Disturbance breaks out at youth jail

Three youths who climbed on to the roof of a young offender complex during a disturbance came down today, the Prison Service said.

Staff at Feltham young offender institution in west London had been trying to talk down the inmates who had been running across rooftops and shouting abuse, after clambering up shortly after 8pm yesterday.

After the incident started, a number of other inmates lit fires in their cells but they were quickly extinguished and dealt with by staff, the Prison Service said.

Today, a Prison Service spokeswoman said: "It is

resolved. The first person came down at approximately 1.20am with the other two coming down at 5.35am. They have been relocated in a segregation unit."

There was not thought to be serious damage as a result of yesterday's trouble, although it has yet to be assessed.

The spokeswoman said that at this stage, it was not known what caused the disturbance at the centre.

The centre has a troubled history.

The Commission for Racial Equality has accused the Prison Service of a "shocking catalogue of failure" for not preventing the death of teenager Zahid Mubarek at Feltham in March 2000.

Chairman Trevor Phillips said at the launch of the initial CRE report into racism in the Prison Service in July that it told a "sombre, shocking tale" of Mr Mubarek's death.

The 19-year-old was beaten to death in his sleep after officers placed him in a cell with racist thug Robert Stewart, who had "RIP" tattooed on his forehead.

Stewart's security file detailing his violent history was not read, he was not seen by a doctor or psychiatrist and letters to friends detailing his racist thoughts and murderous intentions were either never read by prison staff or were ignored, July's report found.

The head of the Prison Service spoke of his "shame and horror" yesterday after the second part of the CRE's report unveiled a catalogue of racism in jails.

Phil Wheatley said he had agreed a major new action plan after the devastating investigation by the CRE found the Prison Service guilty of racial discrimination.

Over a period of years covered by the report there were repeated incidents of racist graffiti in jails visited by CRE staff.

More than 50% of inmates at Feltham are black or Asian.

HM Young Offender Institution Feltham was set up in 1991 by the amalgamation of two other centres.

It has a capacity of 922 and is split into Feltham A, housing juveniles up to 17, and Feltham B for prisoners aged 18 to 21.

The prison regime includes education workshops,

vocational training in the construction industry, farms and gardens, works, and NVQs.

One to one teaching, drug counselling, and pre-release courses are also given inmates.

The former Chief Inspector of Prisons, Sir David Ramsbotham described Feltham as "one of the worst" parts of the prison system on leaving his job.

He also called for a government rethink on its approach to young offenders.

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