Saturday, 22 July 2017

Painful restraint is still allowed

"Since 2011 staff in secure children’s homes have been banned from using restraint techniques that deliberately inflict pain. Yet, incredibly, no such protection exists when children are being escorted to and from these very same services."

"Escort custody officers are authorised to inflict pain as a form of restraint. Last year, the Youth Justice Board announced its secure escort contractor was using a behavior management approach known as Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint (MMPR)."

"MMPR was developed for child prisons in response to the restraint-related deaths of two children. Gareth Myatt, 15, and Adam Rickwood, 14, died in secure training centres run by G4S and Serco respectively."

"Gareth died in April 2004 after choking on his own vomit while he was held down. G4S officers had forced him into a seated position and bent his upper body towards his thighs and knees. They ignored his cries that he couldn’t breathe. Gareth lost consciousness within six or seven minutes."

"Four months later Adam died after being unlawfully restrained for refusing to go to his room. He was inflicted with a ‘nose distraction’; a prison service restraint technique involving an upward strike to the nose with the intention of causing severe pain. Adam took his own life hours later, leaving a note for his solicitor to say he had asked staff what gave them the right to hit a child on the nose."

"The specific techniques used on Gareth and Adam were eventually permanently withdrawn from child prisons and are not permitted under MMPR."

"But the use of other painful restraint methods remains allowed and has persisted despite calls for a ban from UN bodies, the prisons inspectorate, the NSPCC and the UK’s four Children’s Commissioners."

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