10,000 young offenders may be eligible for payouts totalling millions of pounds over unlawful use of force in institutions
- Roughly 10,000 uses of illegal force against children recorded over 10 years
- Each child affected would be entitled to lodge claims for compensation
- Payout to those young offenders could total hundreds of millions of pounds
- Comes after it emerged that 14 children assaulted received £100k damages
More than 10,000 children could be entitled to payouts totalling millions of pounds. (File image)
More than 10,000 children could be entitled to payouts totalling millions of pounds over the unlawful use of force in young offender institutions, it has emerged.
It is estimated that between 1998-2008 there were roughly 4,200 cases of force being used against children in youth jails each year. Of this number, almost a quarter may have been illegal.
All of the children affected would be entitled to lodge claims – which could mean payouts totalling hundreds of millions of pounds, according to the Sunday Times.
It comes following revelations this week that 14 children assaulted by staff in four institutions, operated by G4s and Serco, between 2004-2008, received nearly £100,000 in damages.
Techniques used to control children in the jails – known as secure training centres – were ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal in 2008.
The court ruling means that while it is lawful to use force to restraint child inmates to prevent injury to themselves or others, to stop them from escaping or to prevent damage to property, it is not lawful to use it to maintain good order and discipline.
The use of force in the secure training centres came to light following the death of two boys in 2004.
Gareth Myatt, 15, choked on his own vomit and died while being restrained by three members of staff at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre, Northamptonshire, run by G4S, in April that year.
He had been restrained for refusing to clean a sandwich toaster, which he said he had not used.
Just four months later, 14-year-old Adam Rickwood killed himself after being unlawfully restrained by four adult carers at Hassockfield Secure Training Centre, where he had been on remand for just over a month on wounding charges.
Earlier this year, the Government announced that hundreds of convicted offenders will be locked up in a new ‘fortified school’ designed to educate them out of crime.
The new £85million facility, described as a secure college by ministers, will hold around one in four of all young offenders.
The new school, which is still in the planning stage, is likely to be opened by 2017. It will hold young offenders aged between 12 and 17-years old.
The Youth Justice Board, who are in charge of said: ‘We have always maintained that restraint should only be used as a last resort, where it is absolutely necessary to do so.’
Earlier this year, the Government announced that hundreds of convicted offenders will be locked up in a new ‘fortified school’ designed to educate them out of crime. Above, file image
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