A teenager told the DPJ-Montérégie was locked up 15 days in a row – three handcuffed – in an empty cell with no windows, only fed sandwiches. Rape “several of his fundamental rights” which is social services censure of justice.
* Jonathan, 17, also reported that he had to relieve himself on the floor of the cell, before being forced to clean. After spending four days without washing.
The “retraction block” is intended to be used for shots 15 or 30 minutes or even hours, the time that a tantrum passes. Y jail for two weeks a young constitutes an “unreasonable measures” that “is not clinically defensible,” said Mireille Allaire judge in a very critical decision in the place of the Director of Youth Protection (DYP) . “The alert should have been given” after one or two days, already “an exceptional period”.
The situation has also deeply disturbed lawyers to represent the children of the DPJ – and they saw other. “The more scratched, the more we discovered things. At the office, we were all disturbed and surprised by the magnitude of the case, “lamented Mr. Perras Charlotte Vanier. “My manager is the right of youth for years, and she was really upset.”
“If people knew that this kind of thing Was …,” she added.
At the DPJ-Montérégie, it refuses to comment on this particular case, but it promises to implement the recommendation of Judge Allaire: the great patron of the organization is directly and personally warned “whenever” a young 24 passes hours in isolation. Whenever a judge recognizes that the rights of a minor have been violated, “is something that is unacceptable,” said the number two of the organization, Josée Morneau. “For sure this is not a situation that is taken lightly.”
A youth in distress
Jonathan is far from being an altar boy. It is followed in psychiatry since the age of 6 years and lagging a long history: death threats, assault causing a concussion and misdeeds.
At the material time, he was under the care of the DPJ both abandoned as a child to be protected from the violence of “family environment” and as a young offender.
On November 4, 2014, he was “violent and disorganized,” reported the judge, and he had himself asked to be placed in solitary confinement, before changing his mind. Jonathan was still leads the “retraction block.” He found himself shirtless during the intervention.
He spent 15 days in a single cell without furniture and without daylight. He can not get out because only three breaks of thirty minutes a day, during which he is handcuffed. Add daily shower – but the young complained of having been deprived four days away – and the passages to the bathroom and two court appearances.
Moreover, he “was handcuffed for three days.”
Yet Jonathan “has not been in crisis during the 15 days he was in isolation. As soon as he [had taken] calm, he should be returned in a regular unit, “lamented the Allaire judge.
“That a young person in isolation eat cold food, is not, according to the Court, failure to respect his rights, but it is subject to this treatment for two weeks becomes” wrote Judge .
“That he was, a few minutes shirtless because his shirt was torn during the altercation with the officers, can be explained. But he remains several hours constitutes a breach of physical integrity and dignity. “” I have a weight problem and I felt humiliated “by this partial nudity, explained the young in court.
“The Court blames the Director and stakeholders on how they handled the situation,” said the magistrate.
“As best we can”
For Jonathan’s lawyer, Charlotte Vanier Perras, the situation is completely unacceptable.
“We never denied the facts”, ie the fact that the young was difficult, she has said in an interview.
“The DPJ and rehabilitation centers, these are places that are supposed to be taken over a young like that. Even for a young person who has violent behavior, it is not justified he may live conditions that guy for 15 days. ”
Regarding the DPJ-Montérégie, we continue to trust the established rules and staff accordingly.
“Isolation is a measure of last resort, the use of handcuffs is more a measure of last resort,” explained Josée Morneau, director of youth protection assistant. “It’s for the safety of either the person or of others.”
For her, this case demonstrates “the complexity of the situation and means that are not easy to put into place,” she said. “We are dealing with young people who wear great suffering, who are facing great difficulties. I assure you we are trying to support them as best we can. ”
Indeed, Allaire judge refused to order the DPJ to pass on to the young a letter of apology, “since the good faith of stakeholders has never been questioned.”
* Fictitious Name. The press can not disclose the names of the adolescent.
A history of the DPJ-Montérégie
This is not the first time a judge criticized the DPJ-Montérégie have injured the rights of a child in its care. Last year, two judges in their judgments denounced the tendency of the organization to ignore their decisions intervention of an educator had not taken place and a sibling had been divided. The DPJ “deliberately ignored the court order”, denounced a judge. “Ignorance of the law and as a basic principle in dispensing […] can not constitute a justification,” wrote another. Unusually, the magistrates had even sent bailiffs in the office of the great patron of the DPJ that she personally receives a copy of their judgment. She had told La Presse take “quite” serious situation.