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Conditions and treatment of children in detention examined

10 July 2018

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has begun an inquiry into youth detention, focusing on the use of restraint and isolation of children who are detained by the State, and the compatibility of these practices with human rights law.

Purpose of the session

Last week, the Committee heard a first-hand account from one young person who experienced restraint and isolation whilst detained in a mental health hospital, including the impacts on her and the difficulties when there were staff shortages. She described her isolation as “very dehumanising. It felt like I was in a cage.”

The Committee will hear the perspectives of detention staff, a lawyer and doctors about the impact of these practices on young people and their status under human rights law.

One of the main issues for this inquiry is to investigate the Government's assertion that young people are never held in solitary confinement: it uses different definitions for practices of separation, which many charities and organisations claim amount to solitary confinement. 

The Committee will also be seeking to determine whether recent and proposed changes to guidance about restraint go far enough to protect children.


Wednesday 11 July, Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster.

At 3.15pm

  • Dr John Chisholm, Chair, Medical Ethics Committee, British Medial Association
  • Dr Laura Janes, Legal Director, Solicitor, Howard League for Penal Reform
  • Glyn Travis, Assistant General Secretary, The Professional Trades Union for Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers,
  • Dr Heidi Hales, Forensic Psychiatrist, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Further information

Image: Parliamentary Copyright