Immigrant teens reportedly strapped to chairs in US jails
Immigrant children held in detention facility of US state of Virginia were reportedly strapped to chairs with mesh bags covering their heads as American investigators dismiss allegations of abuse.
Publish date : Wednesday 15 August 2018 12:25
A state review into the treatment of immigrant teens did not find any abuse at the Shenandoah Valley juvenile center, according to a leaked document issued by the state’s department of juvenile justice.
The investigators argued that such practices do not meet the state’s standards of abuse or neglect.
“[Child Protective Services] completed its investigation into the allegations of abuse and found that there was no evidence of abuse or neglect,” read the report. “Conclusions of their investigations indicate that there were no life, health, or safety concerns for the residents at [the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center].”
Use of some restraints for safety reasons rather than punishment, referred to as a “Handle With Care” system in the report, is also common at the detention center.
Despite that, the report only recommended new furniture and paint for the prison as well as an effort to expand “culturally relevant programming.”
Prison officials were also urged to hire more bilingual staff to better communicate with the teenagers.
Investigation into abuse at the facility started after some of the teenagers said they were handcuffed, shackled and beaten.
“I take these allegations very seriously and directed members of my administration to immediately look into these claims of abuse and mistreatment,” Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam told the AP. “The safety of every child being held there is of the utmost importance.”
The investigators had no chance to interview the teenagers because they had either been deported or made sworn statements and transferred to other jails.
“The report confirms our long-standing dedication to being a well-run facility that treats our residents with respect and dignity,” the facility said in a statement.