In a young offenders institution near Bristol two boys were found to have suffered broken bones as staff forcibly restrained them according to a report.
Prison inspectors revealed that two boys have suffered broken bones in a privately run young offender institution while being restrained forcibly by the staff.
The report by Nick Hardwick the chief inspector of prisons, confirms a high level of violence at the Serco-run Ashfield young offender institution near Bristol with 43 serious fights recorded last year alone.
Earlier this year the justice secretary Chris Grayling had announced that Ashfield would no longer be holding young offenders and would instead be a specialised facility in sex offending cases.
The institution would close and be replaced by an adult prison. There were government proposals to change the facility to house category C sex offenders, as part of their prison reforms.
A statement released by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) then had suggested a raft of changes designed to save £63 million per year, including converting a surplus young offender’s institution at HMP Ashfield into a full adult prison.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling had said that the government wanted to bring down the cost of prison system, much of which was old and expensive. He also said that he would never want the courts to be in a position where they cannot send a criminal to prison because there was no place available.
The youth jail has already been cutting on its intake when inspectors had carried out their surprise check in February. It was only a third full, with 123 teenagers aged 16 and 17 at the time.
The inspection found that there was a high level of violence with 351 fights, 43 of which were classified as serious, and 377 assaults recorded in 2012. Five staff was assaulted over the same period of time.
Use of force by the staff was also found to be high with 453 recorded cases in the six months before the inspectors visit.
The two incidents involving broken bones were referred to the police, and inquiries were carried out internally as well as by the local authority.
Young people's safety was compromised because they were exposed to unacceptable levels of violence – and there was some evidence the situation had deteriorated since the closure decision was announced," Hardwick said.