Convicted rioters victimised by other prisoners, relatives say

Conditions inside young offenders' institutions are deteriorating in the wake of the riots as the prison population reaches a new high and courts continued to remand large numbers of young people behind bars.

Relatives and solicitors acting on behalf of teenagers inside juvenile prisons have told The Independent of worsening conditions, with attacks on suspected rioters, overcrowding in cells and long periods of detention designed to separate riot prisoners from others.

One mother, whose teenage son is serving a sentence at Isis Young Offender Institution in Thamesmead, described how he was assaulted by inmates who thought he was a rioter. "They thumped him right in the face," she said. "He's not one of the rioters. But because he arrived on the same day as some of the rioters those inside attacked him." The mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said cells had mattresses placed on the floor for new arrivals. "Those cells are tiny," she said. "The person on the floor will have their head right next to a toilet."

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