Kids in custody regularly assaulted by staff

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London, Dec 30 (UNI) Thousands of assaults are being carried out each year on children by staff at Young Offender Institutions in Britain, who hit kids in the face, bend back their thumbs and limbs to breaking point, and force fists into their ribs, a shocking report has stated.

Children's Commissioner Al Aynsley-Green highlighted the ''over-use of restraint and force'' in these institutions and called for an immediate ban on the practice of painful restraint as a form of punishment or to ensure compliance.

The report revealed that physical restraint, which is supposed to be a last resort, was used 3,036 times in Secure Training Centres last year. More than 50 cases were judged serious.

Physical violence in these institutions is euphemistically described as ''painful distractions''.

A government-commissioned inquiry into the risks of death or injury associated with physical restraints was under way.

There was a need for reviewing the juvenile justice system and restraints should be used only as a final option, when the child posed an imminent threat of injury to themselves or others, the Independent quoted Sir Al as saying.

The controversy comes in the wake of inquests held earlier this year into the tragic deaths of two teenagers in 2004 after several members of staff physically restrained them in separate incidents at Hassockfield and Rainsbrook STCs. They are among 30 children who have died in custody in the UK in the past 17 years.

UNI

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