Prisons report is shocking and appalling, says RCPCH

Peter Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons, has called for a “major overhaul” of the policy of separating children in young offender institutions. We support this call and we condemn unacceptable practices such as solitary confinement and the use of restraints.

Dr Max Davie, Officer for Health Improvement at RCPCH said:

The treatment of these highly vulnerable young people, most of whom will have mental health issues, is shocking and appalling. Urgent action is needed to safeguard their mental health. Last year we published healthcare standards for young people in secure settings. Today’s report show that we are nowhere near the standard of care and decency that children and young people deserve. The use of restraints, solitary confinement, and a lack of basic decency – these practices are unacceptable and deeply counter-productive.

We also need to look at how these young people have ended up in this situation. Paying proper attention to the early signs of challenging behaviour, and a thorough investigation of underlying causes, can very often make a huge difference and help ensure that we keep children and young people out of secure settings.