Staff shake-up shock at youth custody centre Oakhill Secure Training Centre

Oakhill Secure Training Centre has brought in new line managers and staff training schemes after coming under fire for the number of painful restraint incidents at the young offenders facility in the past 12 months.

The Youth Justice Board reported that ‘painful distraction restraint techniques’ had been used 112 times in the past year at Oakhill. The centre opened in 2004 to “educate and rehabilitate young people remanded into custody”.

After the report, prisons minister David Hanson told Parliament earlier this month that further inspection by the Commission for Social Care Inspectorate (CSCI) into Oakhill found its development to be poor.

The findings prompted the launch of a three-year training and development programme at the Oakhill centre. Group 4 Securicor (G4S), which operates the 80-bed facility in Milton Keynes, has appointed a new director and committed an extra £1m to improving procedures, management capability and staff numbers at the facility.

A G4S spokesman told Personnel Today: “The number of senior and middle managers has been increased and considerably strengthened.

“We have also decided to increase the level of secure care staff and are in the process of maintaining that increased target,” he added.

Training and ongoing support for these new staff has been reviewed and there are now stronger support mechanisms in place to address this, he said.

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