Dylan Voller’s mother regrets calling police

I recently wrote about the torture juvenile inmate Dylan Voller suffered in an Australian juvenile detention center. The story went viral and spawned an investigation into the abuse committed in the detention center. It also prompted protests against the torture and  international condemnation.

While some responded to the news stories with outrage, many were unsympathetic to Dylan’s abuse. They argued that Dylan either would not have been in the position to be abused or somehow deserved as a result of his criminal behavior. I noted in my first post that Dylan Voller is hardly an angel. He has been in and out of jail since he was 12, and his most recent crime involved a drug-fueled crime spree culminating in a violent assault.

Yet much of prison abuse happened prior to that crime spree. It also appears that outside of that last offense the worst Dylan has done is throw things at people, break objects, spit at guards, and threaten to hurt himself. None of those appear to justify the cruelty the guards used against Dylan.

They do, however, hint at a broader issue with Dylan. It is one that I suspected as I watched the videos of the guards abusing him. Dylan’s mother confirmed my suspicions in a recent interview. Joanne Voller told reports that she now regrets calling the authorities on her son.

She explained that Dylan attended at least five different schools in three years due to his behavior. She eventually contacted the NT Department of Children and Families services after her son broke a window. They told her that her son would receive the help he needed if she reported him. Instead, Dylan ended up in spending more time in jail than outside. Joanne stated: Continue reading

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Head of Australian prison abuse inquiry quits, replaced by aboriginal leader — The head of an Australian inquiry into the abuse of children in detention resigned on Monday, four days after being appointed to investigate prison video of aboriginal boys being abused, citing his lack of support from the country’s indigenous leaders. The Royal Commission will now be conducted by two commissioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda and retired Supreme Court judge Margaret White, Attorney-General George Brandis said Monday.

Former LA Sheriff Baca Withdraws Guilty Plea to Test Fate with Jury — Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca withdrew his guilty plea to a federal corruption charge today and will go to trial, with a court date tentatively set for September. After a morning of delays and last-minute negotiations, Baca told U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson he wished to withdraw from an agreement in which the retired lawman had pleaded guilty to a false statements charge, which ordinarily carries a possible five-year prison sentence. The plea deal called for Baca to serve no more than six months behind bars.

The Men’s Rights Movement: A Smart, Necessary Counterweight To Man-Hating Feminism — At the start of July, the second International Conference on Men’s issues was held at the ExCel centre in London, two years after the inaugural conference in Detroit. Jointly hosted by A Voice for Men and the British political party Justice for Men and Boys, men from all around the world flocked to the centre to hear people discuss real issues that affected them. Continue reading

The fallout over Australia’s torture of juvenile prisoners

The torture of Dylan Voller brought international attention after media outlets showed footage of repeated assaults against Voller, the most recent involving guarding strapping the then 17 year old into a restraint stair. In each instance Voller shows no signs of resistance, and reports suggest that at best he spat on guards and threatened to harm himself. None of his actions appear to justify the level of force used against him, nor do they explain the repeated instances of force over the years.

Voller told his lawyer that he now fears for his safety following the media coverage: Continue reading

The Torture of Dylan Voller

Few things enrage me as much as prisoner abuse, particularly the abuse of child inmates. I will entertain no excuse for it. I feel no sympathy for the guards to commit the abuse. I do not care what the child did prior to the abuse happening.

You do not get to torture children.

Yet this is something that most countries allow when they imprison children. A recent case in Australia shows frequently this occurs.

Guards at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre repeatedly stripped, choked, and restrained Dylan Voller over the several years he was imprisoned at the facility. His abuse has only been taken seriously due to the release of a video showing guards strapping Voller into a restraint chair, which they left him in for two hours:

It is part of a chilling catalogue of vision released for the first time showing the repeated stripping, assault and mistreatment of the boy, who was one of six children tear-gassed at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin in 2014.

The boy in the chair is Dylan Voller, who was a detainee at the Youth Detention Centre in Alice Springs at the time.

The footage, along with other instances of mistreatment highlighted on Four Corners, prompted Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs to call for a formal inquiry.

On the day of the incident, he was transferred to the adult prison and strapped into the chair for almost two hours after threatening to hurt himself so that he would be taken to hospital.

In the vision, Mr Voller, who is handcuffed and hooded, is being ordered by guards to walk backwards, hunched over, into an isolation cell before asking the guards why his mattress was taken away, telling them he has been treated like a dog.

Prison officers on duty can be heard saying Mr Voller had misbehaved by chewing on his mattress and threatening to break his hand.

The guards offered an explanation for their actions: Continue reading

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Boy ‘abused with a dog’ by Army recruits-inquiry — Senior recruits at an army apprentice school used a dog to abuse a boy who was training to join the Army Band, a national inquiry has heard. The abuse survivor, given the pseudonym CJU, told a royal commission hearing on Friday he had spent 38 years carrying the burden of his abuse. ‘Not only was I raped by my seniors and by staff at Balcombe (a Victoria-based school) who I thought I could trust, I was mentally abused with a dog, the lowest of the low, bestiality,’ he said.

Britain’s worst pedophiles convicted of historic abuse of young boy — Ex-Navy chief Douglas Slade, 74, and racing driver Christopher Skeaping, 71, were members of the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE). The pro-paedophile activist network openly campaigned for legal sex between adults and children in the 1970s and 80s, and wanted the age of consent to be axed or lowered. Twisted supporters of the group – which Jimmy Savile has been linked to – shared obscene material and advice with fellow deviants.

Ex-altar boy who spoke out about being sexually abused by priest found hanged in home — A Pennsylvania man who spoke out against clergy abuse after publicly identifying himself as a victim of a predator priest has killed himself, authorities said. Brian Gergely, 46, was found hanged in his home in Ebensburg on Friday, Cambria County Coroner Jeffrey Lees told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Gergely went public in 2003 while suing Monsignor Francis McCaa and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, saying he was abused as a 10-year-old altar boy. Continue reading

The politics of private prisons and child abuse

Minnesota’s largest prison for boys currently faces investigation over covering up allegations of sexual abuse. A staff member reported the allegations to her superiors, yet nothing was done to address them. The facility never reported the incidents to the state authorities, which violates state law. When the state began to investigate the allegations, it appears the people running the private prison Mesabi Academy used their political connections to quell the inquiry:

After Mesabi Academy objected to a certain investigator being on the case, St. Louis County removed him. When the county alerted two other counties it had “health and safety” concerns about the facility, Mesabi threatened to sue. And shortly after a St. Louis County official announced the contract was ending, a powerful politician intervened on Mesabi’s behalf and expressed concern about potential job losses at the Iron Range facility. The contract was renewed.

n Friday, county officials said they had closed their six-month investigation into Mattson’s allegations without determining any maltreatment had taken place. They said they had insufficient evidence.

But St. Louis County also confirmed Mesabi Academy didn’t report several allegations of sex abuse to authorities. State law required the academy to report such allegations to St. Louis County Child Protection or law enforcement within 24 hours of being told.

In all, the county said Friday it had closed its investigation into 20 allegations of maltreatment over the past 14 months, saying in each case that maltreatment could not be determined.

In at least three of those cases, it was clear that Mesabi Academy knew of allegations but did not report them to the county. It’s not clear how many others it kept secret.

There is a big enough problem with abuse in juvenile prisons to begin with it. Private prisons do not necessarily improve the situations because they have a completely different incentive to protect their reputation. Many of these prisons are run by corporations that operate several prisons. One black mark on one prison can affect their ability to create or continue to operate the others. Continue reading

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Australian Defence Force male recruits share stories of forced sodomy to Royal Commission — Horror stories about sexual abuse of teen recruits to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) continue to surface two years after the sexual abuse on 207 male teens from 1960 to 1984 while aboard HMAS Leeuwin came out. On Tuesday, the mother of a female teen recruit described the horrific sex acts done on her daughter which led the 15-year-old to commit suicide.

Child-sex abuse victim whose abuser is in Australian prison says Brooklyn Jewish group ignored, covered up allegations — Manny Waks says he was sexually abused as a child in Melbourne, Australia, by a member of the Brooklyn-based Chabad-Lubavitch sect. And like many other victims around the globe, the activist says, he’s been unable to get justice from the organization because of New York’s statute of limitations. Under New York State law, survivors have to file lawsuits by their 23rd birthday.

Convicted paedophile awaits sentencing for abuse of boys — The 69-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to three charges of sexual abuse on dates between January 1991 and May 1991 while the boys were aged five and 14-years-old. The youngest victim, now 30-years-old, said the man lived in a camper van next to his parent’s home. He said he was a friend of his parent’s and said “they trusted him, so I trusted him”. Continue reading