Arkansas Wants this Jail to Stop Torturing Kids

The Yell County Juvenile Detection Center in Danville, Arkansas has long served as a jail for its juvenile detainees, operating its 24 beds since 1997. But it has come under scrutiny recently after the Arkansas Department of Human Services issued a cease and desist letter asking it to stop utilizing a certain type of restraint system on its detainees.

The system, called WRAP,  involves restraining the detainees in a mechanism that binds their legs together, their hands together, and covers their face. Here is a picture of State Juvenile Ombudsman Scott Tanner constrained by the WRAP system obtained by the local media using a Freedom  Of Information Act request:


Tanner went to Yell County to experience the system for himself after receiving a number of complaints from detainees. After the experience, Tanner filed a report saying that the WRAP system made it difficult to breathe and causes increased anxiety, and violates state standards designed to prevent head injury and act as a therapeutic, not punitive, measure.

“It is torture. This should not happen to kids,” concluded Tanner. He is calling on the Yell County facility to stop using the WRAP system and the county's sheriff has reportedly relayed that instruction to the staff. Tanner is also  investigating detention centers in Benton and Washington counties who use variations of the WRAP.

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