Allegations of 'hogtying' youth at correctional facility

LAS VEGAS -- Claims are being made concerning children being hogtied as a form of punishment at a juvenile corrections facility in Nevada.

After hearing the allegations, a family court judge ordered all the juveniles from Clark County be removed from the Nevada Youth Training Center in Elko.

It's up to the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services to make sure state facilities are safe and children are treated with dignity. The agency denies the allegations.

The claims allege boys were being forced to lay on the ground with their hands and feet bound together behind their backs. According to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, it is legal to restrain a youth at high risk of harming themselves or others. The allegations say the practice was being used as punishment.

After hearing those claims Thursday, Clark County Judge William Voy ordered 12 children be removed from the  Nevada Youth Training Center.

A court spokesperson says the judge cannot comment because it is a pending matter involving juveniles. Chief deputy district attorney Brigid Duffy says her office is now trying to figure out where the boys will go.

"So they can't go from detention back home just because this happened. We need to know they've had their services and that it's safe for the community, for them to come out of their last dispositioned placement which was Elko," Duffy said.

She says the claims of abuse are alarming.

"All of those should be thoroughly investigated to make sure there was no abuse or neglect of a youth," Duffy said.

8 News NOW called the family services division and was told the Department of Health and Human Services would be fielding questions on the allegations. A statement was released, which read, in part, "Even though the identified restraint which ensures appropriate safety of the youth and staff adheres to American Correctional Association requirements, it has not been used at NYTC since Dec. 2013."

Regardless, staff intends to respond to Judge Voy's verbal order by relocating the youth as timely as possible.

"Our four state facilities serve a purpose for community safety and rehabilitation, but regardless of the delinquent act, no child deserves to be abused or neglected," Duffy said.

 


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