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
    restraint.

    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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