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1 Oct 2021

“Somebody is going to die in here soon”: Howard League responds to joint inspection report on Rainsbrook secure training centre

The Howard League for Penal Reform has responded to a joint inspection report on Rainsbrook secure training centre, published today (Friday 1 October). The privately-run jail, in Warwickshire, had been holding boys and girls aged 12 to 17, but all children were moved out in June because of concerns for their safety.

The report – by Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons – shares findings from a visit conducted in June. Children told inspectors “Of course we are not safe. That’s just how it is” and “Somebody is going to die in here soon”. These observations were echoed by staff, who said that they feared for their own safety as well as the children’s.

The Howard League opposed the creation of secure training centres in the 1990s, when they were introduced alongside the Detention and Training Order, a short prison sentence for children followed by supervision in the community.

The charity warned that children placed in secure training centres would be damaged and hurt. It has called repeatedly for Rainsbrook to be closed.

Rainsbrook is run by MTC. It was previously operated by G4S. In April 2004, a 15-year-old boy, Gareth Myatt, died after being restrained there.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “No child should ever be placed in Rainsbrook again. For decades, boys and girls have been harmed and abused while private companies have profited from their misery. It shames the nation that such cruelty has been allowed to continue for so long.

“Secure training centres are failed institutions that were designed for a failed sentence. It is time to scrap them both and ensure that children in trouble are given the care and support they need.”

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 blogpost by Frances Crook about the treatment of Gareth Myatt in Rainsbrook can be found on the charity’s website.
  3. The Howard League has been working with police forces to keep children out of the criminal justice system through its programme to reduce child arrests. More information can be found on the charity’s website.
  4. The joint inspection report on Rainsbrook secure training can be found on the Ofsted website.


Rob Preece
Campaigns and Communications Manager
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