Young offenders suffered broken bones by staff at Ashfield

Inspectors found that young offenders at HMYOI Ashfield were exposed to unacceptable levels of violence, and two suffered broken bones by staff. The report said that problems had worsened at the privately-run institution near Bristol since the decision to close it and move inmates was made.

The two young offenders that suffered broken bones did so in separate incidents through excessive force by prison staff.

Ashfield is set to become an adult only prison housing sex offenders in July. The inspectors found that the planning for the closure had not been effectively co-ordinated between the Serco-run institution and the Youth Justice Board.

As a result, they found:

  • A sharp increase in self-harm incidents since the announcement was made about the closure

  • Two young people suffered broken bones after use of force by prison staff

  • Young people were routinely strip searched when entering or leaving reception

But, despite the levels of violence, inspectors say that young people said they felt safe, but were concerned over access to education for youths who were being transferred from the facility.

Vicki Wright, Actions Against the Police solicitor at Swain & Co says, “Being subject to excessive force whilst in prison is unacceptable, and to suffer broken bones from such action is appalling.”