“…I kept my son safe for 17 years yet Hindley couldn’t keep him safe for two months…”

Reading the words of Jake Hardy’s grieving mother (Eric Allison. The Guardian, 4th April 2014) would stir the hearts of most people.


Jake Hardy, a 17-year-old boy, took his own life at Hindley Young Offenders Intuition near Wigan in 2012.  This tragic event has been reported on many times, more recently The Guardian highlighting inquiry findings.


Jake had ADHD, learning disabilities and a history of mental health, all recorded in his personal file.   His Personal Officer did not read Jake’s file, his decisions about how to manage and support this vulnerable offender were based on Jake’s physical presentation: a boy standing over six foot and exhibiting challenging behaviour.   The officer told the inquiry jury he thought Jake “… was able to look after himself...”  He, and other officers, made no effort to look ‘behind the behaviour’.



I am confident that others will have made clear to this and other officers, that personal files must always be read when allocated the role of personal officer.  Siarad Da insists that looking ‘behind the behaviour’ will provide professionals with knowledge and understanding which leads to improved opportunities to move forward and make change.








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