In July 2017, Article 39 successfully crowdfunded to legally challenge the use of pain and unjustified restraint during children’s frightening journeys to and from secure children’s homes. Children can be detained in these locked children’s homes from the age of 10.
Escort custody officers employed by GEOAmey are allowed to use force to make children follow orders.
Incredible as it sounds, they have been authorised and trained to deliberately inflict pain on children as a form of restraint. This is in striking contrast to the rules that must be followed in secure children’s homes, which restrict when restraint can be used and prohibit the deliberate infliction of pain.
Our legal challenge led first to a review of the Ministry of Justice’s escort restraint policy, and then the Government deciding to commission a wider review of the authorisation of pain-inducing restraint in all child prisons and during the escorting process.
This is the first time pain-inducing restraint has been the subject of a distinct review.
It is being conducted by Charlie Taylor, Chair of the Youth Justice Board (though not in that capacity). It is expected to conclude by the end of 2019.
We are continuing to press for stronger legal protection during the escort process, and will update this page when we have news to share.