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8 Aug 2017

Howard League responds to inspection of Rainsbrook secure training centre

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to a joint inspection report on Rainsbrook secure training centre in Warwickshire, published today (Tuesday 8 August).

The report – produced jointly by Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons – reveals that violence and use of force are high; staff are inexperienced and poorly trained; and basic systems to safeguard and care for children are not in place.

MTCnovo took over the running of the jail, which holds children and young people aged 12 to 18, from G4S in May 2016.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Last month, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons declared that there was not a single jail in the country that was safe for a child. This is an observation that the Howard League has been making for years, and it surely begs the question of why children are still being sent to places like Rainsbrook, where violence is rife.

“The Howard League opposed the creation of secure training centres in the 1990s and warned that children would be damaged and hurt in these institutions. A long line of inspection reports has underlined that this is a failed model of detention. After almost 30 years of children being mistreated, it is time to put an end to this.

“G4S’s running of Rainsbrook was disastrous. A child died. Under MTCnovo, the jail remains unsafe. It is time for ministers to accept what is staring them in the face – these secure training centres should be closed.”

Inspectors visited Rainsbrook in June. They found that, in the previous six months, there had been almost 500 violent incidents. Violence against children and staff had more than doubled since the last inspection.

Use of force and restraint had trebled since the previous inspection – to an average of about 90 incidents per month.

Inspectors found that the majority of staff working with children on a shift had less than a year’s experience, with many only having done a few weeks or months in the role. Since the previous inspection, 10 members of staff had left because of unsatisfactory performance.

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.
  1. A copy of the Rainsbrook secure training centre inspection report can be found online.


Rob Preece
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