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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

February 17, 2006: Carlile Inquiry Reports

Lord Carlile’s Inquiry into the treatment of children in penal custody recommends severely restricting physical intervention, stopping the strip searching of children and an end to prison segregation.

Carlile's report on his year long independent Inquiry into the use of physical restraints, strip searching and segregation of children in penal custody is published today. The report says that the Children��s Minister should assume overall responsibility for children in custody and that more effort should be made to resolve conflict and reduce violence inside institutions.

The full report can be purchased via the Howard League for Penal Reform website. The 107 page report has 45 recommendations, including:

  • Mechanical restraints like handcuffs should never be used
  • The use of physical interventions must be severely restricted
  • Physical force should never be used to secure compliance or as punishment
  • Stripping children during searches should end
  • Prison segregation units should not be used for children
  • The report gives positive suggestions for improving relationships, regimes and management systems
  • It stresses the importance of consistency throughout the penal estate and inside establishments.

Lord Carlile said today:

“The rule of law and protection of human rights should apply to all children equally, regardless of whether they are detained in custody or in the community. We found that some of the treatment children in custody experience would in another setting be considered abusive and could trigger a child protection investigation. If children in custody are expected to learn to behave well, they have to be treated well and the staff and various authorities have to set the very highest standards. My team of expert advisers shared my shock at some of the practices we witnessed.”

“I did see examples of good practice during my visits and commend staff who work in very challenging circumstances. However, I am concerned that we did not see appropriate facilities or playing fields for outdoor exercise in any of the institutions we visited. The lack of exercise and daylight would seem to me to contribute to depression and conflict amongst adolescents."

“This report must be taken seriously by the government and the recommendations implemented forthwith if we are to avoid any further tragic injuries.”

Evidence supplied to the Inquiry by the Youth Justice Board showed that physical restraint was used 5,133 times on children in prisons between January 2004 and September 2005; in secure training centres it was used 7,020 times on children; and 8 local authority units used restraint 3,359 times. The Inquiry found considerable variation in the definition of restraint and the techniques used.

The Inquiry was given evidence that injuries to both children and staff were not uncommon but that the anger and resentment generated was counter-productive.

It was of particular concern that the Inquiry could elicit no information about the use of restraint against black and minority ethnic children in any of the institutions and no evidence was provided that it was being monitored.

Lord Carlile was provided with no convincing evidence that stripping children during searches helped with security. The Inquiry was told by children that they had been stripped naked in contravention of institutional policies.

The Inquiry found significant variation in practice in the use of separating children that ranged from holding children for weeks in a bare stone cell to telling them to go to their own room for a few minutes. The Inquiry found that “time out” could be a useful technique for diffusing tension and recommended that it should be for no more than a few minutes, should be consistently applied and monitored, and that prisons should no longer use segregation cells for holding children.