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Health needs of children in prison
  1. M Mather
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr M Mather
    Bexley Primary Care Trust, 221 Erith Road, Bexleyheath, Kent DA7 6HZ, UK;

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Commentary on the paper by Gould and Payne

To the international readers of Archives, the article in this issue by Gould and Payne1 will come as yet one more puzzling insight into the nature of the British attitude to children. Why does a nation with so many admirable qualities have such a punitive attitude to the most vulnerable members of society, our children?

Britain was the last state in Europe to ban corporal punishment in schools. The House of Commons did not vote for the abolition of state sanctioned physical punishment in the classroom until 1986, and it took a further 12 years for corporal punishment to be banned in independent schools. This ban still does not extend to schools in Northern Ireland. Ten states …

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