Early Bedtime Rule For Young Offenders Slammed

Young offenders will be ordered to go to bed at 10.30pm under strict new rules announced by the Government. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling revealed the new "lights out" regulation to be imposed on 15 to 17-year-olds in English institutions. He said those who refuse to obey the new rules will be punished with the removal of privileges such as access to a television. But prison reform campaigners labelled the plan a "petty restriction" and said it would add to problems faced in understaffed prisons. More than 800 under-18s are serving custodial sentences in young offenders' institutions. Mr Grayling said: "The public expects that serious offenders face prison - that is right. "But it is also crucial that young people, most of whom have had chaotic and troubled lives finally get the discipline so badly needed to help turn their lives around. "In some prisons young people are allowed to go to bed when they please. I don't think that is right. Stopping this inconsistency and introducing a strict 'lights out' policy is all part of our approach to addressing youth offending.