Despicable, we have seen this overseas and thanked GOD it could never happen here. I think by the immediate actions of the Federal Government in calling and Royal Commission says a lot. Disgusting, if this is how my child might be treated if he committed crimes in NT, bloody hell, help us all! NO human deserves to be treated as a DOG or worse. NO matter what
I am compiling all the videos so they can be seen together, folks. Appalling, never in my dreams did I think we treat anybody like this. ALL these kids are underage.No matter what they did or why they are there we as a society are not violent. I personally am not surprised the individuals shown reacted they way they did. It is a matter of survival! At least a dozen clips on the way stay tuned
Here is the whole video in one go.I do prey that in the interests of the publics right to know and to educate our country I do NOT get a strike.
John Elferink sacked from Corrections in wake of Four Corners report; Adam Giles alleges culture of cover-up
NT Chief Minister Adam Giles has sacked his Corrections Minister John Elferink in the wake of the damning ABC Four Corners report into the mistreatment of teenage prisoners, while alleging there has been a “culture of cover-up” within the Corrections system.
- John Elferink remains as Mental Health Minister, Attorney-General
- Adam Giles alleges cover-up of video evidence
- Staff seen in Four Corners report still in Corrections system
John Elferink, the minister responsible for young detainees in the Northern Territory, has been sacked in the wake of the damning ABC Four Corners report into the mistreatment of teenage prisoners.
At a press conference today, NT Chief Minister Adam Giles announced he had taken over the portfolios of Corrections and Justice from Mr Elferink.
“Can I start by saying that anybody who saw that footage on television last night on Four Corners would undoubtedly describe it as horrific footage. I sat and watched the footage and recognised horror through my eyes,” Mr Giles said.
He said the footage aired in the Four Corners report had been withheld from him, Mr Elferink and “many officials in government” — with him only seeing it for the first time “on television last night”.
“I think over time there has most certainly been a culture of cover-up within the Corrections system,” he said.
“I think there’s been a culture of cover-up going on for many a long year. The footage we saw last night [went] back to 2010 — and I predict this has gone on for a very long time.”
He said his government had been “working very hard to try and fix many of those issues”.
“What we’re changing is a culture of an organisation within the youth detention system and I think we’ve come a long way in that time. That’s not to discredit any of that terrible footage we saw on Four Corners last night. It was terrible footage but we’re seeking to improve the system,” Mr Giles said.
When asked if he personally was comfortable with children being strapped into restraint chairs, Mr Giles refused to answer definitively.
“We’re going to have a look at that as part of the royal commission. We will have a review into that. I can’t talk about individual cases,” he said.
“There are kids who are trying to deliberately cause cranial issues by bashing their head against the wall.
“Prison officers need the ability to be able to de-escalate issues when children are not in … a calm environment within themselves and at all times those kids’ wellbeing is being put at the best possible place.
“Having said that, there is certainly footage last night, particularly the footage dating back to 2010, 2012 and 2014 where I don’t think the standards have been upheld.”
Mr Giles said the Northern Territory community was “sick of youth crime … they have had a gutful”.
“They’ve had a gutful of cars getting smashed up, houses getting broken into, people being assaulted. There’s no doubt. And the majority of the community is saying let’s lock these kids up,” he said.
Some staff from footage still with corrections
The Acting Commissioner of Corrections Mark Payne, who took over in 2015, admitted some staff seen in the Four Corners report were still working with NT Corrections.
“A number of the staff, particularly those who have become the subject of previous investigations, a number of those staff members are no longer with us in the organisation. They’ve either been terminated in their employment or have chosen to resign,” Mr Payne said.
“A number of staff members who may have been implicated to sustain charges, criminal or internal, remain with us.
“There were only two staff members identified in footage last night that still remain within the youth justice sphere.”
Asked if he held any concerns for the welfare of youth detainees, Mr Payne said he did not.
“I have no concern and, in fact, I should remind the public that we have the Children’s Commissioner and their staff come in to our facilities once a week,” he said.
“We have representatives and our elders visiting program coming into the facility.
“We invite people in tours of the facility so as I stated previously, when I came into the organisation I found certainly a different place and its certainly a different place today in 2016 to what was identified in the footage last night.”
Elferink office target of attack
Asked where the Mr Elferink was, Mr Giles answered: “I don’t know.”
“I imagine he’s are probably in his office. I’ve advised John that I am assuming the Corrections responsibility immediately and that occurred five minutes before I walked into this office,” he said.
Mr Giles said Mr Elferink would retain his other portfolios, including Health, Children and Families and Mental Health.
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- Video shows teen prisoners tear-gassed, ‘tortured’ in NT
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- Triggs calls for inquiry into mistreatment of NT children in detention
- John Elferink: Who is the man in charge of NT youth detention?
This morning, Mr Elferink’s Darwin electoral office was the target of a vandal graffiti attack with police attending the scene.
Mr Elferink is yet to speak publicly since the Four Corners report, in which he is featured offering ABC journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna a lift on his motorcycle to the Don Dale area where the so-called “riot” took place in 2014.
The ABC revealed the riot never happened and was concocted by prison authorities as an excuse for the use of tear-gassing of six boys.
Evidence of ‘torture’ of children held in Don Dale detention centre uncovered by Four Corners
Vision of the tear-gassing of six boys being held in isolation at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin in August 2014 has been obtained by Four Corners, exposing one of the darkest incidents in the history of juvenile justice in Australia.
The vision is part of an investigation featuring a chilling catalogue of footage revealing a pattern of abuse, deprivation and punishment of vulnerable children inside Northern Territory youth detention centres.
The tear-gassing incident was described as a “riot” at the time, with media reporting multiple boys had escaped their cells in the isolation wing of the prison, known as the Behavioural Management Unit (BMU), and threatened staff with weapons.
But CCTV vision and handy-cam recordings made by staff, obtained exclusively by Four Corners, show only one boy escaped his cell after it was left unlocked by a guard.
Former corrections commissioner Ken Middlebrook last year defended the officer’s actions in the wake of a damning report by the Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner.
“I am not in the business of overuse of force. There were two sprays from an aerosol in the area. Now it wasn’t overuse of gas,” Mr Middlebrook told the ABC at the time.
But CCTV vision from the incident shows 10 bursts of tear gas being sprayed into the enclosed area over the space of one-and-a-half-minutes.
All six boys were exposed to the tear gas, five while still locked in their cells.
Not all the children were misbehaving — two boys can be seen on CCTV calmly playing cards before being exposed to the fumes. Another can be seen repeatedly smashing the wall of his cell with a broken light fitting.
The 14-year-old boy who escaped his cell can be heard repeatedly asking how long he had been in isolation and requesting to talk to staff.
Instead of negotiating with the boy, prison staff can be heard laughing and mocking him, calling the boy “an idiot” and a “little f****r”.
- Teens tear-gassed in NT youth detention
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- NT detention centre’s use of tear gas on teens ‘institutionalised brutality’
- Teenage detainees hooded in NT adult prison
- Lawyers voice concerns about youth treatment Don Dale
- Teen escapes to remain in adult prison locked in cells 23 hours a day
Four Corners has managed to track down several of the boys who were tear gassed. They describe being highly distressed, afraid for their lives, and say that two years on they are now suffering from disturbing flashbacks and nightmares from the ordeal.
The CCTV vision also shows the children’s reactions as they are affected by the gas, running to the back of their cells, hiding behind sheets and mattresses, gasping for air, crying, and bending over toilets.
One boy is left in his cell and exposed to tear gas for eight minutes. He is seen lying face down on the floor with his hands behind his back, before being handcuffed by two prison officers wearing gas masks and dragged out of his cell.
‘Ticking time bomb’ of potentially unlawful solitary confinement
The use of tear gas at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in 2014 came after months of tension, repeated escapes and incidents at the centre, which was staffed with under-trained Youth Justice Officers, in what has been described as a “ticking time bomb” by former staff.
Three weeks before the tear-gassing incident, five boys had escaped from Don Dale.
When they were recaptured, they were placed in the isolation wing of the prison for between 15 and 17 days, in what were described by both children and staff as appalling and inhumane conditions.
They were kept locked in their cells for almost 24 hours a day with no running water, little natural light, and were denied access to school and educational material.
The boys being kept in isolation were accidentally discovered by a group of lawyers, including solicitor Jared Sharp, when they were taken on a tour of the facility in August 2014.
“We all sort of looked at each other in shock that there was kids in these cells, because there was signs of life in there but we didn’t know who was in there or what was happening, or how long they’d been there,” Mr Sharp told Four Corners.
“To what extreme is that, is to my view is torture. To my view that is treating kids in a way that is just entirely unacceptable,” he said.
Human Rights Lawyer Ruth Barson said the isolation of the children was a clear violation of the United Nations Convention against Torture.
“The UN’s expert on torture has said there are no circumstances that justify young people being held in solitary confinement, let alone prolonged solitary confinement,” Ms Barson told Four Corners.
“I think the NT and in particular Don Dale has a long way to go to ensure their practices are compliant with Australia’s obligation on the convention against torture and against the right of the child.”
Government says improvements made
In the days after the tear gassing, NT Corrections Minister John Elferink praised the actions of his staff and the prison security dog used on the night of the incident.
“I congratulate again, and place my support behind, the staff who made this decision. The staff worked hard, Fluffy the Alsatian worked hard and, as far as we are concerned, it was a problem that was solved quickly,” Mr Elferink told Parliament.
In the wake of the incident, the Don Dale centre was closed and the children were moved to the run-down, old Berrimah adult prison.
The NT Government commissioned an independent report into the incident by former Long Bay prison boss Michael Vita, which was released in January 2015.
Mr Elferink told Four Corners the Government had learned from the mistakes of the past.
“It was a system that needed improvement. It was a system that had fundamental problems, which is why I’ve worked so hard to improve it and it has been improved,” he said.
“That was a circumstance that clearly demonstrated to me that something had to be done, which is what the Vita Report was all about.
“Those circumstances have now been changed… we hope that they won’t be repeated.”
NT Children’s Commissioner Colleen Gwynne confirmed to Four Corners there are still ongoing issues with youth detention in the Northern Territory, with many of her 2015 report recommendations still not implemented.
“The response has not been as urgent as we would have liked. The issues raised in that report are extremely serious and I would like to see a more full response,” she said.
“[We need] some urgency and some dedicated resources thrown at this.”