26 July, 2016 10:45
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
An array of humans with real human emotions have today offered their real human opinions to the Northern Territory Juvenile Corrections sector, after ABC’s Four Corners program aired footage of a teenage boy, one of six boys tear-gassed at a juvenile detention centre near Darwin, being hooded and strapped to a mechanical restraint chair.
The footage is part of a catalogue of evidence obtained by Four Corners of the repeated assault and mistreatment of boys at youth detention centres in the Northern Territory.
Local Northern Territory father, Bruce, says that he thinks there might be better ways to deal with at-risk children with behavioural problems, aside from blatant psychological, physical and emotional torture.
“I saw the footage, and yeah, those kids were naughty – but I don’t think tear-gassing an entire unit with no ventilation is the right way to go about rehabilitating them – or even disciplining them,”
“Not to mention the part where they tied up that kid for three hours, seized by the neck with a blindfold and his arms strapped to the chair. That seems like an ineffective way to help a troubled kid overcome his complex issues surrounding guarded emotions and behavioural problems,”
Amnesty International has described the abuses carried out against children as shown in the Four Corners program as a violation of both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention Against Torture.
Julian Cleary, Indigenous rights campaigner at Amnesty International Australia, called for an end to the systemic abuse of children in youth detention.
“The footage of guards laughing at a child being tear-gassed and in distress defies belief.
Local adult prisoner, Darcy Kevinson, says that if any of the screws in the adult prison attempted to use those same procedures against him or his peers – he would guarantee that they would be held accountable through the use of a sharpened toothbrush.
“I find it astounding that an entire group of amateur Mixed-Martial Arts youth prison officers were unable to physically overpower an unruly child armed with a light fitting,”
“The use of tear gas was definitely over the top,”
However, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today calling for a Royal Commission into the revelations made by the ABC, Mr Kevinson does believe the guards at the centre of this scandal will be forced to answer for their actions.
“I just hope I end up in the same cell block as them.”