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Image © Lord Carlile of Berriew QC

Carlile Inquiry

January 2006

To Ministers

1 Overall policies and responsibility for all children, including those in custody, should rest with the Children’s Minister

To the Inspectorates

2 Unannounced inspections should be carried out in all establishments at least once a year in addition to scheduled inspections

Resolving conflict and reducing violence
To the Youth Justice Board

3  There should be consistent standards of care, rules and conditions across all establishments

4  Staff should be models of good behaviour to the young people

5  Staff education and training needs to be consistent and of the highest standard and staff coming into the service should normally be educated to degree standard

6  Staff should be trained in core competencies before they start work with children

7  All staff working with children in custody should have training in child protection

8  More sophisticated and intensive conflict resolution training is needed so that best practices are embedded in daily practice

9  Staff ratios to children should be consistent across the secure estate

10  Children must be encouraged to go outside every day and participate in outdoor exercise for at least one hour five times a week

11  There must be structures to engage and empower children in decision making

12  Conflict resolution should be based on restorative principles and techniques

13  A staff peer review system should be introduced mirroring that in operation in mental health institutions so that attitudes and actions are questioned daily

14  Monitoring of the use of punishments on children from minority ethnic groups needs to be improved

15  All children should have easy and confidential access to information, advice and support from appropriate outside agencies

16  Staff should not be in uniform


To the Youth Justice Board

17  The policy that restraint should never be used as a punishment must be made clear

18  Restraint should never be used primarily to secure compliance

19  Restraint should never be premeditated, as it is then becomes a punishment not an intervention to ensure safety

20  One certified physical intervention technique that is safe for children should be developed as a matter of urgency and be used across the secure estate

21  The Youth Justice Board should oversee the use of the disciplinary system so that it is rigorously applied when an allegation is made against a member of staff

To the establishments

22  The resort to restraint should be viewed as a failure to de-escalate conflict 23  Pain compliance and the infliction of pain is not acceptable and may be unlawful

23 Pain compliance and the infliction of pain is not acceptable and may be unlawful

24  Handcuffs should not be used

25  Establishments should not introduce their own methods of physical or mechanical restraints

26  Violence reduction and dispute resolution should be afforded much higher priority

27  Appropriate and regular training should be given to all staff working in the secure estate

28  Promptly after each incident involving physical intervention there should be a dispute resolution conference, based on restorative justice principles, where the participants, including the child with an appropriate advocate, should be able to discuss the incident

29  There should be some immediate external and independent scrutiny of every incident of restraint. An incident of physical restraint should be seen as such a serious breakdown that it should be immediately reported and scrutinised by an appropriate independent child care agency

30  Record keeping and monitoring should be improved and data published to show the number of incidents, injuries to children and staff, broken down by race, age, gender and disability

31  So many of the young people have suffered serious violence and abuse in the past and are not used to making complaints; they must be helped to understand that they may make complaints and that there will be no reprisals

To the Police and Crown Prosecution Service

32 Should be more willing to consider charging and prosecuting members of staff for assaulting children where there is a prima facie case

The Carlile Inquiry The Howard League for Penal Reform 13

33 Should be more willing to consider charging and prosecuting the companies running penal institutions holding children

To Local Authorities

34 Local authority child protection committees should give priority to referrals from penal institutions

Strip searching

To the Youth Justice Board

35  Policy, practice and procedure should be the same in all the establishments holding children

36  Strip searching is not necessary for good order and safety

37  Searches should be conducted based on the good practice the

Inquiry found in local authority secure children’s homes

38  Searches could be reduced by at least 50% by applying a more evidence based approach, without risk to security or safety being significantly increased


To the Youth Justice Board

39  Policy should be developed for ‘time out’ practices so it is used, monitored and recorded consistently

40  Prison segregation units should not be used for children

To the establishments

41  ‘Time out’ could be a useful technique for easing tension but should never be for more than a few minutes

42  It should always be recorded, even if it is elective

43  Solitary confinement should never be used as a punishment

44  The child should have access to an advocate

45  A child’s belongings should only ever be removed from their room if they pose a demonstrable risk to the child or others

View Full ReportView Full Report

Related Resources:

1) The Carlile Inquiry - 10 years on- The use of restraint, solitary confinement and strip-searching on children.

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