The Children’s Rights Alliance for England (Crae) has applied for a judicial review of the refusal by the justice secretary, Ken Clarke, to identify and contact children who may have been unlawfully restrained in privately run secure training centres.
Under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, all prison and probation officers would have been checked and monitored for their ongoing suitablity for the role as prisoners and people on probation would have been considered as being ‘vulnerable adults’. It remains to be clarified whether this promised level of protection will be compromised under the halving of the numbers defined as doing ‘regulated activity’ under the Protection of Freedoms Bill.
The legal battle follows the second inquest two weeks ago into the death of 14-year-old Adam Rickwood, found hanging in his room at Hassockfield secure training centre where he was on remand in 2006. The inquest concluded that there was a serious system failure which gave rise to an unlawful regime at the jail. Thousands could have suffered unlawful restraint using techniques that have since been banned.