21 March 2013

More kid gloves at Bimberi

| johnboy
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Joy Burch has announced she’s legislating more human rights compliance for the troubled children of the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre:

New laws passed in the ACT Legislative Assembly today will build on ongoing work to create a more effective youth justice system, Minister for Children and Young People Joy Burch said.

The changes to the Children and Young People Act, passed unanimously by the Assembly, follow recommendations in the Human Rights Commission Review of the ACT youth justice system.

The Human Rights Commission looked at the use of strip searches to maintain good order at the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre and recommended the practice cease. One amendment removes “good order” being a basis to conduct strip searches and body searches.

Another amendment strengthens the statutory requirement to report the use of force to a doctor or nurse, except for planned use of force, such as the use of flexicuffs or hand cuffs for escort purposes outside of the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre when this is determined to be necessary, such as when the young person is a flight risk.

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A strip search is obviously a fundamental assault on one’s dignity, and should only be undertaken if it’s deemed to be absolutely necessary. I would’ve thought though, that maintaining “good order” would be one of the fundamental reasons why a strip search would be required. If the staff can’t do this to maintain order within the facility, then what other reasons could there be for doing so?

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