Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre Shut Down (temporarily): All others must follow!

The following articles deals with the medical neglect, physical, racist and transphobic abuse of and amongst children.

Rainsbrook STC shut down

On the 11th of June Ofsted completed an inspection of the “Secure Training Centre” at Rainsbrook, close to Rugby in the West Midlands operated by the private consortium of companies and charities MTCNovo. From this Ofsted issued their second urgent notification to the Secretary of so-called justice Buckland in 6 months.[1] As a result children detained at the prison have been removed, evacuated as a local newspaper[2] termed it, “to other accommodation within the [youth system].”[3]

In summary the report details: repeated cases where children were locked and left in so-called classrooms, “many occasions”[4] where children were not taken to medical appointments and going without their prescribed medication, frequent incidents of racist and transphobic abuse not addressed by prison guards and allowed to escalate to bullying, intimidation, physical assaults and fights, and finally difficulties in recruiting and retaining enough prison guards who when they are supervising know little about the children’s health needs or risks.

The profiteers behind the prison

The prison at Rainsbrook has been closed “while the MOJ considers its future, including its contract with MTC[Novo].”[5] MTCNovo has the contract to operate the prison valued at £50.4 million over 5 years.[6] Initially with 77 children incarcerated that amounted to £130,000 per child per year; at the time of the last inspection there 37 children incarcerate which now means the contractors could be receiving around £260,000 per child per year.[7] When first awarded the contract for the prison in 2016 a Buzzfeed correspondent revealed that it included a company that violated the constitutional rights of incarcerated people at Walnut Grove Facility in Mississippi in Amerikkka.[8] Another minor factor to consider is the onboarding by MTC of an all-white led  “social justice” charity Natco to supply “education and skills provision” to children held at the facility as recently as May 5th this year.[9] On request a representative from MTC made clear that there is still a contract in place with the Mo”j” and did not agree with the BBC description of the centre as being “mothballed”[10] but could not comment further due to the status of negotiations between the two bodies. One factor in this lack of clarity about is that the contract was just renewed by the Ministry of “justice” in February 2021 for the allowed maximum of two years.[11] February 2021 came 3 months after the first Urgent Notification was issued following inspection in which inspectors found that children who were “newly arrived” were locked in their cells for 14 days and only allowed out for 30 mins each day.[12][13]

What Now?

What kind of response can be given for the state removing children facing medical neglect, physical, racist and transphobic abuse from one type of institution to another, 18 months after it did similar in Medway STC in Kent? Not just worry and anger. Unfortunately we already know the response by charities to corruption is capitulation and profiteering – look no further than the Oasis Trust set to run the so-called “secure school” in Medway for proof of this.[14]  We at CAPE will continue to organise for abolition and resist each and every iteration of prisons for anyone. Join us!

Buckland’s opposition to the material and social needs of people in cities in England, Scotland, Wales and still-colonised Ireland is outlined in a statement where they gave the following:

“This move will help protect the public by ensuring often vulnerable children get the support they need to turn their lives around – ultimately resulting in fewer victims and safer streets.”[15]

Children are being moved from one site to another without their consent, nor that of their family of carer while the government tries to sort out ever more expensive deals that enabled the incarceration of children away from support networks that they had.

Only 1 of 3 “Secure Training Centres” in England remains currently open. We cannot let any of them be reopened or reformed.

Check out the No Kids in Jail campaign & get involved!

[1] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/994913/Letter_to_Secretary_of_State_Urgent_Notification_Rainsbrook_STC_June_2021.pdf

[2] https://www.rugbyadvertiser.co.uk/news/people/staff-shortages-bullying-and-fears-someone-was-going-to-die-why-children-were-evacuated-from-rainsbrook-stc-3280451

[3] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57505346

[4] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/994913/Letter_to_Secretary_of_State_Urgent_Notification_Rainsbrook_STC_June_2021.pdf

[5] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57505346

[6] https://www.buzzfeed.com/patricksmith/company-behind-us-horror-jail-given-ps50-million-to-run-uk-y

[7] https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50160334

[8] https://www.buzzfeed.com/patricksmith/company-behind-us-horror-jail-given-ps50-million-to-run-uk-y

[9] https://www.mtcgroup.org.uk/2021/03/16/mtc-announces-new-education-provider-nacro/

[10] stop using (a piece of equipment or a building) but keep it in good condition so that it can readily be used again.

[11] https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5801/cmselect/cmjust/1266/126605.htm

[12] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/urgent-notification-for-rainsbrook-secure-training-centre

[13] https://www.cypnow.co.uk/news/article/two-year-extension-of-rainsbrook-stc-contract-sparks-concerns

[14] https://nomorekidsinprison.wordpress.com/

[15] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57505346

Fig 1. Nacro CEO and executive leadership team. On May 5th, a month before the inspection they started providing services at the prison including “education”