Monday, August 24, 2009

Killed in Juvie

A 15-year-old resident of the Tryon Residential Center detention center near Johnstown, N.Y. died in 2006 after being pinned face down on the floor and handcuffed by staff. The youth's death was ruled a homicide.

A Justice Department report also found that staff at the four centers routinely resorted to physical restraints for even minor infractions. "Anything from sneaking an extra cookie to initiating a fistfight may result in a full prone restraint with handcuffs," the report found. Staff used what the report termed "excessive force" to control behavior and the practices tended to escalate, rather that calm tensions, it said.

Restraints were used frequently, the report said, causing a high number of injuries. In 2007, staff used an average of 58 restraints a month at the Lansing Residential Center, near Ithaca, which houses girls, causing concussions, loss of teeth, and fractures, the report said. One girl suffered a spiral fracture to her left arm.

Youth, particularly at the Tryon centers, said it was common practice for staff to use what they called a "hook and trip." While staff members restrained a youth's arms behind the back, staff would trip the youth, so the youth would fall face first, resulting, in some cases, in broken teeth, the report said. (WSJ)

Reminds me of a scene from Bryce Courtenay's The Power of One. Only I thought that was something out of Africa. I had no idea it still goes on in my own backyard!

Is this stuff happening here?!

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