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Children being taken to Ashfield Young Offenders' Institution have to urinate in plastic bags because they do not get toilet breaks on the journey, a charity has claimed.
Campaigners also claimed that there is an unacceptable use of strip searching at the privately-run prison in Pucklechurch, with inmates routinely subjected to the practice on arrival and again every two months.
The Howard League for Penal Reform has published a report it says exposes the "dire conditions" to which the 2,548 children in prison in England are exposed.
During the group's Growing Up Shut Up campaign on juveniles in the penal system, its legal team carried out an audit for a recent court case, analysing all reports into young offenders' institutions by prison inspectors.
The document "paints a picture of extraordinary squalor and institutional brutality, where children are regularly denied access to showers, toilets or outside exercise areas, and are subject to strip searches by adult staff".
The League's report claimed: "Strip-searching is particularly intrusive, given that many boys and girls in custody are likely to have been a victim of sexual abuse – one in three girls and one in 20 boys in prison report sexual abuse."
The charity said that children at Ashfield, which has a capacity of 400 inmates aged 15 to 18, are "given bags to urinate in instead of toilet breaks on journeys to the prison" and "there was an unacceptable use of strip searching."
There was no social worker on site, so prison staff had to carry out tasks in which they were less skilled, and officers working in the segregation unit were unsure how to deal with challenging inmates, and not all had received mental health awareness training, the report said.
Howard League director Frances Crook said: "We keep children smelly and dirty, idle and frightened, bored with education and cooped up in modern-day dungeons. And we expect them miraculously to develop into responsible citizens.
"In reality, these young people leave prison more damaged and dangerous than when they first went in – it is frankly shocking that we treat children in this way in the 21st century.
"The concern must be that as we face a period of immense pressure on public spending, the treatment and conditions that children face in prison will significantly worsen as budgets are squeezed. Given that over three-quarters of children in prison reoffend within a year of release, it is a time we recognised that prison is neither safe for children, or effective in cutting crime."