Report Reveals Abuse, Neglect of Girls in New York Juvenile Prisons

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a report on Monday revealing the abuse and neglect that is inflicted upon young girls in two New York juvenile prisons. The report highlights the prisons’ violent restraint methods, which consist of grabbing the girls from behind and pushing them to the floor, causing rug burns, bruises, and sometimes broken limbs. While this method of restraint is prohibited by international principles and should only be used “in order to prevent the juvenile from inflicting self-injury, injuries to others or serious destruction of property,” according to the ACLU, it is frequently used as punishment for minor infractions, such as an inmate forgetting to make her bed. This restraint technique was used an average of ten times a year per female inmate from January 2004 to January 2006.

Accounts of sexual abuse against incarcerated girls were also documented in the report. The ACLU and HRW reported that, in the past five years, there have been three cases of prison staff having intercourse with inmates. Employees also humiliated the girls by remarking on their personal histories of sexual abuse, sexual experience, and sexually transmitted infections, according to Reuters.


ACLU 9/25/06; Human Rights Watch 9/25/06; Reuters 9/25/06

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