Oakhill Secure Training Centre welcomed Milton Keynes' MPs Iain Stewart and Mark Lancaster on Monday to see the work done with young offenders. As part of the visit, they saw how young people are paying back the local community through their sentences.
Oakhill, operated by G4S on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, employs over 250 Milton Keynes residents. The centre opened in 2004 and is designed to accommodate up to 80 young people and educate them as part of a court order.
During the visit, Mr Stewart and Mr Lancaster discussed the projects that the trainees at Oakhill work on in the local community. Oakhill trainees assist on refurbishment projects for parish councils, and help with regeneration projects at play areas, undertake maintenance at Bradwell Abbey National Heritage site and regularly work at local food banks.
Iain Stewart MP said:
"The work that Oakhill staff are doing to get young offenders to pay back to the local community is exactly what I want to see our criminal justice system doing. It is only right that those who commit and offence work in the community. I'm pleased to see that the trainees are making a valuable contribution to the local community."
Mark Lancaster MP said:
"I first visited the STC in 2007 and noticed a massive improvement in the quality of the Centre. I was struck by the work that goes into educating the trainees to help get their education back on track, we know that education is one of the key ways to keep people out of custody and I'm glad to see the focus on this at Oakhill."
The recently appointed director of Oakhill, Nadia Syed, who took up the post in December 2012, said:
"It's a pleasure to welcome Iain and Mark back to the centre to see what we do to educate, train and support trainees and to work to turn them away from crime. We place a strong emphasis on restorative justice so that young people come to recognise the harm that their behaviour causes not only them but the wider community."