24 Oct 04
Abuse of Juveniles at Arpaio's Jail
Today I received an eyewitness account from a reliable source that described some violence that occurred last month at the Madison Street jail. Sadly, the victims were juveniles.
The juveniles are housed upstairs in the jail where they suffer the same conditions as the adults. On the day in question, the juveniles had been raising hell - their activity included several fights, gallivanting around the pod naked with pink towels wrapped around their heads, and, one of them had tried to hang himself. Failed suicide attempts always invite harsh reprisals.
A dozen restraint chairs were brought to the juveniles' pod. These contraptions look like they've been lifted from a medieval torture chamber. Inmates limbs are strapped into these chairs. They are low to the ground and have tilted backs. To prevent spitting, nets are sometimes placed over the inmate's face.
The violence began with the guards tasing most of the juveniles, who collapsed on the floor.
One of the untased juveniles spat on a guard’s face. This juvenile was held down and pummelled by two officers twice his age, size and weight. The pod was searched, property was confiscated and the juveniles were left to suffer wearing only their pink boxers. Some of them got to spend a few days confined to their cells completely naked.
Surely committing violence on juveniles is only going to traumatise them and add to their future unlawfulness.