Call to ban "pain compliance" techniques on children in prisons

Campaigners are calling on the Government to ban controversial "pain compliance" techniques, used to control children's behaviour in youth prisons, as they believe it amounts to child abuse.

Thursday, 4th April 2019, 4:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 5:09 pm
A call has been made to ban 'pain complaince' techniques in youth prisons
A call has been made to ban 'pain complaince' techniques in youth prisons

Tragic Burnley teenager Adam Rickwood became the youngest person to commit suicide in British custody when he killed himself in 2004 aged 14 hours after he was subjected to a so-called "nose distraction" technique, which has since been banned.

The national inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) recently concluded pain compliance measures were child abuse and should be outlawed, although the Government has said they should only be used as a last resort.

Now, children's charities are calling on the Government to ban them straight away.

Adam Rickwood

The IICSA found that such techniques were used on children in custody during 119 incidents in Youth Offending Institutions in the year to 2017.

The Ministry of Justice have also said that there were 181 incidents in which pain-inducing restraint techniques were carried out on children last year.

The IICSA report said: "The chair and panel consider that the use of pain compliance techniques should be seen as a form of child abuse, and that it is likely to contribute to a culture of violence, which may increase the risk of child sexual abuse.

"The chair and panel recommend that the Ministry of Justice prohibits the use of pain compliance techniques by withdrawing all policy permitting its use, and setting out that this practice is prohibited by way of regulation."

Burnley boy Adam was found hanged in his room at the Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham in August, 2004.

A second inquest into Adam's death, held in 2011, ruled that unlawful use of force by four members of staff at the centre contributed to the decision by Adam to take his own life.