A quarter of young men and a fifth of young women in custody have been physically restrained over the past two years, according to a report by the Prisons Inspectorate and Youth Justice Board.
The report, drawn from inspectorate surveys of 2,500 15 to 18-year-olds from 2006-8, also showed that a third of young men and over one in five young women had felt unsafe.
It also revealed that fewer young men had been contacted by a support worker since their arrival in prison compared with the the two previous years.
Just 79% of young men said they could see their training plan, or had been contacted by a youth offending team or social worker or probation officer since their arrival in custody, compared with 82% between 2004-6.
However, young women reported that their resettlement experiences had improved in these areas.
A third of young men and more than a third of young women in custody said they had been in care at some point.
Anne Owers, chief inspector of prisons said it remained “troubling” that some many young people had felt unsafe or been restrained despite improvements in other areas of custody.
Frances Done, chair of the Youth Justice Board, said the findings would help the board’s ongoing work to improve safeguarding and the use of restraint.