Control techniques at Castington YOI left young offenders with broken wrists

30Jun09

prisoner-hands-on-barsoriginally published: 23rd June 2009

An urgent inquiry is being sought into the use of force by staff at a young offenders’ institution in Northumberland after 10 inmates in two years were left with serious injuries which included broken wrists.

The chief inspector of prisons, Dame Anne Owers, makes the call for an independent investigation into the use of “control and restraint” techniques at Castington YOI in her inspection report published today.

The report says that there were 364 “use of force” incidents at Castington last year, including 280 which involved the use of “control and restraint” techniques by staff on inmates aged 15 to 21.

“The number of times force was used was comparable to similar establishments. The principal concern in this area was the discovery that, over a two-year period, the use of control and restraint on young people had led to seven confirmed fractures and three suspected fractures,” says the chief inspector’s report of her inspection, which was carried out in January.

“Inspectors had never previously come across so many serious injuries sustained in this way. These incidents have been thoroughly investigated internally, but no coherent explanation had emerged from the scale and frequency of these injuries.”

Read full report >

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