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This programme contains some strong language.
Each year in Britain, we lock up 2,000 school-age children.
Vinney Green locks up persistent and disturbed troublemakers...
the kids no-one else can tame.
'Some of them are very difficult, very challenging.'
Fuck you, man!
Some of them are very dangerous.
Whether they are a danger to each other...
They are making threats to kill everybody, threatening to stab all the bitches that work at the unit.
..or a danger to themselves, and sent here for their own protection.
I happened to go into her bedroom this time, and found out
that she'd actually put a ligature round her neck.
Are you scared?
'They do need a rub of their head, just that motherly sort of touch...
'Maybe that might surprise some people, but they are only children.'
Three boys are facing the prospect of beginning their adult life behind bars, if they can't change.
17-year-old Ryan started to get into trouble when he was just nine.
I don't lose control, I just choose to get angrier.
He's got an uphill struggle to overcome his anger.
15-year-old Ryan is the only one in trouble in his family.
There's always one bad apple.
He's got to learn to say no to the lure of his friends.
Ashley has been in and out of secure units.
By Christmas, I'll be back inside. It's just my life. Trouble.
He needs to find the confidence to break the cycle.
I ain't got none of that confidence shit.
Vinney Green is called a children's home, but for the kids sent here, it feels like a prison.
In Britain, the law says that children can be held responsible for their crimes.
But with the vast majority getting into trouble again,
will these three boys be able to leave here, and never come back?
MALE YOUTH: I'm not going in there!
I want to go to my room! Now!
It's very tricky when we've got somebody here
or we know somebody's come in that's potentially dangerous.
There's cases of young people that's committed rape, arson, robbery, usually with threats of violence.
The extreme is obviously murder.
We get a lot of paperwork with somebody that comes,
and we need to be aware of what that says, if there's any history.
At the same time, we need to take every person
for who they are when they arrive,
and we need to judge them on what they're like when they're here.
Turnover at Vinney Green is high.
Some young people are here for just a few days, waiting to find out what's next.
Others are here for months.
A few stay for years.
Ashley, who's recently arrived at Vinney Green, has been here once before.
It's his fifth stay at a secure children's home by the age of 16.
Why are you searching MY room?
We're searching everybody's. We're doing the astroturf, everything.
Yeah, but you searched us earlier!
-We've been told to do it again.
-You've already searched my room.
The children have their own bedrooms, but they can be searched at any time.
-Search my room all you want, you ain't searching me.
Because he's been in so many units, Ash knows the system inside out, and he's not afraid to rebel.
Everyone's got to be searched...
-You did it to me last week!
-Everyone's got to be searched.
-And I didn't have fuck-all.
And he often deliberately chooses to face down staff.
'Fuck the system.'
Do anything to get away from the system,
do anything to fight the system.
I ain't doing what these lot tell me to do. I'll do what I want to do.
Wherever you go, you're being watched.
When you come out on the astro, it turns out to be more of a prison,
you're being watched 24/7.
You've got all the gates, you've got the bars. You can't go nowhere.
Whereas in there it just feels like you're in a normal school, like.
This is day 21 for Ash. But being caged is a way of life for him.
Sometimes I wish I was a bird.
I'd just fly away, never come back.
Get me? Never come back.
Like most of the kids at Vinney Green, Ash started his downward spiral at an early age.
I started getting into drugs, started smoking weed, drinking, going out on
Friday nights, getting violent, just beating people up, getting arrested.
And then, one day I was out of control, and I took a car.
I took a car and just, like...
I was only 12, 13.
It was, like, the wrong thing to do.
Wish I never did it. But...
It's just something that happened,
I can't change it.
But I do regret it.
Come on, Ashley. Go into your room.
Ashley's behaviour here presents a challenge to the staff.
He'll be carefully assessed on a daily basis, like every child on the unit.
We had a new admission last night, a 13-year-old, and he's got some serious issues, this kiddie here...
The senior managers and teachers meet to examine the level of risks
posed to other children, staff, or even to children harming themselves.
Just flips out and does all sorts.
As I said, smears faeces, urine...
-Bit disturbed, then?
-Very disturbed, by the looks of it.
-So we'll need to be on the ball with this one.
There's a daily meeting, so that if there are issues, especially with someone
who's been highlighted as dangerous, we're on top of that, and we can catch something before it happens.
You can't always - but that's the hope, that you can.
A lot of the time, we come in here and on paper they look like Frankenstein's monsters.
No-one is born evil.
Children are children. They may come FROM a disadvantaged background,
but they have the qualities to overcome those disadvantages.
In Vinney Green, there are separate living areas for the boys and the girls.
15-year-old Ryan has also been brought here for the second time.
But he's been assessed as vulnerable, so he's been
separated from the other boys, and lives alongside the girls.
Yeah, I may be fat, but I'm losing it when I get out.
I might lose it when I get out.
Ryan was bullied the last time he was at the unit, so the staff are concerned about his safety.
Ryan is being bullied, big style -
-apparently it stems from last time he was here...
-Is that still going on?
It's still going on. They won't let it drop.
So, he's being picked up,
brought over five minutes late and taken back five minutes early,
cos he really, really, really doesn't want to bump into...
I'll try and get to the bottom of it this afternoon.
Ryan is being protected from the tougher boys, who have a reputation for fighting.
The other Ryan is 17, and has been here already for 180 days.
He lives on the block for boys.
He's been involved in a number of fights since arriving at Vinney Green.
He's been in trouble with the police since he was nine.
Started off just like, little things, like...
theft, stuff like that. But then,
obviously as you get older I was drinking, drugs, stuff like that.
serious fights and
more serious stuff.
The first time I got caught for anything, I was nine or ten, something like that.
I think it was criminal damage.
I just lost my temper and... smashed someone up.
'Sometimes young people are on such a downward spiral
'of offending, literally on a daily basis,
'I believe that sometimes young people do need to be secured.
'All you can do is give society a rest.'
No matter how closely the kids are monitored, fights can break out at any time.
'We've often got 24 people. They've obviously not chosen to be here,
'they don't necessarily like each other. They do wind each other up,
'they're in each other's faces.
'So quite often, there's a lot of verbal threats, verbal challenges.
'The violence between young people tends to be reactive.
'Someone's said something to someone else, someone throws a punch.'
Ryan starts another fight.
He's restrained, and taken to his room.
'If I'm arguing with someone and getting angry, I might lash out or...
'if someone lashes out at me, I'll get angry and lash out back.
'I just get angry quite quickly.'
I don't even know what it is. I choose to get angry -
I don't lose control, I just...choose to get angrier.
Every single government's trying to look at how you break that cycle
of criminal offending, which young people get into and then carry on into adulthood.
With some young people, it's about directing them and giving them the best opportunity.
What establishments like Vinney Green are meant to do is put a lot of expensive resources into them
at a younger age, because if we can stop someone offending in later life,
there is economic and social savings for the country.
But it's about accepting
that you might have to put that money and time in now,
and won't reap the benefit for 20 years' time.
Get yourself out of bed, Ryan. Let's go.
Take your tablet for me, please.
Grab the mop bucket, let's go. Come on, then.
This secure unit takes the piss.
If you don't like it, Ryan, you know what the answer is, mate.
To try and turn the kids around, the unit runs a strict daily regime.
From the moment they are woken up at seven, they're never on their own.
What's wrong with you this morning?
-This is what I'm like in the mornings, Andy.
Cos I never ever get up this early. Never.
The only time the kids are locked in their bedrooms is for ten hours at night.
The young people have very little free time when they're allowed to do things that they would choose to do.
We do all their thinking for them.
This is when you get fed, this when you go to sleep...
We offer them plenty of activities, whether it be education or sport.
Because our staffing levels are much greater than a prison,
there's a member of staff all the time listening to them, trying to control them.
We're more in the young people's space, in their face, so we're more challenging.
Some young people like that a lot. Others don't.
For Ash, the only consistent structure in his life has been behind bars.
But now, aged nearly 17, Ash aspires to a more adult regime.
Butlins, innit? Butlins.
OTHER YOUTH LAUGHS It is, though, innit? It's Butlins.
-Better than Butlins, just behind bars.
It should be Butlins Behind Bars.
There's some young people that come to Vinney Green that's got got no intentions of changing.
They see this just as part of their life.
They've got caught, so you serve the time.
'It's for like, little kids, and it's not kind of me.
'I need to be moved on to somewhere bigger.
'Prefer to go to Ashfield, or somewhere like that.
'A youth offenders' institute.'
Some young people would rather go to a prison, because they see a prison having more status.
It makes them perhaps, in their eyes, a bit harder.
Ryan also wants to prove that he's tough.
He aspires to the trappings of what the children associate with a gangster lifestyle.
The latest must-have in Vinney Green are rosary beads.
My mate's sending me some beads.
They should be coming any day now.
-What sort of beads?
Everyone wears them in prison, like.
She's not Catholic, and she's wearing them.
It's a prison thing, innit?
What does it mean?
Basically, it means all things.
It can also mean you've been to prison. That's one reason.
Or you could be Catholic, and that's another reason.
For Ryan, rosary beads represents that you are in prison or have been in prison, and then your status.
And perhaps for Ryan in particular, his status, how he feels about himself,
this is meant to be making him something important or big in his eyes.
I've been going to special needs schools since I was about six.
Didn't like it, kept running away from home, mixing with the wrong people.
Smoking weed... and basically I got into trouble.
My family's never been in trouble, but I'm basically the bad one out of my family,
There's always one who's the bad apple.
Robin, Ryan's dad, is separated from his mum,
and has four children older than Ryan.
Ryan has lived with him since he was four.
Ryan, my favourite little boy, on his beanbag.
When he was born at the hospital, he was an emergency Caesarean.
He was a distressed baby, just didn't seem to do anything.
Two there. He couldn't use his hands or nothing.
"Uh, uh", that's all he would say.
And he'd sleep a lot. He...wouldn't involve in anything.
He couldn't talk until he was five and a half, six.
I took him to speech therapy, and also play therapy, and also
the paediatrician and everything, to get him on track.
It really makes me upset and it really does get to me, because
I feel that I've not done the job properly. You know?
I feel that... what have I done wrong?
Why is it that it's turned out like this?
My kids are just the world to me, you know.
Always have been. And this one is real hard work, Ryan.
But I'm still there...for him.
-Obviously when Ryan arrived, it was very easily identified there were vulnerability concerns.
The paperwork that came with Ryan also suggested that, but you could tell, you know,
with conducting the assessments that the unit undertakes, that
his level of understanding would cause problems within the secure unit.
For his own protection, Ryan is moved around the unit
five minutes after the other boys are taken to their classes.
Ryan, on the boys' block, knows that when people are being moved around
is the best time to settle scores.
He went down and held his nose,
I think he broke his nose.
I got taken back to my room and put in my room for most of the day.
Reactive violence on the unit is common.
What is of more concern to staff is that this incident was premeditated.
Basically, we was arguing behind our doors at night.
And he was shouting stuff to me and just...being a prick, basically,
saying "I'm going to batter you in the morning"
and stuff like that.
Obviously in the morning, he said he was messing about, but to me he was threatening to punch me.
You know, I don't like that.
The next morning, I challenged him about it, and it ended up...
he turned around and, after he'd been saying he was going to punch me all night
I didn't know what he was going to do.
So as soon as he turned around, I retaliated and punched him.
The victim, when he made the abusive comments the night before, he was safe. Ryan couldn't get to him.
Obviously, he just forgot the next morning.
Everybody comes out, ending result that the young person had a broken nose.
Ryan will receive a red card for this assault, and he will lose all his privileges from now.
So if he's got any electrical items in his room, they will be removed,
and Ryan will be kept away from the other young person, and it will be at Ryan's detriment.
If two wanted to go to the gym, it would be Ryan that didn't go.
Ryan still has to go to school, but he will be denied all other activities for 48 hours.
-He remains unrepentant.
-..Yeah, but this is it -
we're not going to reward you for breaking someone's nose, are we?
-I didn't break someone's nose.
-It was too out of shape not to be.
It was pointing that way and that way as well, so it's a pretty safe bet.
-I couldn't care less,
I felt like punching him.
Feeling LIKE punching him and actually doing the deed are two very...
'Being kept up all night by the other young person'
being quite mouthy to Ryan through the door -
being a bit of a window warrior as we call them -
was reason enough to punch him square on the nose.
He thinks he's done the right thing.
I can't believe he thinks that, though.
Ash has been at Vinney Green for six weeks now, and he's still not prepared to comply with basic rules,
like keeping his hands out of his trousers.
You won't be going back to education then, because
it's a health and safety risk if we've got to worry about other people fighting and stuff like that.
I'm sorry, but this is a really simple request.
You won't be going back to education. It's your call.
I won't be going education, then.
But I'm not allowed to education, then people are going to have to
start restraining me, ain't they, cos I'm not going back to my room.
'If you're in somewhere like Vinney Green, you've got very little control about what you do,
'because we dictate what you do and how you do it.'
Shove it in your face.
'Ashley, because he's got no control in his life, is taking the only action
'he can do, by manipulating certain situations where you know the staff have to respond in a certain way.
Another rule is that the kids can't stop and block the corridors...
so that's exactly what he does.
'It comes to the stage with Ashley where we've got to get him to move.
'Restraint is always the last line of our defence, really -
'try everything else first.'
'Ashley cries out for attention, and he will usually do really negative things to get that attention.
'The aftermath of that - he is really low.
'He's usually very apologetic afterwards.
'But that's how Ash is,
'that's how he's coped.'
-How does it feel when you get restrained or something like that?
Why? Explain that to me.
It's a thrill. It's a buzz.
Just like getting in a fight on the out, it's a buzz.
There's a perception amongst the children that to get restrained proves how hard they are.
This is the sixth time Ash has been restrained at Vinney Green.
But here, restraints have been specially developed so that the children don't get hurt.
'It's not much fun if you're 13 or 14, being
'dealt with by three or four big members of staff.
'We do try and do that so that they don't look completely stupid or lose face or loss of dignity.
'But they're children, and should be treated as children.'
Over at the other block, Ryan's been at Vinney Green for six weeks now.
He's received a letter from his mate who's at a secure training centre, which is more like an adult prison.
"I've been sent back down
"back in Medway. I get out two weeks after you.
"We should meet up and get fucked out of our heads,
"get a car or something.
"Request a transfer to here. It's better than Vinney Green."
My favourite words is "big it up",
and basically "I'm going to duke you up"...
and the way my mate says it, it's funny.
He just goes, "Yeah, I'm going to duke you up"!
Like it's basically... gonna rush someone.
If you want to know what that means, it's basically, gonna rob someone up for their money or something.
Basically, it's slang talk.
You go up to people who don't know the slang words,
and then they're gonna go "What does that mean?"
and you'll be like "You'll find out if you keep pissing me off."
We talk like that cos we think we're bad, but we're not.
Like, we all think we're bad, but...
we know the truth, we're not bad.
Cos it's all about the people who we hang around with.
Ryan has never been in trouble here, but the temptation to succumb to peer pressure is very high for him.
Determined to push for a transfer, Ryan demands a phone call.
He's not allowed to make it at the time he wants, so he copies the
other boys' behaviour, even though he's never been restrained before.
I think he wanted a phone call because he'd have to come back across.
What he didn't realise was, he's got to comply and go to his room, and
then when the other young people are back,
he'll get his phone call.
But he wasn't prepared to do that.
He was quite threatening towards staff as well.
So he was threatening to hit people and...whatever, you know?
They all just try to push the boundaries that little bit when they want something, you know.
But he's not usually like that, is he?
No. And he'll go back and sit down for five minutes or so,
realise what an idiot he's been and he'll probably be quite nice in ten minutes' time.
I was, like, I'm going to punch you
if you don't get out of my space, basically.
And it didn't happen and I got dragged back to my room.
After he's calmed down, Ryan is allowed the phone call,
but there's no hope of a transfer.
The staff call in Lyn, who works with the more vulnerable kids, to tackle Ryan's copycat behaviour.
-Why did you phone your YOT worker today?
-Because I want a transfer.
You want a transfer?
You must love it here!
No, it's stressful here.
-Why do you want a transfer, then?
-I want to go somewhere with discipline.
Don't you think we've got discipline here?
No. I'm getting away with everything here.
Feels like a holiday camp, like people say.
I don't want to go out, and people calling this place a holiday camp,
and then saying, "Ah, you've been to a holiday camp, that's not a strict place at all."
But the lure of a supposedly harder institution won't go away.
-Yeah, but if I went to an SDC it would scare me not to go back there again.
-You think so?
In here it's like a children's home.
I won't learn my lesson, and I'll come back.
I think it's probably true in society that people are looking to belong to something.
Some people belong in their families, and that works for them.
Some belong with their friends.
Some people's friends are their gangs, and people want to belong.
And for Ryan, I know he's got a good mate. He belongs with that person.
sense of fun and their purpose is gained from doing things
which actually aren't allowed, and that's what breaking the law is.
Ash has been at Vinney Green for eight weeks now,
and he's still behaving in the same way.
After disrupting a class, he refuses to move.
Normally with Ashley if you try and cajole him to moving, you know,
just gentle sort of taps on the back, etc.
Sometimes Ashley will move, other times he won't.
And that's when... You can see from the CCTV footage, that I,
with another member of staff, gave each other the wink, which was when we decided that we had to move him.
There was no other way out of it, he had to move to enable the rest of the group to function.
In a lot of cases, any attention is better than no attention.
Young people like Ashley, sometimes all they want to do is physically be held.
It's almost like replacing the parent that has been missing in their lives.
It's almost like they just want a cuddle, really, a lot of the time,
and once you've grabbed hold of them and they've had their little struggle, then all
the tension goes out of them, then they relax, and there's never any hostility aimed towards you.
These young people are very complex individuals with lots of issues.
They have basically been told pretty much most of their lives they won't amount to anything.
What you do see is some young people that have been brought up in really difficult circumstances.
And you can see that the majority of them have not been treated well.
Most of the young people in here have had other troubles.
Life has not been good.
When I was...
my ma abandoned me and left me with my dad
And up until about the age of six,
beat me with a baseball bat,
weapons, and just damaged me.
At the age of six, I ran off
and the police took me and stuck me in care for my own safety.
And then since about the age of six, I've been in care
and been moved around, home to home, children's homes, foster homes,
Down to, like, Cornwall.
I've been to different secure units. I've been to
four other secure units.
For my ma, I hated my mum for it, and still do.
For my dad...
..I wish that he gets exactly what he gave me.
Obviously, I wasn't happy about it, I didn't like it, but there was nothing I could do about it.
I was little...so...
It takes a long time to undo the damage.
Far longer than what we've got them for.
So it's difficult,
very difficult for him, yeah.
Five people will have starter, main course and dessert.
So that would be £5, yeah, this one?
Ryan, like 50% of children in secure institutions, has been in and out of care.
I come from around Exeter way.
My mum lives down that way.
I've been in care, stuff like that, really.
When did you first go to care?
When I was nine.
Tell me about that.
Just being a little shit, I suppose.
Getting in trouble, going out.
That's pretty much why I was in there.
If you went into a restaurant and a typical service charge was 10% and if your bill came to £8,
you would give the waitress 10% of what that bill was.
Now £10 is easy to work out.
What are you on about? If a waitress asked me for £8, I would give her £8.
I wouldn't give her 10% of nothing.
Yeah, but some people do. Traditionally, that's what...
I don't give a shit about tradition. She'd get what she's given.
OK. But if you were trying to work it out...
Just tell me what it is, Cory, we ain't got all day.
It is for you to try and work out. If I tell you, will you work out the next one?
Tell me what it is and then I can crack on, can't I?
If we had £8, 10% of it, we move the decimal point one way that way,
because we just want to know 10%, so that would then become that number.
80p. See, that weren't hard. If you start me off then I can do it then.
It's much easier, isn't it?
I'd been to quite a few schools. I got kicked out of a few of them and the schools that I did go to...
..didn't really work out too well.
Getting in trouble, not turning up to lessons, arguing with teachers, fighting.
Sometimes I just get myself in trouble because I wanted to.
I can't be arsed with it.
We're looking for that one thing that will be like a light bulb
coming on for them. "Oh, I can do something! I am good at something."
Man, I hate cutting onions!
For some people, it's often a vocational thing.
And then, hopefully, that's something they can build on
as they then go out and back into the community later.
# I am a rude boy MC coming through like a lyrical G.
# You spit grime but you ain't never heard something like me.
# I provide my buzz like you provide my cars. #
I'm coming through like a lyrical G
And something that rhymes with rude boy.
-I spit fires like Mars, but naturally.
The teachers work constantly on the children's self esteem.
-Ashley has got four weeks to go now.
-Fuck this. Scrap the whole lot.
Stop there, stop there!
-It's not that bad!
-I bet you didn't save that either, did you?
-I don't give a fuck.
-Keep practising and you'll get better.
I'm not good with my words so people say things I don't understand and it's, like...
So, I've got to make a simple buzz for myself to understand it.
But that's how you start. Eventually, you'll build on that.
You just have to have confidence. It will come out.
-I ain't got none of that confidence shit.
-Well, you should have.
He's a nice young man, actually, but really quite down on himself
and doesn't feel that there's a whole lot that he can do.
This is a frustration. So many times this happens.
Somebody does a piece of work, we're on there going, "You've done great, you're doing really well."
"No, it's rubbish."
Ashley, come on. Stop it.
Ashley, come on, then.
HE SCREAMS AND BANGS
Thinking about going makes me, like, the happiest man.
I just can't wait.
I can't wait to get wrecked.
Can't wait to have fun. Can't wait to see my mates.
Can't wait to smoke a fag...
..and can't wait to get up to my usual self,
my troubled self.
By Christmas, I'll be back inside, I reckon.
I don't know. It's just my life.
Underpinning all the work here is building the kids' self confidence.
Ryan gets one to one input.
He's dropped the idea of wanting a transfer and is making progress.
How are we going to get these two, then?
-I don't know whether it's going to be possible.
The staff try and focus on something the kids are passionate about.
In Ryan's case, it's cars.
What about buying your own car and doing that up?
Yeah, well, how am I going to get the money to get a car?
I've taught you how to clean cars.
-So you could clean cars, charge £10 a car.
-Clean 20 cars, you've got 200.
-What, when the rain's about now?
Say you clean 20 cars, that's £200.
£200 buys you something like this, you can start working on it with a
bit of extra money from carrying on working and you do it up gradually.
Perfect. You know, there's plenty more that
you can do with cars, it's not just about just grabbing somebody else's car and going out and joy riding it.
If you've got your own car that you care about and you know how to work on and treat well,
then perhaps you'll end up having more respect
for other people's property as well, because you sort of get to know what somebody's car means to them.
"My youngest brother was only
"I left school to look after him."
They're also working on things Ryan struggles with.
"When I was 12 years old..."
The unit sees dramatic rises in educational achievement.
On average, reading ages improve by two years for young people who stay for three months or longer.
When I was on the out, I wouldn't go to school and now I have learnt how to, basically, write properly, read.
Basically, do all that.
Obviously, the concern is when he leaves, because he's not going to have 24-7 supervision.
It's so easy to go off the rails when you first go out, because you've been locked inside
and the first thing you want to do is go and see your mates,
not come in at a certain time and that is when a lot of young people fail.
They can be easily swayed by other young people and that, to me, is about being accepted.
When he leaves Vinney Green, Ryan is going home to live with his dad.
OK, just reading them, do you think they're fair? I do.
Ryan is being allowed out on certain conditions.
At his visit, his dad has brought with him a set of rules
so that Ryan knows exactly what's expected of him when he goes home.
"If you do go out during the week, you'll be back home no later than 9.30pm."
You've never been able to stick to certain rules.
Ryan's case manager, Georgina, has to make sure
that he fully understands the implications of these rules.
"You will come home after school so I can see how school went."
Do you understand what that means?
What do you think Dad meant by that?
That if I had some bad days,
I'd do a runner.
I shouldn't do that. I should speak my problems.
Right, it's about ironing out problems.
-Dad can't do anything. He's not a mind reader, is he?
If you don't tell him, he can't do anything about it.
What you practise and what you've learned from being in here,
you've got to try and do that outside, haven't you?
And I think, you know, if you think you're being dragged into something, you have got to talk to somebody.
You have got to talk to Dad, because it's too late once you've, you know,
gone beyond that and you've done something wrong. I know you can be easily encouraged, can't you?
And your mates are having a good time
and you think you're having a good time because they're including you.
You've got to think about what your goal is, and that's about keeping to
the rules and boundaries and keeping out of trouble.
You can easily get drawn into it, Ryan, you know that.
-Anybody can. All right?
Not everyone makes plans with their family.
The other Ryan has his own plans for his life
and the 210 days of discipline seem to have had an effect.
This is a careers book, which just tells me about how to join, what it's like in there,
the training you've got to go through.
It tells you about the pay and pension, what happens if you get injured, stuff like that.
It sounds quite good, like. Well, not getting injured!
But I mean, like, all the stuff they give you.
If I get out,
the only thing that would bother me is like, getting back into drugs and stuff like that, because obviously
I'm one of those people that did enjoy a smoke.
Like, smoking cannabis.
And if I had the choice, I would probably do it again,
but the fact I'm getting older now, I want to get out and join, like, the Marines when I get out, so...
Obviously, you've got to be fit to do that and when I get out, I want to get into that as soon as possible
so I don't have a chance to get back into drugs.
Since I've come in here, I've been a lot fitter and stuff like that because, obviously, we still have
a laugh and that in here, but we just can't get the alcohol, the drugs and stuff like that,
so even if we wanted it, we can't, which is a good thing about here, in a way.
Ash has been at Vinney Green for ten weeks now and he, too, is changing.
-It's called rendering.
-I'm learning to plaster, paint and decorate.
I'm doing this, then I've got to wait for it to dry.
And then all the little holes, fill it back up.
Ashley is the type of lad you just warm to.
He's one of the ones I wish we had for two years,
if not longer!
If he got into college with different friends,
positive role models, there is possibly a chance for Ash.
So, one in the front, one in the back?
The best thing in Vinney Green is probably the vocational centre, for me, personally.
It's helped me to take my anger out on something positive,
so that if I feel frustrated and I come over here, I work it off.
I do work and it feels like when I leave, I don't feel angry.
It does help me to maybe think better.
It's given me time to think about things.
What happened? I'm asking you, do you want help.
Yeah, you are.
-You've got to do it faster.
-Like, more than that.
Basically, just slop it on.
It's been ten days since Ash has been restrained.
Being less difficult and disruptive has helped him to make some friends.
-Get back over the wall now.
-Aw, he's so cute, isn't he?
I just said you're cute, right?
-That's nice to know.
-He's so cute, isn't he?
I told my mother about him the other day, as well.
Look at that ass!
Yeah, Ashley, fucking shut up.
# Shaking that ass!
# Watch you, baby, shaking that ass. #
Ryan has managed to get his hands on rosary beads, although they're only copied onto a T shirt.
But as he settles down to his last week at Vinney Green, he's found something he enjoys.
Every time he's out here, he works really hard.
There's a few kids that will come out and will do it.
But he'll do the work the entire time, no matter what you ask him to do. He's more than happy.
I imagine he'll end up doing something like this, hopefully get a job when he leaves.
But unless they've got a job instantly, that day when they get out,
even a couple of days, they're back into not being bothered.
So it is hard.
It's a shame, really. They do a lot of work in here that's really good and then go out
to the same friends, the same group of mates that are causing trouble.
And it's easy for them to get back into the lifestyle straight away.
-See you in a bit.
When I switch my lights off and I go to bed, I'm going to be thinking about Friday night,
when I go to the rave
and get smashed out of my face.
-But do you think going to a rave is a good way to start?
-Best of luck, right? You take it easy.
-And stay out of trouble, all right?
-Do you think I could get a hug?
-Take care. Don't come back this time.
-All the best.
-After three months, Ryan leaves.
But he must stick to the rules, otherwise he could face returning to Vinney Green.
Ash has a few more days to go.
The plan for him is to stay in his local area and to go to
a community home with four other young people.
And to get him on some kind of painting and decorating training course.
He's got a natural flare for that.
The work that I've done here is probably the best achievement that I've done in my life.
I'm not used to working this hard.
Normally I give up. I don't want to do nothing.
I want to really want to stay out of trouble, get myself a job, get myself a missus and settle down.
Not be in and out of these places.
So, it's all good.
It's just up to me now, it's what I choose.
He's been excellent in vocational. Excellent.
He's had a lot of time with John and
positively started talking, for the first time, about, "Actually, maybe I could do this when I leave."
Rather than, "I'll go and do something else wrong."
Because he talks about that a lot.
But the plans for his departure are proving anything but straightforward.
There was a rumour at the beginning of this week that the placement had broken down.
They were basically notifying us
to say that they were looking for something else and they needed to do a risk assessment.
If someone comes and tells him, you're not going where you thought you were going,
he's going to be a problem between now and when he goes, I'm sure.
He doesn't like not knowing, I think.
He needs to know at the time where he's going.
His last full day begins with a surprise visit
from the police.
I'm not sure if he's about to be charged.
But he's not exactly in the best of spirits at the moment.
You would think that knowing that somebody is locked up for this period of time,
that they would come and deal with outstanding matters within the first week or two weeks of him being here.
But that obviously isn't always the case.
Ash is not told what's going to happen to him.
The police come to interview me about a burglary.
Me and my brother supposedly broke into a house that was a cannabis factory
and apparently robbed it.
But I don't know nothing about it.
They've left it like that and they said if it comes against it,
it could be that I charged when I get released and I could be re-arrested.
Are you worried about it?
No, not at all.
It doesn't really bother me.
It's just that I want to get out.
Anything that happens, happens.
But as long as I get out, I'm cool.
His last night is spent not knowing whether he will be arrested at the gates in the morning.
You must attend your appointments.
If you miss two appointments, you'll be...
Something has not been something...
Within two weeks, Ryan has broken the rules.
He's failed to attend important meetings and has received a final warning.
Not very happy with it, of course. He should have gone.
He had enough warnings. The day before, he was warned.
He was warned in the night and he was warned in the morning.
And when I went, I told him, and also rang him three times.
He just wouldn't get out of bed. It's as simple as that.
So, it was down to him. I can't hold his hand and take him there.
If he can't be bothered, he'll end up where he ended up before.
I broke another one of my dad's rules.
How's he feeling about that?
Kind of upset and angry at the same time.
But life goes on, doesn't it?
It's all good.
Ash is given his last breakfast behind bars.
He's quite a prolific offender.
If I'm absolutely honest, it's kind of a way of life for him.
I think he finds comfort
in being with his friends and offending,
because it's like a family.
So, it's 50-50, really.
I wouldn't be surprised if we saw Ashley back here.
But I'm crossing my fingers, like I do with all young people, that he won't come back.
When he leaves Vinney Green, social services will take over
responsibility for where Ash will live.
I'm a free man. I want to walk out of that gate right now.
His social worker has come to collect him.
But he's got bad news.
They haven't found him a bed.
A referral was made to the placement.
There wasn't a bed available and nothing's been sorted out.
-Where are they going to take him?
-They haven't got anything for him.
Could be a foster placement in Weston.
-He'll run away from that.
-He'll be gone tonight.
He's got savings. Money with him?
But Georgina still has to break the bad news to him.
He may get a little bit upset.
I'm sure I would.
Because there was a placement already set up.
How many times are they going to do that to them?
He's left here now without a bed.
Nowhere to go, I don't know where he's going.
So they've got to find something for him. And it could be...
Jump in the car.
There's no sign of the police at the gate.
But Ash leaves Vinney Green with 20p in his pocket and no idea where he's going to stay tonight.
I gave him 50-50, earlier this morning.
We're not looking at 50-50 now. Because he's probably
going to run away from anywhere he is.
He's only taken 20p savings with him. So, what's he going to do?
I don't know. I don't want to jinx him, but it's not looking good.
It's switched off.
Not seen him today. Not heard from him.
Not a word or a dicky bird.
Ryan has started to hang out with his old mates.
It's nearly midnight and he's failed to come home.
He's obviously decided it's more fun getting into trouble
than it is being home and sleeping and not getting into trouble.
There's nothing else I can do.
I can't chain him to the wall or something, or go down there and bust his...
You know, sort of bring him back here and say, "You've got to be here and you're not doing this."
It doesn't work that way.
I don't know how I feel. I just feel so mixed up and so let down.
Hi, have you got Ryan?
Lovely. OK, do you want to come through to the side gate?
Four weeks after Ryan left Vinney Green,
he arrives back for the third time in nine months.
-Hi, Ryan, welcome back!
Welcome back, mate. Do you want to come through?
I am one of those people who do believe that sometimes young people
do need to be detained, actually, for their own good, for society's good.
We need to do that as humanely and as positively as possible.
Try and treat them with respect and dignity.
It's six months since Ash left Vinney Green.
He stayed with a foster family, then went into a flat provided by social services.
He decided to leave and is now living in a squat.
I had a vision I could change when I got out.
Had a vision I could change when I got out but,
I don't know. Vocational, construction, found something I liked.
And then I got out and started following it.
Went to college for about a month.
Got on a painting and decorator's course, which is what I wanted to do.
Sorted that out.
And then I lost my temper one day in college, got threw out and banned for life from all colleges.
So in a way, I fucked that up for myself.
But I tried.
Can't say that I didn't try, cos I did.
I followed it up. I didn't get out and go straight back. I tried, I went to college, I pursued it.
And then it just didn't work out.
So, back to the way I am.
The fact that it got me away from all my friends,
the drugs, it just got me away from it all and it gave me time to think.
But you get outside and things don't go how you want it to do
and then you end up straight back in the same situation as you was before you went in.
I really wanted to change in Vinney. But then...
I got out and things just went, like...
Fuck knows, like an aeroplane dropping on to two towers.
Just, like, disaster. Kaboom!
Just everything got fucked up.
I still can change. I still reckon I can change.
But it's fucking hard.
But one day I'll change.
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