25th Jul, 2017

Report reveals frequent violence at youth prison near Rugby

Rugby Editorial 15th May, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

A YOUTH prison near Rugby has been told it still ‘requires improvement’ after an Ofsted report revealed frequent cases of violence between young people and assaults on staff.

The report, published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons, was part of an annual inspection of Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre.

Ofsted found overall levels of violence between inmates remained too high, and it also highlighted how assaults on staff, the number of restraints and the use of force had increased since the previous inspection in February 2015.

Last year’s inspection – which revealed inmates were being subjected to degrading, abusive and racist treatment at the hands of staff – was enough to prompt the Youth Justice Board to revoke the contract held by security firm G4S to run the prison.

Managing director for G4S Children’s Services, Paul Cook, said: “Despite 16 years of strong reports and high performance by our team at the centre, it is a matter of great disappointment the final twelve months of our management of Rainsbrook has not lived up to that record.

“Recruiting and retaining staff in what was a period of change proved to be very challenging, but our focus remained on handing over a centre which puts the futures of young people at the heart of its operation.”

The report showed some good areas of inspection, including a “good focus on the individual needs of young people”.

The centre’s new operators, US company MTCNovo, took over management of the centre this month but some argue they had a similar track record in mismanagement.

Currently the third largest operator of prisons in the United States, MTCNovo was once said to have managed a “horror as should be unrealised anywhere in the civilised world”, according to a US judge.

A closer look at the company’s record of managing prisons showed there had been frequent riots and cases of mass disorder in many of their correctional facilities.

In response, the Youth Justice Board said it had rigorously assessed the firm, and insisted the company “met the Ministry of Justice requirements in relation to capability, human rights and equalities”.

MTCNovo said it found itself in a similar position to Rainsbrook – where they would take over from previous operators with facilities already in bad shape.