Skip to main content

Young Offender Institutions: Crimes of Violence

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what steps she is taking to ensure that prison officers in juvenile offender institutions are protected from assaults with pool cues and other implements which could be used as weapons. (143353)

The Prison Service takes prisoner and staff safety seriously and every prison is required to have in place a violence reduction strategy which requires establishments to do all they can to minimise violence. Additionally, Prison Officers in juvenile offender institutions are given the same defensive training in control and restraint techniques as officers in non-juvenile establishments who face similar risks.

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what (a) training to officers in (i) juvenile offender institutions and (ii) prisons for adults and (b) equipment is provided to deal with assaults using weapons. (143354)

All prison officers employed in public sector prisons receive the same control and restraint training (and are required to complete annual refresher training) to prepare them for all types of incident, regardless of which type of establishment they are posted to. Personal protective equipment is available wherever the risk dictates, again regardless of the type of establishment. All prison officers are trained in its use.

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what factors were taken into account in deciding that prison officers officed in the juvenile estate should not be given access to extendable batons and other protective equipment. (143355)

Extendable batons were issued in 2005 to all staff who carried the outdated wooden stave. Officers in juvenile establishments have never carried staves and at the time of the introduction of batons consideration was not given to widening their use. A review is planned later this year to consider what evidence there may be for extending the use of batons to other parts of the estate.