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From: The Socialist issue 971, 15 November 2017: Tories on the brink - kick them out!

Search site for keywords: Prisons - Young people - Profit - Independent - Socialist - Probation - Psychiatric - Youth - Privatised - Detention - G4s

4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

Many inmates, young and adult, should be in care or probation, not prison

Many inmates, young and adult, should be in care or probation, not prison   (Click to enlarge)

End assaults on inmates

No to profit-making prisons

Theo Sharieff, Socialist Party youth organiser

Thousands of young people have been harmed while being 'restrained' by officers in secure facilities.

Around 4,800 under-18s have been injured this way in young offenders' institutions and 'secure training centres' since 2010, figures obtained by a Labour MP indicate. Meanwhile, the Commons recently discussed reforming physical restraint of patients in psychiatric institutions.

The Socialist Party would welcome measures improving the accountability of staff in all detention facilities. Scandals in recent years have uncovered appalling psychological and physical abuse in privatised institutions.

We demand a full, genuinely independent inquiry into these horrendous revelations, led by the trade unions.

The working class is ever more accustomed to 'official', 'independent' or 'public' inquiries devolving into blatant miscarriages of justice. Instead of providing answers, the establishment deliberately uses them to draw out proceedings and muddy the waters, counteracting any accountability.

Legislation from up high - while important - would not on its own be sufficient to improve the dreadful regimes in these institutions. For a start we have to kick out sinister privateers like G4S.

And only the active, democratic control of workers and communities can ensure accountability and protect the lives of often vulnerable people.

Many inmates should be in care or probation, not locked away in profit-making prisons.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

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Article dated 15 November 2017

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