Youth justice: Review of use of restraint in custody delayed again

The publication of the review of the use of restraint on young offenders has been put back again, the government announced last week.

In a parliamentary statement, prisons minister David Hanson said the government-commissioned review, by Andrew Williamson and Peter Smallridge, would be published by 15 December, alongside ministers’ response. It had been due to be published by the end of last month.

In June, children’s minister Beverley Hughes said the review had been completed but its publication had been put on hold, to give the government the opportunity to prepare its response.

It was originally due to be submitted to ministers in April, but this was delayed due to a “significant gap” in evidence on the use of restraint in secure children’s homes.

Rickwood and Myatt inquests

The review was commissioned last summer, after the use of restraint in custody came under intense scrutiny in the inquests into the deaths of Gareth Myatt and Adam Rickwood.

Gareth choked on his own vomit after being restrained using a now-banned technique at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre in 2004, and Adam was found hanging in his room at Hassockfield STC, hours after being restrained, in the same year.

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