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13 Jan 2015

Feltham prison: inspectors find 1 in 4 children held in conditions amounting to solitary confinement

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons’ report on Feltham prison, published today (Tuesday 13 January). Andrew Neilson, Director of Campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: 

“One in four boys in Feltham prison is spending 23 hours a day locked up in his cell in conditions which amount to solitary confinement. This is unacceptable. Despite some improvements, violence is endemic, including 79 assaults on staff in six months. It is particularly concerning that the use of force on children has increased dramatically since the last inspection. However, the problems outlined in this report are not confined to Feltham; they mirror the findings of a series of inspections conducted across the country in recent months. Staff are rightly praised by the inspectorate, but they are working in challenging environments where they are being asked to achieve the impossible. It is high time we stopped locking up children in large, violent institutions and invest instead in what works in rehabilitating children whilst keeping them safe.”

Notes to editors       

  1. The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the world. It is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.
  2. A copy of the Feltham inspection report can be found on the HM Inspectorate of Prisons website.


Jenny Chambers
Policy Adviser (Youth Justice)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7241 7872


ISDN line available on 020 7923 4196 – uses a G722 system

For enquiries outside normal office hours, please call +44 (0)7918 681094.

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