Owers: Staff broke inmates’ bones

Young prisoners’ bones were broken as they were forcibly
strip-searched by staff at Hindley Young Offender Institution, the
chief inspector of prisons has said.

Anne Owers’ report for 2003-4 raises concerns that methods of force
resulted in bone fractures three times at the prison.

The report also points to problems with the use of force in secure
training centres after the death of 15-year-old Gareth Myatt, who
died in Rainsbrook after being restrained by three members of staff
last year.

The report says prison service rules and standards on the use of
force and strip-searching “had not yet been adapted” to child
protection needs.

It recommends “much tighter control” on the use of special cells,
where young people can be held in strip conditions, and says they
should not be held for more than 30 minutes at a time.

Last year, Owers pledged to monitor the use of special cells, and
Community Care’s Back on Track campaign called for an end to
routine strip searching and wrongful use of control and

The report also identifies cases where young people with mental
health needs are being held inappropriately in prison, and calls
for local authorities to investigate.

  • Report available from www.homeoffice.gov.uk.

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