Assault rate in young offenders institutions too high

The Prison Service, including young offenders institutions, has
failed to meet six of its 15 key performance indicators, according
to a Prison Reform Trust report.

A key target was to ensure the rate of assaults on prisoners,
staff and others is lower than 9 per cent, as a percentage of the
average prison population. But there were 6,684 recorded assaults
in 2001-2002, which was 10 per cent higher than the target.

The highest assault rates were at male juvenile establishments
with 60.5 per cent, followed by male closed young offender
institutions at 30.2 per cent. The greatest proportion of assaults
was at Ashfield, a male juvenile prison in Bristol, which had an
assault rate of 74.1 per cent, and the second highest rate of 69
per cent was at Huntercombe, a juvenile establishment in

The report warns that the true extent of violence in prison is
likely to be far greater than the level recorded by the

Another key target was to ensure prisoners spend on average at
least 24 hours per week engaged in purposeful activity, including
education, training, resettlement, rehabilitation activities,
sports and visits.

This target for purposeful activity has only been met once in
seven years, in 1997-1998 when the target was just 22.5 hours. It
was not met this year as prisoners spent an average of 23.4 hours
each week doing purposeful activity. Only 46 per cent of prisons
met this target.

The Prison Service also failed to meet its target of achieving
18,000 basic skills awards at level two. Prisoners achieved just
16,133 in 2001-2002.






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