American courts routinely shackle children



The girl’s case and others like it have led advocates and defense attorneys to call on the court to end its practice of routinely shackling incarcerated youths during court proceedings — and to instead use the restraints only in instances where a juvenile is deemed to be a risk.

So, that would be all the time, then… remember we’re talking about American juveniles, here. If watching Hollywood movies has taught me anything, it’s that American teenagers are unstoppable, and easily able to outwit and overcome any government or police force. In Red Dawn teenage American football players outfought heavily armed professional soldiers who had them outnumbered three-to-one!


But that was fiction. White teens aren’t a risk in real life.


Unless you’re female, or you know, of color.


The story of the 13-year-old is really bad, but the story at the end of an 8-year-old being shackled having been arrested for sexual assault on his birthday actually made me feel ill.


But the cops don’t know that. For all they know this crying 13 year old girl could be a maniacal killer who might steal one of their guns and shoot the place up. Making personal judgement calls just get you into trouble when you’re wrong, and nothing when you’re right except for a bit of humanity.


There’s only one answer to that: shackle everyone. And no I don’t mean in court. If everyone was shackled everywhere I can guarantee you there’d be a lot less crime! That way the cops would feel safe and needn’t fear anyone grabbing their guns and shooting any place up.


They would if they could.


I find it hard to believe that the agents of the youth authority in question are afraid of these children. It sounds much more like sadists getting their kicks. It makes me wonder how many corrections officers working at youth authorities are actually pedophiles.


I don’t see those as mutually exclusive choices. I’d be totally unsurprised if it turned out that half the people involved with youth criminal justice are cowardly and sadistic pedophiles.


To be fair, I’d be surprised by half. The Catholic church only managed about 4% according to the pope, so probably similar levels.


Indeed! Cops (in the US at least) have the right to be just as safe as someone working in an office! Just because they made a choice to be in a profession that sometimes has them dealing with emotional/dangerous/mentally unstable people doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be just as warm, safe, and coddled. So shoot first, shoot quickly, beat 'em hard frequently and excessively, shackle 'em, and lock 'em up and throw away the key!


Citation requested.


Also, it puts people “in their place”. Subservience is the goal of the police, when it comes to anyone and everyone not among their ranks.

They don’t have to get turned on sexually to get turned on by the power trip. Police, prosecutors, social workers, guards, the whole damn lot of them.


I don’t know how many “MORE WONDERFUL THINGS” I can take…


I wonder if this is a “Scared Straight” type of approach; it obviously had a lasting impression on her and it appears that she may be staying out of trouble now. It’s still messed up though. My heart sank for the little boy at the end of the story who inquired about his birthday cake.


Please note in advance: I’m not trying to defend this, just understand it.

From the cited article:

[quote]The District is unusual in that it is the only place in the country where U. S. marshals escort juvenile defendants. In most places, youth rehabilitation services, sheriffs or police transport and oversee young defendants.

David Neumann, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service, said the service’s policy requires all prisoners, regardless of age, to be in restraints when in the courtroom.[/quote]

The U.S. Marshals are the primary agency for fugitive operations, so at some (horrible) level it makes sense that they would see everyone in their custody as a captured fugitive and treat them accordingly.

Again, I deplore the situation described in the article, and consider it a cowardly cop out to describe routinely shackling juveniles as “for their safety.”


In a world… where this shit happens:

The (8 year old) boy, who weighed about 60 pounds, sat in a chair with his feet dangling. Prosecutors said the boy allegedly touched a little girl inappropriately at his birthday party hours earlier and he was arrested for sexual assault. Before the hearing, Crespo said, his client kept whispering: “My mommy said I can still have my birthday cake. I can still have my cake, right?” Crespo recalled. The charges were later dropped.

All according to procedure, see?

Not many people arranged to be born into Catholicism so they could indulge in their monstrosity. (Buddhist pause)… I think


I seem to recall from my psychology classes that it’s really hard for us to remain unbiased when certain visual cues are in play. From the way videos of suspect confessions are made, to seeing defendants in shackles. It seems like this would bias people, or at least reduce their empathy for defendants if they are always in shackles.


I got the impression that it’s a phenomenon matching perfectly to the punishment fixated 18th century-style US judicial system: ultra- long sentences, death penalty with gruesome execution, torture (isolation), demeaning public punishments (no or little resocialization efforts) … rattling chains fit perfectly into this image.