Wednesday, 13 January 2016

What Future for Secure Training Centre's?

Thanks to undercover filming by the BBC's Panorama programme, the spotlight has once more turned on that dodgy company G4S and this time their regime of bullying and fiddling of figures at Medway Secure Training Centre. The film raises many issues, not just concerning whether the company is fit and proper to run facilities such as this, but also the failure by supposed watchdogs such as Barnardo's and the Youth Justice Board who appear to have been asleep at the wheel. 

This latest scandal also helps make the case for extending the Freedom of Information Act to cover private companies and charities providing ever-increasing swathes of public services. This from the Howard League Press Release:-

Howard League responds to BBC Panorama investigation into G4S-run Medway Secure Training Centre

The Howard League for Penal Reform has today (Tuesday 12 January) responded to an investigation by the BBC television programme Panorama into allegations of child abuse at Medway Secure Training Centre in Kent.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Watching this programme made me cry. The deliberate cruelty against children was one of the most upsetting things I have seen in this country. Shocking also was the institutionalised fraud being perpetrated to cover up that abuse.

“The children in Medway must be found other places within the next few days because this institution is rotten to the core. The contract should then be rescinded. The government ought to explore whether G4S should repay the taxpayers’ money it has received in the last few years. It has been paid to look after children and it has failed.”

The Howard League has warned for years about the systemic problems in secure training centres. The centres were introduced in the late 1990s alongside the Detention and Training Order, a short prison sentence for children followed by supervision in the community.

Frances Crook said: “Both the secure training centres and the sentences designed to put children in them were flawed from the start. Over the years we have seen enough problems at the secure training centres to confirm that they are failed institutions for a failed sentence.”

In April 2004, 15-year-old Gareth Myatt died from choking on his own vomit while being restrained in Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre in Northamptonshire. Four months later, 14-year-old Adam Rickwood was found hanging in his cell at Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham. An inquest later found that he had been unlawfully restrained and this had contributed to his death.

In 2012, a High Court judge ruled that the unlawful use of restraint had been widespread in privately-run secure training centres for at least a decade. The Howard League legal team has dealt with numerous concerns raised by or on behalf of young people at Medway dating from at least 2008. The team has also worked with adults who were detained there as children and who have raised concerns about their treatment.

Children at Medway who have been assisted by the Howard League legal team include:

  • A 14-year-old boy, who was restrained on numerous occasions, the use of force amounting to an average of more than once a fortnight over the relevant period. The Howard League submitted complaints to the secure training centre and the Youth Justice Board monitor. Despite numerous requests, the charity was never provided with CCTV evidence of the incidents. In response to the complaints, the Youth Justice Board eventually agreed that the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman ought to investigate the issue. The Howard League awaits the final investigation report.
  • A 16-year-old girl, who said that she was poked and called names, including foul language, by staff who forced their way into her room. She had placed a mattress against the viewing panel while on a constant watch. The Howard League made a safeguarding referral, which was investigated.
  • A 17-year-old boy, who reported having been restrained for refusing to leave the dining area. The Howard League made a safeguarding referral and complained to the Youth Justice Board monitor on the boy’s behalf.
  • A 15-year-old boy, whose mother contacted the Howard League. She said that staff had taken him into his room, where no cameras were, and hit him about the head. The charity made a safeguarding referral.
  • A 16-year-old asthmatic boy, who complained that, while he was in education, he was restrained by staff who squeezed his head and neck, causing him to fall to the floor. The Howard League made a safeguarding referral.
Invariably the Howard League’s complaints are not upheld, often because of a lack of CCTV evidence corroborating the child’s version of events. Last night’s Panoramaepisode included footage of violent incidents involving staff that took place away from the view of CCTV cameras.

Notes to editors
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. The BBC Panorama programme, ‘Teenage Prison Abuse Exposed’, was broadcast on BBC One at 8.30pm on Monday 11 January. It is expected to be available on BBC iPlayer shortly.

In August 2013, the Howard League wrote an open letter to the then Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, outlining that the complaints system in place for secure training centres was ineffective and not sufficiently independent. A month later, the Prisons and Probations Ombudsman assumed jurisdiction of complaints from children in secure training centres. The letter can be viewed online here. The Howard League has published a report examining the use of force on children in custody. Twisted can be viewed online here. The Howard League’s report, Corporate Crime? A dossier on the failure of privatisation in the criminal justice system, can be viewed online here.

--oo00oo--

Rob Allen had this to say on his blogsite Unlocking Potential:-

What to do about G4S?

I couldn’t watch last night’s Panorama investigation of Medway Secure Training Centre (STC). I’m working abroad this week, ironically at a juvenile detention centre where G4S were relieved of their contract in 2010. But I have seen excerpts and read enough about the programme to recognise that if this is not quite youth justice’s Mid Staffs moment is at least its equivalent of WinterbourneView. This was the private hospital near Bristol where an undercover Panorama investigation in 2011 revealed criminal abuse by staff of patients with learning disabilities.

It will be interesting to see whether what emerged following that programme five years ago are mirrored at Medway; residents too far from home, high rates of physical interventions , particularly restraint; agencies failing to pick up on key warning signs; management failure and a closed and punitive culture. Winterbourne view was closed within a month and major changes resulted, both in the treatment of people with severe learning disabilities (for example reviewing the appropriateness of placements in hospital) and in the regulation of providers (with stronger accountability and corporate responsibility for owners and directors of private hospitals and care homes and tighter inspection). Could we see analogous change in youth justice?

I have a particular interest in STC’s because, as some people won’t let me forget, I had a hand in their invention. Working on secondment in the Home Office in the early 1990’s, I found myself advising ministers about how to deal with what they saw as a national crisis caused by persistent young offenders, which was made much more acute by the horrific murder of James Bulger by two ten year old boys. Despite my and others advice, Kenneth Clarke was determined not only to create new closed institutions but to open up their running to the private sector. I well remember his junior minister Michael Jack, during visits we made to existing local authority secure units and Youth Treatment Centres (after the STC's had been announced) wishing that the decision to create something new had not been taken so precipitately. Jack seemed to echo then shadow Home Secretary Tony Blair’s view that if new secure places were indeed needed, it was insane not to expand existing provision.

I remember too attending a meeting at G4S’s then headquarters in Broadway where they explained their ideas for the new STC’s. They suggested that professionally trained and qualified staff were not necessary as it was simply a question of developing the correct procedures and getting staff to follow them. Staff thinking for themselves was seen as undesirable. If this was the approach they in fact applied when they won the first contract, it was to be exposed as grossly na├»ve when Medway faced all sorts of management problems when it finally opened in 1998.

What does the current scandal expose? For the second time in two years G4S has been shown unable to care for vulnerable and challenging young people in an acceptable way. There surely comes a point when they or the government must recognise that this is institutional failure. Unfortunately new contracts have recently been signed and the company will continue to run Medway and Oakhill STC’s while handing over Rainsbrook to new operators in May. Assuming the contracts are not going to be rescinded, how can the safety and wellbeing of children be guaranteed?

First, at the very least the government need to look at the way G4S recruit, train, supervise and support their staff and insist on change if it is found necessary. If there is a cost to the company, they should see it as a form of payment by results. The result of their current approach has been abusive and they should pay to fix it. The macro corporate renewal that was required after the tagging overbilling scandal needs to be replicated in their STC operation.

Second while G4S were at best foolish in appearing to shift the blame on other agencies for failing to spot the abuse before Panorama, the system of monitoring inspection and advocacy has undoubtedly failed. If the YJB’s days are already numbered, this latest debacle will almost certainly usher their demise when Charlie Taylor reports this summer. Funds should be diverted to enhance the child protection and advocacy systems within the STC’s.

Third a much more thoroughgoing and independent review of custodial care of juveniles should be ordered, ideally led by a judge or lawyer. Mr Taylor’s youth justice review absurdly excludes issues about the age of criminal responsibility and the powers of courts. Sir Martin Narey’s review of residential care is unclear in its scope and anyway compromised by his relationship with G4S and attempt to undermine the independent findings of inspectorates at Rainsbrook last year. Michael Gove is right that the best way to prevent scandals like this is to prevent children ending up in custody. He needs to ask how that can be achieved.


--oo00o--

Meanwhile, some interesting information regarding another private contractor to the MoJ with a troubled background. This from the BuzzFeed News website:-

A Firm That Ran A “Horror” Jail In America Is Taking Over A British Youth Prison

A trouble-hit British young offender facility is to be taken over by a US company that ran a prison criticised by a federal judge as a “horror as should be unrealised anywhere in the civilised world”. In September last year, outsourcing giant G4S lost its contract to run Rainsbrook secure training centre for young offenders in Northamptonshire. The centre has a troubled history: In 2004, Gareth Myatt, a 15-year-old boy, was restrained to death by guards at the centre.

In May last year at least six members of staff were dismissed after an official inspection found that young people were subjected to degrading treatment and racist comments. The inspection graded Rainsbrook “inadequate”, and only a few months later the Youth Justice Board announced that a new outsourcer, MTCNovo, would be taking over the site in May 2016.

MTCNovo describes itself on its website as “a new venture between the third, public and private sector, which has been established to provide rehabilitation and offender management services across London and Thames Valley”. It is a partnership between MTC (Management and Training Corporation), a Utah-based firm that grosses more than $500 million in yearly revenue, and Novo, a consortium that includes charities, the private contractor Amey, and Rise, the mutual that emerged from the scrapping of London Community Rehabilitation Company.

In June last year, BuzzFeed News revealed that MTC had run a prison in Mississippi that was lambasted by a judge for disorder and assaults on inmates by guards. In an order, Judge Carlton Reeves wrote:

The evidence before the Court paints a picture of a facility struggling with disorder, periodic mayhem, and staff ineptitude which leads to perpetual danger to the inmates and staff. The dangers that inmates face are not simply limited to assaults by other inmates but also from the guards.

The judge ruled in favour of the American Civil Liberties Union, which had asked the court to enforce a legal agreement requiring the state’s department of corrections and MTC to reduce violence, fix broken facilities, and improve staff training at the prison within five years.

This was far from the first controversy regarding MTC’s management of its prisons. In February 2015, thousands of prisoners in a prison in Texas rioted and had to be moved to other institutions over poor medical care among other issues. A month earlier, an inmate died following an assault in an Arizona State prison.

Only a few months before that, Christopher Epps, America’s longest-serving prison commissioner, was embroiled in a corruption scandal that involved him receiving bribes in return for private prison contracts to firms either owned by or linked to a state official named Cecil McCrory. One of these firms was MTC, which denied any knowledge of corruption.

A question has been asked in the House of Lords about the decision to award MTCNovo the contract and whether the company, “including its partners or significant subcontractors, has been found to have breached human rights or equality legislation in the last three years, either in the United Kingdom or abroad”. The justice minister Lord Faulks replied: “There were no findings of a breach in human rights or equality legislation.”

BuzzFeed News contacted MTCNovo for comment but was referred to the Youth Justice Board, which had not responded by the time of publication. The Ministry of Justice was also asked for comment but has yet to respond. The outsourced youth detention sector is facing increasing pressure as a result of recent revelations. On Monday night, BBC’s Panorama will air allegations of abuse at Medway Secure Training Centre in Kent, which is currently run by G4S, after it won the contract at the time it lost Rainsbrook.

Seven staff members have been suspended and a police investigation is underway following the programme’s undercover filming. According to the BBC: Among the allegations uncovered by Panorama and now subject to investigation are that Medway staff:

  • Slapped a teenager several times in the head
  • Pressed heavily on the necks of young people
  • Used restraint techniques unnecessarily - and that included squeezing a teenager’s windpipe so he had problems breathing
  • Used foul language to frighten and intimidate – and boasted of mistreating young people, including using a fork to stab one on the leg and making another cry uncontrollably
  • Tried to conceal their behaviour by ensuring they were beneath CCTV cameras or in areas not covered by them.
The company had originally tried to block the BBC from broadcasting the documentary on legal grounds.

28 comments:

  1. Might the MOJ have released the Probation Inspectors report that announces that of the UPW cases examined 79%, that is almost four out of every five cases, were not managed at a satisfactory level, at the same time as this Medway STC furore to minimize media scrutiny?

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  2. According to G4S, staff thinking for themselves is undesirable – it's just a matter of following correct procedures. This management method may be fine for a production assembly line, but good management of people requires nuanced responses, often using imagination, empathy, compassion, discretion and so forth. There is no correct procedure that I know of that if followed will develop trusting relationships. Such procedures may work with dogs, but not with humans who do think for themselves. Essentially G4S advocate procedures that dehumanise and emphasise behavioural control and creates an oppressive culture.
    G4S lies somewhere between Battersea Dog's Home and Guantanamo Bay.

    In such a culture the staff are not unthinking, as the Panorama programme showed, they can be quite adept in interpreting the standing orders. They will abuse you out of range of the CCTV, they will squeeze your injured hand because they know it will be more painful, they will punch the wall to demonstrate their power before towering over you. And, later with their colleagues, they will be reflective and boastful: swapping stories and sharing abusive techniques, they will fiddle reports of incidents to reach targets and avoid penalties. This is not unthinking behaviour – to coin a phrase, it's the banality of evil.

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    1. But as we know, unless or until such behaviour is exposed it gets results for the organisation, and so for as long as possible its tolerated, ignored or excused by EVERYONE with a finger in the pie, aka "stakeholders" or "partnerships" or plain & simple political ideology. The Howard League piece above proves that.

      All that G4S, Serco, Sodexo etc etc are concerned about is the Bottom Line in terms of profit for shareholders. We know this. Its been hailed on this blog since its inception. The senior managers have no loyalty to anyone but Mammon; just look how quickly they jump into each others' graves once the bullet has been fired.

      But why does the abuse & corruption & scandal continue when its so plain to see? Why do G4S lose one contract yet achieve another almost immediately? Why are they even considered suitable for any contracts when, just to give one example, they are by their own admission guilty of defrauding the government to the tune of (probably much more than) £100M. Similarly Serco, and no doubt many others. Where are the criminal proceedings? Likewise with bankers: "Erm, enough time has elapsed that we'll forget about the mass criminality & eyewatering fraud within the banking system."

      The celebration of & plentiful rewards for deception & self-deception are beyond my comprehension. Crime DOES pay if you're a wealthy, white collar chum.

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    2. The beneficiaries of outsourcing and TR are the private companies and those individuals who occupy high positions; the politicians and all the well-paid consultants who are ever ready to draw on their experience in the public sector to serve the private sector. When something goes well in the system they are quick to claim credit, when it goes awry they go into denial. But they don't want to reverse any reforms because they enjoy their rewards too much.
      These are the greedy men/women, they lean together. So when a child is bullied by G4S, the culpability is collective. Sure, your local CEO was not at the crime scene, but the Godfathers never are – they just run the system on behalf of their paymasters.

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    3. "There is no correct procedure that I know of that if followed will develop trusting relationships. Such procedures may work with dogs, but not with humans who do think for themselves."
      Some may say it is a small point perhaps, but I disagree; it is far more significant than it might at first appear, Fact is, it doesn't even work with Dogs. I am an ex PO, nearly 20 years service, and I have taken in several large (potentially dangerous) dogs rather than see them put down, including a Rottweiller and my current big mate, a mastiff type weighing in at 45 kilos. Point is, that neither dogs or people are machines on an assembly line. Any recognition of the worth of a living creature at any intelligent level means you have to use "nuanced responses, often using imagination, empathy, compassion, discretion and so forth." And this is the issue that is demonstrated by the idea of not wanting staff to think. Now, I can raise a finger and 45 kilos of bone muscle and teeth will stop, sit and wait for me to give permission to move. But it took months of work to teach that, and it needed immense care, subtlety and learning to see things from the dog's perspective. No machine can do that.
      What it shows is that a reasonable person with any sense knows that you can't even treat a dog that way, never mind a human being. Machines can't think. Anything that can needs you to think too. And taking that from the list of requirements for satff is fatal. Literally.

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    4. Anon at 10.38 asks why is scandal and corruption (of this behaviour carried out on behalf of Her Majesty's Government) allowed to continue?

      As I understand things the only Body with an absolute right to scrutinise the activities of HM Gov is HM's UK Parliament consequent on decisions of the Houses of Lords and Commons.

      So I suggest the scrutiny of both those Houses of Parliament is inadequate as is also the public's scrutiny of them as supported by the Media inadequate. I suggest the systems of election and appointment to both houses of parliament are also flawed, because those gaining membership are collectively unable or unwilling to protect the safety of some over whom HM Gov has responsibility.

      Delete
    5. Nothing like this would ever happen in an institution run by the public sector would it? Oh, hang on...

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    6. Sadly as Anon at 12:56 implies serious abuse has also gone on in wholly state controlled institutions. For victims it is just as bad. The motives for corruption and concealment are presumably different.

      Prosecutions are a slow business even concerning places like Medomsley Detention Centre where some offences were first revealed over ten years ago.

      https://www.durham.police.uk/news-and-events/Pages/News%20Articles/Operation-Seabrook---Medomsely-Detention-Centre.aspx

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-27159570

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    7. No one is pretending or implying that G4S has a monopoly on abuse. Of course it was rife in residential homes in the public sector, in churches and elsewhere.

      There is focus on G4S because it was the subject of the Panorama programme and G4S is newsworthy because of past criticisms – the Olympic's fiasco, the tagging scandal, and other controversies.

      But I agree: when it comes to abusive practices you need to look through a wide lens. In all walks of life, in schools and workplaces, in relationships of all descriptions, there seems to be no end to examples of bullying, predation and abuse of power. I suppose in this context the main difference between the likes of G4S and the public sector, is that the former makes a profit on the £140,000 it charges annually for looking after each child.

      Delete
    8. My 10:38 post was admittedly focused on current scandal but, as others have noted, it applies to any dysfunctional environment. Anon15:57 is spot on that the core elements are "bullying, predation & abuse of power". I and others have previously compared the behaviours of the greedy & power hungry to the behaviours of DV perpetrators, i.e. take control, keep control, bully & humiliate, keep the victim in a state of anxiety, keep changing the 'rules' & deflect all responsibility onto the victim. Just apply that template to NOMS...

      I spent over 20 years trying to unravel such abusive behaviour in the broadest range of perpetrators, from professional sports personalities to CEOs of international businesses, from local councillors to police officers and firefighters, lawyers and shopkeepers, drug dealers, welders and civil engineers. In all that time the hardest behaviours to challenge were those within the organisation, e.g. malicious line managers, ambitious ladder-climbers, politically motivated wannabe's. And with role models like Thatcher, Blair, Brown & Cameron, why wouldn't they see that behaviour as the way to achieve "success" ?

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  3. It's inevitable that young people exposed to such horrific abuse at Medway will present with further behavioural, emotional and psychological difficulties on their release. One Mother reflected on this fear in relation to her son. Young people such as those filmed will be at a higher risk of harming themselves or members of the public, thus escalating future risks should they 're-offend and become caught up in the revolving door of cj provision. Ultimately, they will transfer into the adult arena and carry with them further risks to self and others.

    Services for young offenders should ensure that provision treats young people as 'children'. They are not exempt from the provisions of the Children's Acts (1989 +2004). This statutory duty has to be reinforced and upheld in any setting where adults work with children. It also made me worry about the behaviour and attitudes of the adults who have now been sacked from Medway when the are away from cctv surveillance in their family and social settings.

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    1. You make some telling points 11.17 and I just read that three of the G4S staff are being held by the police on suspicion of child neglect, though looks like physical and emotional abuse to me. But they are children and deserve all the legal protections that apply.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35302948

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  4. Pissed off companies like G4S are ruining it for the rest of us!

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    1. Dear Concerned of Sodexo/ RRP/PurpleDodahs/whoever

      I don't think G4S or their like are 'pissed off', but they are certainly taking the piss. And I doubt your profiteering will be ruined, you seem to have secured a tight deal with your chum Grayling.

      Love & Kisses
      An Unemployed PO as a direct consequence of TR/CRC

      Delete

  5. Labour sends letter to Gove asking for immediate action following arrests of three employees at a Medway STC

    http://press.labour.org.uk/post/137228980434/labour-sends-letter-to-gove-asking-for-immediate

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  6. Once these profiteers accept that they cant make any money from probation and pbr hasnt got a cat in hell's chance of succeeding , they will be handing the keys back pretty quickly. Anyone fancy running a book on when it will be?

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  7. You lot are fools. These contracts are worth mega bucks. I can assure you no one will be handing BACK KEYS anytime soon! I mean every CRCs has an estate strategy. Why be so concerned with estates if you're only going to be around for a short period of time. They are in it for the long term and rightly so. You need to get over the fact probation will never go back to what it was and I for am glad as I love working in my CRC.

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    1. Your eloquent argument is noted, Anon23:18. I hope you continue to enjoy yourself. Whichever CRC you work for they are clearly blessed to have you fully on board.

      Delete
    2. course you do wait for the pay adjustments and zero pension value then come back and shoot you mouth off , as for the kids in medway compensation wont cover their abuse but suing G4S for the shed load they deserve ultimately will come out of the tax payer.

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    3. This delusion is one that is actively promoted by CRC management 23:18 whereas the reality is glaringly different...books are nor being balanced...money is going in the wrong direction and exit strategies are being looked at in boardrooms..the first signs of this are further staff cuts-look where this is happening right now and of course staff are always the last to know....the dominoes are starting to rock...

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    4. And before they do jack it in, they will continue to fix the figures to get the cash. Any Case Administration folk in Working Links want to give some details? I'm hearing it includes charging Nps for some ETE classes that haven't been provided, terminating UPW as completed before hours done to ensure a success and then there's the instructions to avoid breach and having to check with management first.

      Delete
    5. Your comments are so offensive, just because contracts are worth mega bucks, doesn't absolve them of their duty of care to vulnerable children! Just hope your children don't find themselves in the criminal justice system, and given your close association with the primary importance money, chances are fairly high!

      Delete
  8. I was referring to TR contracts and not the G4S scandal above. You're so rude and make a lot of assumptions 9.05

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  9. I wonder what coverage ITV news channels gave to the G4S scandal, given that Crozier (Controller at ITV) is on the Board at G4S?

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    1. Oh look, a very optimistic press release reproduced in full from ITV's website in Feb 2013, not long after Crozier's appointment:

      "Security firm G4S has been awarded its first Government contract since the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics security fiasco to continue running a centre for young offenders in Kent.

      G4S Care and Justice Services will continue to provide services at Medway Secure Training Centre for a further two years after securing a contract extension.

      The announcement comes after the firm revealed a bigger-than-expected £70 million hit on its Olympics contract for failing to provide all of its 10,400 contracted guards.

      Located in Chatham, Medway opened in April 1998 and was originally designed to accommodate 40 boys but it expanded in 2002 to accommodate 76 young people, including boys and girls.

      Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled plans to shake up youth custody in Britain, which would see "secure colleges" set up in a bid to improve the education of youth offenders.

      Paul Cook, managing director G4S children's services, said the centre delivers "excellent services with outstanding outcomes for young people".

      The agreement extends the 15-year contract, in place since the centre opened, by 23 months and was agreed by the Youth Justice Board (YJB) for England and Wales. It is expected to save the YJB £4.6 million.

      The announcement comes as Ofsted published a positive report following an unannounced inspection of the centre last November.

      The report, which rated the centre as "good" is the first to be produced under a new inspection framework, involving Ofsted, inspectors from HM Inspectorate of Prisons and the Care Quality Commission."

      Delete
    2. On Rainsbrook in May 2015 ITV news reported:

      ""Since the last inspection there have been serious incidents of gross misconduct by staff, including some who were in positions of leadership.

      Poor staff behaviour has led to some young people being subject to degrading treatment, racist comments, and being cared for by staff who were under the influence of illegal drugs.

      A finding of contraband DVDs in the centre is likely to be attributable to staff smuggling these in and raises a concern that young people were allowed to view inappropriate material.

      It also raises a concern that some staff may have colluded with young people to elicit compliance by wholly inappropriate means. Senior managers are unable to reassure inspectors that this is not the case."

      – OFSTED INSPECTORS' REPORT

      G4S said that the DVDs were certificate 15 discs.

      The report says that poor care was made worse by "poor decision making by senior managers", which led to "delays in young people receiving essential medical diagnosis and treatment".

      But Ofsted did find that education at Rainsbrook is good, with offenders enjoying learning."

      Delete
    3. And here's ITV news' damning report about this month's appalling revelations:

      "Three men have been arrested on suspicion of child neglect by police investigating allegations of abuse and mistreatment of youngsters at a young offenders centre run by G4S.

      Here's what we know.

      The allegations
      Undercover footage, shown by the BBC's Panorama programme, showed staff allegedly mistreating and abusing inmates at Medway Secure Training Centre in Rochester.

      They allegedly also boasted about using inappropriate techniques to restrain youngsters.

      The centre can hold 75 inmates and is suitable for young offenders aged 12 to 18.

      The arrests
      The trio will be interviewed later on Wednesday about the allegations.

      A Kent Police spokesperson said: "Officers investigating reports of abusive behaviour alleged to have taken place at a secure training facility in Medway have arrested three men on suspicion of child neglect.

      The Kent Police investigation was launched following a referral from the Medway Local Authority Designated Officer.

      The men are currently in custody and will be interviewed later today."

      – KENT POLICE

      What have G4S said?

      After the programme aired, G4S announced it had sacked four members of staff.

      Three other staff identified in the programme were suspended pending further investigation, while another person was removed from operational duty as inquiries continue.

      It also referred the "serious allegations of inappropriate staff conduct" to Medway's local authority designated officer, the Youth Justice Board and the Ministry of Justice.

      Commenting on the arrests, Paul Cook, managing director for children's services at G4S, said: "We fully support the action of Kent Police this morning and we continue to provide police officers and the local authority with full access to Medway Secure Training Centre and the centre's records, including CCTV footage.

      There is no place in our business for the conduct shown on the BBC's Panorama programme on Monday night.

      This morning's arrests send a strong message that any allegations of wrongdoing will be thoroughly investigated and we are grateful to the police for their swift action in this case."

      – PAUL COOK, G4S


      Is it possible G4S are getting an easy ride with ITV?
      Watch out for an ITV "exclusive" with G4S...

      Delete
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