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Friday, 02 July 2021 10:16

Childrens prison criticised

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A children’s prison has been criticised by inspectors after they found that new arrivals as young as 15 were being locked in solitary confinement in their rooms for a fortnight and allowed out for just 30 minutes a day because of concerns about coronavirus

Rainsbrook secure training centre near Rugby, in Warwickshire, which provides accommodation for up to 87 children aged between 12 and 17 who are on remand or serving custodial sentences, was the subject of a monitoring visit in October following an earlier, critical inspection.

Inspectors were told that from the start of the first lockdown, newly admitted children were being locked up on arrival for 14 days, in line with national Covid guidance on self-isolation.

The inspection report said there was “no rationale” for keeping children in solitary confinement for 23 and a half hours a day and called for the practice to stop immediately.

Records from these 14-day periods show that there is no meaningful interaction with children,” the report stated. “This is an excessive amount of time for children to be locked in, is tantamount to solitary confinement, and is highly likely to be damaging to their emotional and physical wellbeing.”

Frances Crook, the chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, called for Rainsbrook to be shut down. “They are using Covid as an excuse for locking them up. The idea that a child would come from a court hearing, having had a traumatic experience, and you are put in a cell by yourself for almost 24 hours a day for 14 days, without seeing anybody and with nothing to do … It’s child abuse.”

For full article https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/dec/09/inspectors-condemn-youth-prison-that-kept-new-inmates-in-solitary-for-two-weeks?utm_source=gazette_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New+QualitySolicitors+owner+plots+expansion+%7c++Bar+watchdog+%27prioritising+barristers+over+public%27+%7c+Pay+gaps_07%2f01%2f2021

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