Associated Press – September 12, 2006:

The public defender’s office is trying to convince local judges and the Florida Bar that forcing child suspects to appear in court in handcuffs and leg shackles is inhumane and should be banned.

“One would never expect that in 2006 we would see daily reminders of when human beings were kept in bondage,” said Miami-Dade County Public Defender Bennett H. Brummer.

Brummer’s office filed a series of motions Monday with Juvenile Court judges seeking an end to the practice and on Thursday will seek support from the Florida Bar for a statewide prohibition.

At least one judge agreed. “I have always said (juveniles) should not be chained in my courtroom,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Johnson said.

The state Department of Juvenile Justice said the practice is justified because some youthful suspects are accused of serious crimes.

Broward County’s public defender, Howard Finklestein, said he intends to file motions similar to those in Miami-Dade.

These are children, and we are treating them like wild animals,” Finklestein said.



  1. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    I feel increasingly that we live in a society that is focused on vengeance rather than justice, so I am sure that many think chaining teens is just fine. I’m with Brummer on this.

    However, it is unclear (as so much reporting is) what is actually at issue. Who is in chains and what did they do? Are we talking about non-violent offenders of property laws or the like, or are we talking about violent offenders. I think that might matter. If a 17 year old goes on a killing spree one dark night, I can’t see much opposition to handcuffs. But if we are talking about a kid who spray painted an anarchy logo (does anyone even do that anymore?) on the trunk of a squad car, we can probably dispense with the chains and get on with the business of assigning some gruelling community service work.

    And the picture above is rather stupid. I mean, are any of you bloggers getting any sex at all? Given how many softcore pics you post, I guess you are coming up short in that pursuit. I can give you pointers on talking to women if ya like… 🙂

  2. SN says:

    “And the picture above is rather stupid.”

    Ok, you win this round!

  3. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    WOW!!!!

    I suddenly feel like the post powerful nerd on the Internet!

    I rule over all I survey! FEAR ME!

    🙂

  4. Stu Mulne says:

    I like the old picture….

    There are three types of juvenile offenders, IMHO.

    There are kids who would probably hold the Deputy’s gun for him without any risk. They really don’t need any restraint.

    There are kids who probably would go home after court and get their own guns to shoot up the Judge. They likely need serious restraint.

    There are kids who even a seasoned LEO might not be able to categorize as one of the other two…. Padded cuffs?

    We also have to look at whether the kids are there for some sort of preliminary hearing (i.e., the Judge is really just deciding whether or not to have a full-fledged trial, and whether or not to hold the kids pending that trial). Might as well not fool around there and let ’em wear whatever they happen to have on, and restrained in whatever manner fits their alleged offense.

    Once they actually go to trial (some cases end long before that), the idea of what kind of clothing and/or restraints is of more importance. By then somebody should know how tightly to lock up the kids….

    Regards,

    Stu.

  5. Jägermeister says:

    #3

    I’ll be damned… they let out Saddam… 🙁

  6. Whaapp! says:

    “These are children, and we are treating them like wild animals,” Finklestein said.

    Well SOME of these kids act like wild animals and NEED to be restrained for public safety.

  7. sirfelix says:

    Crimes like vandalism are just the tip of the iceberg in many cases. Teens/children who think that vandalizing someone else’s property is fun or funny have a fundamental problem with knowing what is right and wrong. The parents decided not to punish these criminals as children. Are we to pamper them for this or show them what the consequences are for doing something wrong?
    This is a basic issue with the justice system as a whole and applies to adults as well as children. One day these vandals might grow up to rob your homes or rape your daughters.

    Jail should be a punishment, not a vacation.

  8. Angel H. Wong says:

    OhForTheLoveOf:

    I’m gay.

  9. Mr. H. Fusion says:

    One day these vandals might grow up to rob your homes or rape your daughters.

    then again, they might grow up to be President of the United States.

    Jail should be a punishment, not a vacation.

    Comment by sirfelix — 9/12/2006 @ 4:15 pm

    We are talking about kids that have only been charged with an offense. I don’t know about your Constitution, but where I live we have this concept of “Innocent until proven guilty”. If they are found guilty, then sure, punish them. If they are found not guilty, are you going to take back that punishment?

    I really feel sorry for you Felix. Someone has hurt you in the past. You have a lot of anger and pain showing. We all feel it. Have you tried to get in touch with your feminine self?

  10. sirfelix says:

    Fusion, I grew up in New Orleans, and lived there up till 2 years ago. Whats considered the murder/crime capital of the US is great for tourist, but until you lived there you don’t know whats its like to fear crime.
    Hearing gun fire in middle class neighborhoods, children bringing guns to school and seeing 2-3 murders every night on the news. What you saw during the Katrina tragedy happens there daily.
    Families are fatherless or have 3 generations of family members in jail already.

    If you want jail to be a deterent then make it so they fear going there. When life in jail or the arresting experience is BETTER then their home life the system is fighting a losing battle. Bring back chain gangs.

  11. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #8 I’m gay.

    Comment by Angel H. Wong — 9/12/2006 @ 4:17 pm

    I like that about you 🙂

  12. Angel H. Wong says:

    OhForTheLoveOf:

    Thanks for the comment! 🙂

    Funny comments aside (which made me forget about writing my opinion on this news) EVERYONE says “don’t do that to him/her! He’s/she’s just a kid!” until their son/daughter is raped and then had his/her head smashed against the wall for being too tight for the teen criminals.

  13. Smartalix says:

    When we punish instead of rehabilitate we perform a double indignity. To the child, we rob his or her future, and to society, we deprive it of a potentially productive citizen.

    I recognize that we must isolate society from those that would undermine it, but currently we don’t make the distinction Stu suggested in comment #4 and just lump both light and heavy offenders together.

    We ourselves further undermine society by criminalizing vice. All vice should be taxed and regulated. Why gambling and not marijunana? Are we in an argument over lethality? I don’t know anyone who lost their life savings buying pot. (Or had their liver destroyed by it, either.)

    Add to that zero-tolerance school policies over the most ridiculous things, and you have a lot of kids going to jail that shouldn’t. The very act of punishment creates a menace to society.

  14. rofl says:

    HEY!!!!

    this is florida, ok. Hellloooo…. (aka ppls in florida are morons – see fark.com “florida” tag).

  15. If you’re old enough to know how to use a gun, premeditate a crime, and execute it, then you’re old enough to face the consequences.

    No more hippee justice.

  16. Shane L. says:

    It says it in the title “Should teenage criminals be treated like criminals?”Teenage criminals ARE criminals. They know what they are doing and if you treet them softly they will learn nothing.

    -Shane

  17. Curmudgen says:

    Hearing gun fire in middle class neighborhoods, children bringing guns to school and seeing 2-3 murders every night on the news.

    Welcome to Fayette County PA

    The other day an 8 year old cffered to put a cap in my ass. I declined and sped off. How and where do you treat this??

  18. Mike says:

    “I feel increasingly that we live in a society that is focused on vengeance rather than justice”

    You must have missed reading where people used to be tarred and feathered for just being government employees charged with carrying out an unpopular policy.

    We, as a society, have become increasingly more lenient and continue to grant many more privileges to criminals who have forfeited their rights than have ever been granted during the past.

  19. Peter Rodwell says:

    The report refers to chaining kids while they’re in court. How much restraint do kids – or any prisoners – need in a courtroom? Aren’t there guards to stop prisoners from machine-gunning the judge? Just another example of how medieval the USA is.

  20. rctaylor says:

    When you make exceptions to regulations you open them up to interpretation by those enforcing them. This is seldom a good practice. You’re talking about some violent juvenile offenders here that has no respect for courts or anyone else. If you want to attack this problem you need to do it before the children are born. For the most part it is society with too many disenfranchised youths. It’s never been solved before in any society, so good luck.

  21. sh says:

    DONT TREAT THEM LIKE CRIMINALS. give them free education,
    the love they never received at home and a pat on the ass for good measure.

  22. xrayspex says:

    They know what they are doing and if you treet them softly they will learn nothing

    I get tired of hearing this ridiculous argument.

    Are you saying that unless you spank kids for not doing homework, they can’t learn algebra?

    What do learning and punishment have to do with each other? Anybody who’s had the most basic Psych 101 class knows that reward is a MUCH more effective teaching tool than punishment. That’s why “lion tamers” toss out chunks of meat when the lion jumps through the hoop, rather than beating him with the chair when he doesn’t.

    I’m not a wussy “pamper the poor criminal” bleeding heart… but let’s not confuse punishment with teaching. The real pupose of putting people in jail is to segregate them from society. At least in some cases… sometimes it’s just revenge.

    Dittoheads love revenge.

  23. Greg Allen says:

    It is a super wasteful use of our tax dollars to jail teens for long terms like hardened crimminal.

    Many many teens can actually be rehabilitated and become working (and tax paying) members of society.

    I haven’t Googled it but I’m confident the research backs me up on this.

  24. Walter says:

    rehabilitation is great if it is possible.

    Think about it for a moment. Many teen criminals (not all, but many) have had very little in the way of positive role models. They have learned from peers that it is not only OK, but to be rewarded and reveared for criminal behavior. Without proper parenting, they have been molded into this form.

    How do we change this? Can we change this? I don’t know. I do know that it isn’t inhumane to have ANYONE in chains and handcuffs who is accused of a crime. They aren’t HURTING the people, just making them look bad and keeping them from possibly hurting anyone in an escape attempt.

  25. Bruce IV says:

    Do the adults wear cuffs? I say treat them like the adults if their crimes are more adult (read: serious) in nature, and leave the cuffs off otherwise (say, for vandalism)

  26. Lavi says:

    Hey you get 4 strokes of the cane in Singapre for Vandalism.

    Hand-cuffs, shackles, forget that…thats for babies…

  27. mike cannali says:

    I vote for shackles, extra tight with shap edges for teenage malware authors. Followed by a sentence that is the sum of all time wasted by PC users getting rid of the infection.

    For all the others – perhaps Nike can cobble up a designer series of sporty shackles for adolescent drive by shooters, drug dealers and rapists. Ones that weld in place

  28. Marshai says:

    I think that it depends on the type of crime they are doing if they are doing things that adults get treated for then they also as teenagers need to be charged with they same thing

  29. Mr Baller says:

    Well, I am doing a debate whether teens should be put in adult jails and sentenced the same too. I think they should, because if a teen commits murder and a adult does too, why should they be treated differently? Also if you know something is wrong, for example rape, why would you do it if you know the consequences? That’s why I think teens should be put in adult jails and sentenced the same too.

  30. Mr Baller says:

    Well, I am doing a debate whether teens should be put in adult jails and sentenced the same too. I think they should, because if a teen commits murder and a adult does too, why should they be treated differently? Also if you know something is wrong, for example rape, why would you do it if you know the consequences? That’s why I think teens should be put in adult jails and sentenced the same too. (charges also apply)


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