Prisons: Restraint Equipment

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th November 2021.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Altcourse, published on 11 November 2021, whether it is HM Prison and Probation Service policy to record the use of rigid bar handcuffs (a) as a use of force and (b) otherwise.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister for Afghan resettlement

Operational guidance on the use of rigid bar handcuffs, and the HM Prison and Probation Service policy on the use of force state that any use of handcuffs is considered a use of force, and must only be used when necessary, reasonable and proportionate to the seriousness of the circumstances. Following the use of rigid bar handcuffs, staff must complete a statement to justify their decision.

Use of rigid bar handcuffs must be discussed at a subsequent local Use of Force committee meeting and lessons learned shared with all staff. This can include, for example, discussions on alternatives which may have de-escalated the situation and any further training that may be required.

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