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Details of techniques described in a manual governing physical restraint in private child prisons have emerged.
Some of the restraint and self-defence techniques detailed in the Observer include placing an "inverted knuckle into the trainee's sternum (breast bone) and drive inward and upward".
Another authorised measure is outlined in a description which reads: "Continue to carry alternate elbow strikes to the young person's ribs until a release is achieved."
"deeply disturbing and stands as a state authorisation of institutionalised child abuse".
The newspaper says the manual - Physical Control in Care - was published by the HM Prison Service in 2005 for staff working in secure training centres, run by private firms under government contracts.
Privately managed prisons were introduced to the UK in the 1990s.
HM Chief Inspectorate of Prisons inspects private prisons in the same way as public sector prisons. See How Prisons are Regulated for more information. All private prisons have a 'Controller' linking them to the Ministry of Justice, and the governors of private prisons are called 'Directors'.
At present there are 11 private prisons contractually managed by private companies such as GSL, Serco and G4S Justice Services.
New and private prisons
There are eleven privately run prisons in England and Wales. Nine prisons have been financed, designed, built and are run by the private sector under PFI contracts – Dovegate,Altcourse, Ashfield, Forest Bank, Lowdham Grange, Parc, Rye Hill, Bronzefield and Peterborough, the only prison which holds both men and women on the same site. In addition Wolds and Doncaster were built and financed by the public sector but are run by private companies under management-only contracts. Two former privately managed prisons, Blakenhurst and Buckley Hall, are now publicly run. No new prison built since 1992 has been built and financed by the public sector.
Private prisons in England and Wales now account for 11% of the prison population holding around 9,071 prisoners. England and Wales has the most privatised prison system in Europe. Scotland currently has 8% of its prisoners held privately, although this is due to increase in December 2008 with the addition of the 700-cell Addiewell, a second privately financed, designed, built and run prison. Australia has 17% of its prisoners held in private prisons and the USA has 7.2%
Britain's private prisons are performing worse than those run by the state, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
The findings, based on the overall performances of 132 prisons in England and Wales, appear to undermine claims by ministers that the greater use of private jails is raising standards for the accommodation of more than 83,000 prisoners held across both sectors.
Separate figures, also released under the right-to-know law, show that nearly twice as many prisoner complaints are upheld in private prisons as they are in state-run institutions.
Prisons for profit: The verdict
*HMP Altcourse, Fazakerley, Liverpool – G4S Justice Services
Opened in 1997, it was the first designed, constructed, managed and financed private prison in the UK.
Rating 3 (Good performance)
*HMP & YOI Ashfield, Gloucestershire – Serco
Opened in 1999, this prison and young offenders institution in Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire, holds up to 400 males aged between 15 and 18.
Rating 2 (requiring development)
*HMP Bronzefield, Ashford, Middlesex – Kalyx (previously UKDS)
Opened in 2004, Bronzefield is the only privately managed, purpose-built prison for women in the UK. It has a 12-bed, Mother and Baby Unit.
*HMP & YOI Doncaster – Serco
Opened in 1994, it houses 1,120 men aged 18 on remand and after sentence. The prison provides education, healthcare and counselling.
*HMP Dovegate, Staffordshire – Serco
Opened in 2001, it accommodates up to 860 adult male prisoners serving sentences of four years to life. A separate 200-bed therapeutic community houses repeat serious offenders.
*HMP & YOI Forest Bank, Pendlebury, Salford – Kalyx
Opened in 2000, it is one of the largest prisons in the UK, holding 1,064 male offenders. It also holds young offenders from Greater Manchester.
*HMP Lowdham Grange, Nottinghamshire – Serco
Opened in 1998, it accommodates up to 628 adult male prisoners serving sentences of more than four years.
*HMP & YOI Parc, Bridgend, South Wales – G4S Justice Services
Opened in 1997, The 1,200-bed Category B Local prison claims to be dedicated to reducing re-offending.
*HMP Rye Hill, Rugby, Warwickshire – G4S Justice Services
Opened in 2001, this training prison holds 660 adult male Category B prisoners sentenced to more than 4 years with 18 months left to serve, including 150 vulnerable prisoners.
*HMP Wolds, Everthorpe, East Yorkshire – G4S Justice Services
Opened in 1992 for remand inmates, the first privately run prison was given a new role in 1993 holding category B sentenced prisoners.
...there's a trusted way of spreading spending across 30 years and slashing a prison's running costs, all in one go: the private finance initiative.
While they've been less high profile than the schools and hospitals, Britain already has nine PFI prisons. And in some ways they've been pretty successful. The new jails have been built quickly, and cost a good 15% less to run than their government-owned equivalents.
...Concerns have been raised about both the safety record of PFI prisons, and the effectiveness of their rehabiliation efforts. Prisoners in private jails are more likely to be involved in serious assaults - and more likely to re-offend once they've been released.
One problem is that PFI prisons negotiate their own staff contracts - and thus pay their officers a good 50% less than the state sector. This does a good job of cutting costs. But it means private prisons tend to have fewer, younger, and less experienced warders. They also don't tend to stick around for very long. A 2002 report from a government auditor gloomily concluded that, "The upshot of trimming costs is that safety may be compromised for both staff and prisoners."
An even bigger concern is the effect private prisons may have on criminal justice policy. For one thing, private jailers are paid by the prisoner. This gives them an incentive to pack in as many inmates as possible, encouraging overcrowding.
Even more worryingly, the existance of private prisons may actually stop the government from taking steps to reduce Britain's burgeoning prison population. "What we'd like to see is a shrinking market," says Juliet Lyon, the director of the Prison Reform Trust. "But good business practice demands that you grow your market. A vested interest will develop in having a sizable prison population."
Originally posted by chise61
reply to post by Chadwickus
Funny that they have such a large number of ex government employees and receive so many government contracts
"That's Bones. He's one lazy dog," says 15-year-old Antonio.
The Division of Youth Services, or DYS, part of the state Department of Human Services, contracted with AMI in 1992 to take 25 boys at each site -- called wilderness camps -- and rehabilitate them in a noninstitutional environment. Last year, Arkansas spent $2.1 million on the two camps.
AMI officials extol their performance, hailing what they say are the state's lowest recidivism rates and the high numbers of boys who have received their GED certificate.
But state records obtained by the Democrat-Gazette and interviews with the children, camp staffers and DYS officials sketch a different picture. They suggest a system out of control, riddled with incidents of physical abuse and barbaric punishment that had not been communicated to the local AMI board.
Children and ex-staffers said they have been hogtied, forced to sleep naked in rainy, 40-degree weather, and compelled to chop wood with axes weighing as much as 55 pounds for 12 hours a day, weeks on end, till their hands bled.
Bill Hoffman, an AMI vice president at Tampa headquarters, acknowledged one incident of hogtying at one of the camps, but insisted that AMI fired an employee after verifying that and other incidents of abuse. He denied that the Arkansas camps use overweighted axes or require that kids chop wood all day. Rather, he said children who misbehave are sometimes forced to chop wood for a couple of hours to "adjust their attitude."
Some of the children were shackled, denied lawyers, and pulled from their homes for offences which included stealing change from cars and failure to appear as witnesses.