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Tuesday 19th of November 2019

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Juvenile prison guards strip searches cause mental health problems, former inmates claim

Monday 29th of July 2019 | Oceania, Australia
ABC News
News

Children as young as 10 years old are being routinely strip searched in juvenile detention in NSW with minimal or no contraband found, according to new data.

Key points:

Strip searches are routine practice in juvenile detention centres

They are conducted after contact visits with family or when detainees leave the facility

Former inmates claim the searches trigger mental health problems

The figures, obtained by the Human Rights Law Centre under Freedom of Information, show that in one month 403 strip searches were conducted on detainees at two NSW youth prisons.

In all the searches, only one item — a plain ping pong ball — was found.

Some former inmates claim the searches, which are routine practice, are triggering mental health problems.

Tommy*, 18, who lives on the Central Coast, was in and out of Frank Baxter Juvenile Justice Centre between 2016 and 2017 for stealing cars.

He claims he was routinely strip searched three to four times a week and was made to expose his genital area.

"Most of the people who strip searched me are old, it makes you feel uncomfortable," he said.

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  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO). Belgian Public Utility Foundation

    All rights reserved

  • Head Office: Rue Mercelis, nº 50. 1050. Brussels. Belgium

    Phone: 00 32 262 988 90. Fax: 00 32 262 988 99. oijj@oijj.org

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