Thousands of injuries to child prisoners not disclosed

Monday, 15 February 2016

The number of injuries to children in prisons caused during restraint is nearly five times higher than the government has previously disclosed, The Guardian reports. The figures were revealed in a Parliamentary answer by Home Office minister Mike Penning last week.

Between 2010 and 2014 official statistics suggested there were 949 restraint injuries to children in prisons. But the actual number of injuries is 4,261. This is 3,312 more than the official estimate. The disparity is the result of the government omitting from the headline figure injuries that do not require medical or hospital treatment.

Even with the inclusion of this category the figures may underestimate the true level of injuries caused to children in prisons. G4S-run Medway Secure Training Centre recorded no injuries by restraint in 2014, and only 11 in 2013. Yet in January a Panorama investigation uncovered serious violent abuse against children in the prison. Staff were also found to be distorting reports of assault incidents to prevent fines for 'losing control at the centre'.