Violence inside Britain’s prisons has been rising for several years now.
And the latest Ofsted report into Rainsbrook youth facility in Warwickshire shows the problem is not confined to adults.
The private firm running the specialist prison for children was condemned after the report showed almost 500 violent incidents took place at Rainsbrook in the first six months of 2017.
Government inspectors found that young people experienced 40 assaults over the period, while members of staff at the prison were subjected to 36 assaults.
Levels of violence against staff and young people have more than doubled
Ofsted said violent incidents “are far too frequent an occurrence at the centre…Levels of violence against staff and young people have more than doubled since the previous inspection.”
The inspectors judged the prison “inadequate” in promoting positive behaviour.
MTCnovo, the US company running the secure training centre for offenders between the ages of 12 and 18, claimed it had made improvements since it took over from security behemoth G4S in May last year.
It is time for ministers to accept what is staring them in the face
But the Howard League for Penal Reform has called for Rainsbrook and similar private facilities for children to be shut down. “It is time for ministers to accept what is staring them in the face – these (secure training centres) should be closed.”
During his most recent report, Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, stated that not a single youth prison in England and Wales could be deemed safe.
Clarke recommended a shift toward rehabilitation to help the system to help young prisoners out of a “vicious cycle” of violence and reoffending.