is provided in the Part 11 Code of Practice (Miscellaneous and General). It makes clear that the s185 – 188 duties apply to all adult prisoners who are detained in Wales and to all young people who are ordinarily resident in Wales – even if they are detained in England.
The Code details the very extensive duties owed to young people and in relation to adults it states (pages 7-8) that authorities:
must support an adult with care and support needs in the secure estate in Wales just as they would for someone in the community. The local authority must design its care and support procedures to be able to meet the care and support needs of those within the secure estate. The delivery of care and support arrangements operating in the community setting may need to be adjusted to meet the needs of the population and the regime of the secure estate.
In relation to advocacy rights the Part 11 Code states (page 16):
Advocacy must be provided for those in the secure estate in the same way as for those living in the community. Advocacy can be provided by family, friends or someone’s wider support network. There will be occasions where this primary advocacy source is unavailable/ cannot gain ready access and in these instances, local authorities must ensure that an independent advocate is provided, at no cost to the individual, in order that they can be fully engaged and able to participate in the process