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Jails for juveniles

A 16-year-old girl won a High Court test case this week when judges ruled that the Home Office acted unlawfully by sending her to an adult prison.

The girl was sent for 15 days to Risley prison in Cheshire, and shared cells with adults before being released on bail. She is now in one of the 10 women's prisons that have units for juveniles. Two judges said it was wrong for the Prison Service to send anyone aged between 15 and 21 to an adult jail before deciding where they should serve their sentence.

About 130 women under 21 are in jail at present in a variety of institutions. The Home Office is considering the full judgment before taking further action.

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