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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

September 8, 2004: Lord Carlile  heads inquiry into children in custody

The Howard League for Penal Reform announced yesterday that Lord Carlile of Berriew QC will lead an independent inquiry into the use of strip-searching, physical restraint and segregation for children in penal custody. The inquiry��s terms of reference are:

"To investigate the use of physical restraint, solitary confinement and forcible strip searching of children in prisons, secure training centres and local authority secure children’s homes and to make recommendations."

The inquiry will build on Howard League research which indicates that physical restraint in the commercially managed secure training centres has been used on no less than 11,593 occasions despite the fact that they only hold 190 children who are predominately aged 14 and 15.

The Howard League is also concerned at the high level of self-injury by juveniles in prison service establishments, particularly when children are held in virtual solitary confinement as a punishment. There were 117 incidents of attempted suicide or self-injury recorded involving juveniles in segregation in prisons in 2003. In April 2004, 15 year old Gareth Myatt died in Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre whilst being restrained by three staff.

The inquiry will investigate the routine practice of stripping children on reception to prison.

According to Lord Carlile:

 “My inquiry will consider the various ways that children are treated in penal custody that in any other circumstance would trigger a child protection investigation and could even result in criminal charges. We recognise that many of the children held in custody exhibit challenging behaviour and have complex health and social needs, but we are concerned about the forcible stripping of young people, long periods of isolation as punishment and the physical restraint of children.”

The Howard League notes that on 20 August 2004, there were 2,573 boys aged 15 to 18 held in fourteen prison service young offender institutions (YOIs). 18 year olds are sometimes kept in YOIs to finish sentences begun when they were juveniles. 108 girls aged 16 to 18 were held in four prisons. This adds up to a total of 3,135 children in penal custody, a significant increase since 1997 when it stood at 2,590. 12 young people aged 15 to 17 have taken their own lives in prisons since 1997. 1,659 incidents of self-injury or attempted suicide by juveniles in prisons were recorded from 1998 to 2002.