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Nov 3, 2017

16-year-old Murder Accused Sanctioned and Straitjacketed

Audrey Matura

Despite efforts made by Matura to reason with security personnel and to reach out to the C.E.O. of Kolbe, she was denied access to her client. She alleges that her client is being abused at the hands of prison management. When she pressed prison officials, Matura found out that following a court appearance on Monday, the teenager was placed in solitary confinement and in a straight jacket. She also claims that it occurred in the absence of a medical practitioner and a social worker.

 

Audrey Matura, Attorney

“The last time we went to which is Monday, my client came to me and told me that he had been pepper sprayed by the QRT team and his eyes were all swollen and the scabs and so. I was preparing for the submissions that morning, so I asked the officer, Corporal Ireland, who is the officer of the court, to please issue him a medical form and to please take a statement from him so that my client can put in writing what happened and then I follow it up. When I kept calling Corporal Ireland, I never got through; I only found out until two days after that they said they didn’t have time to do it. What I found out today is that my client has been placed in what they call the hole; it’s like an area of solitary confinement. It is a small room, totally dark and damp and with a solid door so that you can’t see and just a little window. He’s not allowed to come out, he is limited with food; he has been cavity searched and they recorded the cavity search and he has been placed in a straight jacket…all of that totally illegal. While the prison may have a process and internal tribunal, they have to follow a process. You can’t just decide to punish someone and especially a minor. And so I began inquiry too, well there are social workers there; the social workers have to be present when these things happen. So that’s a whole different issue. My understanding is that my client has been placed in a straight jacket more than once since he has come back from court. But for that to be done, under the same regulations that the prison operates under, one; there must be a medical officer who recommends it. Two, the medical officer has to be present to make sure that it is done properly so that the person is not injured. However, for that to even be done, there has to be some proof or something certifying that there are three basis under which he can be placed in a straight jacket. One, he has indicated that he would injure himself so that is to prevent him from harming himself. Two, he is disruptive or disorderly or three, he has damaged property. None of that has been declared for my client. I stopped off by Mister John Woods and left a note that I need to talk to him urgently. I’ve made calls to Miss Frazer because she is on the board there. I’ve put messages on Facebook and send messages to other members of the board because I am of the belief that no reasonable board—and that board is comprised of reputable people—would be sanctioning that.”

 

Through attorney Oscar Selgado, a habeas corpus has since been filed with the Supreme Court, asking a judge for the prison to produce her client. News Five attempted, but did not get a comment from Kolbe. 

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