Physical restraint should only be used on young people in prison as a “last resort” measure, according to guidance for staff issued today by the Youth Justice Board.
The YJB’s guidance comes ahead of the publication of an independent inquiry into the use of physical restraint in child prisons by Lord Carlile QC on February 17.
The inquiry was sparked by the death of 15-year-old young offender Gareth Myatt after he was restrained by three staff at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre in April 2004.
Today, Rod Morgan, chair of the Youth Justice Board, said the YJB’s code of practice aimed to ensure that restraint was used “to the least possible extent”.
He said that staff should be taught to use more “social and psychological” methods of managing young people’s behaviour including the use of incentives and rewards.
John Fayle, the YJB’s head of policy for the secure estate, said the code would help to develop a common method of recording and using physical restraint as this varied widely across institutions.