Feltham Prison

Young offenders in 'harmful solitary confinement'

Feltham YOI
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A boy at a young offenders institution was left to lie on a mattress on the floor of a "filthy" cell for more than 22 hours a day, a report has revealed.

The chief inspector of prisons in England and Wales, Peter Clarke, said a practice of separating children from their peers at YOIs amounted to "harmful solitary confinement".

He said the policy had "fundamental flaws" and was a risk to mental health.

The government said it would be making "immediate changes".

Inspectors looked at five YOIs, holding about 600 men and boys aged 15 to 18 - Cookham Wood in Kent; Feltham A in west London; Parc in south Wales; Werrington in Staffordshire, and Wetherby and Keppel in West Yorkshire.

Mr Clarke said 57 offenders had been separated and "in the worst cases children left their cells for just 15 minutes a day".

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Feltham YOI: Prison officers attacked by teenage inmates

Feltham YOI
PA

Thirteen prison officers had to be taken to hospital after being assaulted by teenagers at a young offenders institution (YOI), it has emerged.

The officers were among about 20 staff attacked during an outbreak of violence at the weekend at Feltham YOI in west London.

One officer suffered a broken nose and another was concussed after being repeatedly punched.

The Prison Service said the assaults were "completely unacceptable".

Gang rivalries 'driving violence' at young offenders Feltham young offenders institution

Young Offender
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Gang rivalries at a young offenders institute are so fierce that some inmates say they are "not be able to stop themselves assaulting members from a rival gang," a report has found.

Violent incidents happen every day in every part in Feltham Young Offenders Institution (YOI), driven by "postcode" allegiances from the outside world the prison's watchdog has said.

Many teenagers and young adults feel unsafe living on the same unit or attending the same education classes, according to Feltham's independent monitoring board (IMB).

Catering for these individuals "presents an enormous problem for the prison as 'postcode' gang allegiances and enmities change very frequently", the report said.

Staff reported that, in some instances, inmates run up gambling debts which they are compelled to repay by performing an act of violence on someone with whom they have no obvious grievance.

IMB chairwoman Caroline Langton said: "We have raised a number of serious issues for the Governor, the Prison Service and ministers to address; however we recognise the hard work of staff throughout another difficult year for the prison."

A Youth Custody Service spokeswoman said: "The safety and welfare of every young person at Feltham is the Governor's top priority and while there are significant challenges, progress is being made."