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Juvenile Justice Centre Rules (Northern Ireland) 1999

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Part IVReception, Transfer and Discharge

Authority for detention

16.  A child shall not be received into a centre without a valid order of commitment, warrant or certificate authorising his detention in custody.Search

17.—(1) The clothing and possessions of a child shall be searched on reception into a centre and a record kept by the manager.

(a)Where a manager has reason to believe that a child has in his possession a prohibited article or substance and that article or substance may only be discovered by means of a search the manager may direct accordingly.

(b)A child shall not be required to remove clothing for the purposes of a search in the sight of a person other than the members of staff conducting the search.

(c)A search shall be carried out in the most sensitive manner possible and shall not be conducted by a member of staff acting alone.

(d)Staff conducting a search for which the child is required to remove clothing shall be of the same gender as the child.

(e)Where a child refuses to co-operate with a search, the minimum effort necessary to effect the search may be used and such use shall be recorded. Rule 29 shall apply to such a search.

(2) This rule does not permit the search of a body cavity, but a child may be required to open his mouth to permit a visual inspection.

Children’s property on reception

18.—(1) The manager shall prescribe items or articles which may be retained by a child in a juvenile justice centre.

(2) The manager shall be responsible for the safekeeping of any property, valuables, clothing or other items which the child is not allowed to retain for his own use in the centre.

(3) If clothing is infested or in a state of disrepair it may be destroyed, in which case the details shall be recorded and the child informed.

(4) If a child has money in his possession on reception to the centre it shall be paid into an account under the control of the manager and the child shall be credited with the amount in the books of the centre.

(5) If a child has any form of medicine in his possession on reception it shall be for the medical officer to decide on its use, retention or disposal as the case may be.

(6) If the medical officer is not available at the time of reception a member of staff will act in accordance with guidance given by the medical officer and report the matter to the medical officer before he interviews a child.


19.  A child on his initial reception shall have a bath or shower unless impracticable or excused on medical grounds.

Medical examination on reception

20.—(2) The medical officer shall separately examine every child upon reception, or if this is not possible, within twenty-four hours, and shall record the result.

(2) If a child is found to have any infectious disease or to be in any condition which may threaten the health or well-being of himself or others, the medical officer shall report the matter to the manager and steps shall be taken to treat the child appropriately.

Initial interview and assessment

21.—(1) The manager shall interview a child at the time of reception but if this is not possible, within 24 hours, and he shall ensure that any relevant matters to which a child may wish to draw attention are noted and dealt with.

(2) A child shall be assessed to ascertain his educational, training, emotional and developmental needs for the purpose of devising an individual programme to prepare a child for his return to the community.

Information to children

22.—(1) Upon reception or as soon as possible thereafter a child shall be provided with sufficient information to enable him to understand the requirements of the centre, the facilities available and the proper methods of seeking further information. Particular attention shall be paid to ensure that a child is aware of, and understands, the complaints procedure.

(2) Information provided under this rule shall be made available in writing for the child to consult in his own time.

(3) In the case of a child who cannot read or who for any reason has difficulty in understanding, the manager shall ensure that the necessary information has been properly explained to him.

(4) A child shall have access to these rules at any reasonable time and a child shall be informed at the time of his reception of the right to do so.

Transfer to another centre

23.—(1) A child shall not be transferred to another centre without the authority of the Secretary of State which shall be in writing.

(2) Before transfer to another centre a child shall be interviewed by the manager.

(3) The medical officer shall examine a child as short a time as is practicable before his transfer to another centre unless, in exceptional circumstances and for reasons of security or the good order and control of the centre, the manager directs that the transfer must take effect immediately.

(4) If the medical officer is of the opinion that a child is not fit to be transferred he shall inform the manager and the child shall not be transferred.

(5) Where a child is to be transferred to another centre his parent shall be informed beforehand by telephone, or if that is not practicable, by letter as soon as possible thereafter, and if he is a remanded child, his legal advisor. Evidence of such notification shall be recorded.


24.—(1) Before his period of detention expires a child shall be interviewed by the manager who shall explain the conditions which will apply to him during his period of supervision.

(2) The medical officer shall examine every child as short a time as is practicable before his period of detention expires.

(3) Upon completion of his period of detention a child’s clothes, money and other property shall be returned to him.

Serious illness or death of a child

25.—(1) If a child becomes seriously ill, sustains any severe injury or is removed to hospital the manager shall take reasonable steps to inform the child’s parent and also any person the child may reasonably have asked should be informed.

(2) If a child dies the manager shall immediately inform the parents, the police, the Board and the Secretary of State.

(3) If a child dies, the medical officer shall without delay record the facts and make a report to the manager. In cases where a post-mortem examination is made, the medical officer shall report on its findings and make any observations which he considers appropriate.

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