My visit to Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution in Rochester today

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I enjoyed an interesting visit to Cookham Wood  YOI (Young Offenders Institution) this morning.

The purpose of the visit was to see for myself the extensive New Build that had taken place and more particularly the new Education Block and facilities.

Certainly the new Cell floors were a tremendous improvement on the old and I sure that it will assist the Officers and inmates alike as they move in over the next few weeks.

I had the opportunity of meeting and talking with some of the young people and also to talk to some of the tutors who were keen to show me their pupils work. As indeed were the young people themselves. I am pleased to report that as of today, there were no Medway Young People in Cookham Wood YOI.

I also took the opportunity of meeting our Medway YOT team who are based at Cookham Wood.

I first visited Cookham Wood as a Magistrate many years ago and can report that it has improved dramatically and is staffed by Officers doing their bit to ensure that when offenders leave after completing their sentences that they are equipped to become useful members of society.

I look forward to revisiting Cookham Wood again in the summer when all the young people have moved into both their new Cell Blocks and of course the Education Block.

The photograph above shows me with the Governor Jonathan French who kindly gave me an extensive tour of the establishment.

Below, I am pictured in the new Painting and Decorating classroom where there are eight small rooms awaiting the first students to paint and decorate them!

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