Inquiry ‘may miss routine brutality’

The Mubarek inquiry risks overlooking the routine bullying and
violence in young offender institutions by concentrating on one
extreme incident.

Prison Reform Trust research manager Kimmett Edgar said it was
clear the murder of Zahid Mubarek by a racist cellmate was an
“extremely unusual situation”.

But he said one in three young people at Feltham had told the trust
they had been assaulted in one month. “Prison officers were far
less attuned to any individual assault because it was so
commonplace. Responding to an extreme case is problematic. We may
react to one failure rather than the whole thing.”

John Pitts, Luton University professor of socio-legal studies, said
the routine brutality in YOIs had not changed since the

He said: “I’m wondering whether these kinds of institutions can be
reformed or whether we have to go back to the drawing board and
think of a different kind of response.”

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