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Health and care in the criminal justice system

  • Organisations we regulate,
  • Prison health services

We monitor, inspect and regulate health and social care in the criminal justice system (or 'health and justice') to ensure that people who use services in secure settings receive the same quality of care as the rest of the population.

Healthcare services in secure settings must register with us just like any other care service. There are some exemptions for services that are provided under arrangements with government departments.

The services we inspect range from health services that form part of youth offending teams to prison healthcare. We work in partnership with other inspectorates and use different frameworks to inspect different types of service.

Services we inspect

  • Youth offending teams (YOTs) are statutory bodies that include representatives from health, education, police, probation, substance misuse and social services.
  • Secure training centres (STCs) hold young offenders, usually over the age of 15. Offenders under 15 are normally held in secure children's homes, while those over 15 are held in STCs or young offender institutions. There are three STCs in England, two of which hold women.
  • Young offender institutions (YOIs) are run according to many of the same rules and policies as prisons. There are eight YOIs that hold young males in England and Wales.
  • Adult prisons
  • Immigration removal centres
  • Police custody

See our joint inspection reports.

How we work with other inspectorates

Youth offending teams

We inspect YOTs according to risk, carrying out six full joint inspections per year alongside a programme of short quality assurance visits. Full joint inspections are led by HMI Probation and each inspection team includes representatives from CQC, Ofsted, HMI Constabulary and HMI Prisons. The findings are published on the HMI Probation website.

Thematic inspections: We also take part in three to four thematic inspections involving YOTs each year. These can be led by any of the participating inspectorates, including CQC. They usually involve visits to at least six YOTs. The results contribute to national reports.

Previous reports

Secure training centres

STCs are inspected once a year. Led by Ofsted, these inspections also include representatives of HMI Prisons and CQC. See reports on our joint inspections led by Ofsted.

Young offender institutions, adult prisons and immigration removal centres

We work with HMI Prisons to inspect young offender institutions, adult prisons and immigration removal centres. The inspections are led by HMI Prisons, whose responsibilities are to inspect and report on conditions and treatment. CQC is responsible for monitoring, inspecting and regulating health and social care providers. See reports on our joint inspections led by HMIP.

Police custody

We work with HMI Probation and HMI Constabulary to inspect services that are provided in police custody. We plan to formally set out our approach next year.

Last updated:
16 October 2018


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