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Secure Training Centres and Young Offender Institutions (Physical Restraint)

Volume 548: debated on Tuesday 10 July 2012

Today I am announcing that I have formally approved a new system of restraint for use in secure training centres (STCs) and under-18 young offender institutions (YOIs) in England and Wales, titled “Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint” (MMPR).

The new system is a major step forward in improving the way young people are safeguarded in the under-18 secure estate. A comprehensive programme of work has resulted in a new system of restraint that has been specifically designed for use on young people in custody. This has been independently assessed by the independent Restraint Advisory Board (RAB) chaired by Professor Susan Bailey.

The “Independent Review of Restraint in Juvenile Secure Settings” in 2008 called for a significant cultural change in the way challenging behaviour is managed and this has been the premise on which MMPR has been designed and developed.

The behaviour of some young people in custody is extremely challenging and can put the safety of themselves, other young people and staff at risk. It is important that custody staff are given the necessary skills to ensure the safety of those in the custodial establishments including when restraint needs to be used.

The Government are clear that restraint should only ever be used as a last resort where it is absolutely necessary to do so and where no other form of intervention is possible or appropriate.

The Restraint Advisory Board’s report sets out the comprehensive assessment process the Restraint Advisory Board followed in order to make recommendations on minimising and managing physical restraint. After careful consideration, the Government have accepted all the recommendations. To support the delivery of MMPR, the Youth Justice Board and the National Offender Management Service will introduce a range of improved data collection and monitoring arrangements.

A programme of work will now begin to roll out MMPR in secure training centres and under-18 young offenders institutions. We will publish the full Restraint Advisory Board report, Government response and a version of the MMPR manual.

I am also announcing a replacement for the Restraint Advisory Board whose primary objective of assessing minimising and managing physical restraint has been completed. The Independent Restraint Advisory Panel (IRAP) will retain a similar breadth of expertise to the Restraint Advisory Board and will be chaired by Professor Susan Bailey. The Independent Restraint Advisory Panel’s objectives will be assessing the systems of restraint commissioned for use in secure children’s homes and supporting the implementation of MMPR. Details of the Independent Restraint Advisory Panel will also be available on the Ministry of Justice website,