Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Restraint and injuries

"Thousands more children have been injured in custody through the use of controversial restraint techniques than the government had previously disclosed, new statistics show. This has prompted accusations that the true scale of harm in privately run jails has been suppressed. Figures reveal that the number of injuries to children caused by the use of restraint is more than three times higher than the total previously stated by the Youth Justice Board (YJB)."

"It has emerged that, between 2010 and 2014, children who were restrained while in custody suffered 3,312 injuries that had not previously been declared to parliament or included in the government’s statistical bulletins..."

"The Ministry of Justice said that the increase was explained by the inclusion of a new category that included injuries that did not require medical or hospital treatment..."

"Critics suggest that the new figures might still not show the full picture. In the Medway secure training unit in Kent, for example, the new data shows no injuries caused by restraint in 2014 and just 11 in 2013. Yet a recent Panorama programme `uncovered shocking abuse`, according to Neilson."

"The programme, screened last month, raised allegations of abuse in Medway, which is run by private firm G4S. The documentary showed children being slapped on the head and submitted to restraint tactics that are against STC rules: these included one child having his windpipe pressed until he complained that he could not breathe. It also accused staff in Medway of routinely falsifying documents to prevent the company being fined for `losing control` of the young people in its care."

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