Prison near Rugby ‘inadequate’ say inspectors as report states inmates are subjected to degrading treatment and racist comments

Rainsbrook STC
Rainsbrook STC

Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre at Onley, on the outskirts of Rugby has been branded as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

The report states some young people have been subjected to degrading treatment and racist comments, cared for by staff under the influence of illegal drugs, and raises concerns some staff may have colluded with the detainees to ‘elicit compliance by wholly inappropriate means’.

The centre deals with young people given custodial sentences or on remand from the ages of 12 to 18, it is privately run by security firm G4S, and is education-focused. It also has a dedicated mother and baby unit for detained young mothers and their babies, as well as those in the final stages of pregnancy. At the time of inspection there were 77 young people staying there.

Due to its focus on education, the secure training centre (STC) gets visits from the schools and education inspectors at Ofsted.

The inspection was carried out in February and the report published on May 20.

The report states: “Overall, management of behaviour at the centre over the past 12 months has deteriorated and it is concerning that data provided by the centre to inspectors during the inspection regarding the number of fights, assaults and injuries was inaccurate. Significantly more young people than in other STCs reported feeling threatened by other young people or experienced insulting remarks while at the centre.

“Since the last inspection there have been serious incidents of gross misconduct by staff, including some who were in positions of leadership. Poor staff behaviour has led to some young people being subject to degrading treatment, racist comments, and being cared for by staff who were under the influence of illegal drugs.

“A finding of contraband DVDs in the centre is likely to be attributable to staff smuggling these in and raises a concern that young people were allowed to view inappropriate material they should not have been. It also raises a concern that some staff may have colluded with young people to elicit compliance by wholly inappropriate means. Senior managers are unable to reassure inspectors that this is not the case.”

The report highlights discord between healthcare staff and other senior managers, saying: “On a number of occasions clear clinical advice was overruled by non-health qualified senior managers. Because of this one young person did not receive treatment for a fracture for approximately 15 hours.”

The centre was judged to be inadequate for the safety of its young people, their well-being, and its overall effectiveness.

An adequate rating was given to the young people’s behaviour. And the centre was rated as good for the achievement of the young people and their resettlement.

The inspectors highlighted good governance and scrutiny of ‘Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint’ incidents where young people are physically restrained by staff. They also say a better policy for working with local social workers and police about potential child protection concerns has been introduced.

The report says: “It is to the credit of many current staff that inspectors observed mostly positive relationships between staff and young people across the centre.

“Behaviour was particularly well managed in education. The majority of staff impose appropriate boundaries with the young people and good respectful relationships are evident.

“Young people spoken to were generally positive about the staff in the centre and say that staff help them to improve their behaviour.”

Adding that improvement in education have recently accelerated and while many of the young people have previously been out of school for long periods, they learn to enjoy education while at the centre, and many achieve a good range of qualifications.