Use of force in youth prisons, children in Nigerian jails & more int’l news

Juvenile offenders in the United States (Photo:

Juvenile offenders in the United States (Photo:

Increase in use of force in Ohio youth prisons

Force is being used more frequently to restrain disruptive and dangerous children at Ohio’s youth prisons, the Marion Star reports. There were 4.69 incidents per juvenile offender in 2012, up from 3.74 incidents per juvenile offender in 2009, according to a brief released by the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee last week. Ohio’s Department of Youth Services was under federal court supervision from 2008 until earlier this year, following a class-action lawsuit. The settlement required facilities to end overcrowding, stop the overuse of seclusion as a punishment for nonviolent behaviour and iimprove mental and physical healthcare. Read more.

 6000 children in Nigeria’s jails

Premium Times reports that Nigeria’s notorious jails and detention centres hold an estimated 6,000 minors, many of whom were born there and are now serving terms with their parents, despite a government’s order to release them. Read more.

Canadian province to ban smoking in prisons

Quebec is to ban smoking in its prisons, becoming the last Canadian province to do so. Global News reports that the previous provincial government tried to ban smoking in correctional facilities five years ago but failed. The province’s public security minister says he knows that the move will create tensions within the prison system. Read more.

Annual prisons surveys reveals more repeat offenders in Jamaican jails

A new national survey shows that Jamaica’s recidivism rate went up in 2012. The Jamaican Gleaner reports that overcrowding is also a problem in the country’s two prisons, with the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre holding 1212 inmates when its official capacity is 850. Read more.

“Cold case’ playing cards sent to prisons in hopes of getting leads

Prison officials in the US state of Indiana are selling a deck of cards that profile 52 unsolved cases that have gone cold for lack of evidence or leads. It is hoped that inmates will be able to assist law enforcement in solving the cases. The Kokomo Tribune reports that 10 000 sets of cards will be available for inmates to buy in 25 of the state’s prisons. Read more.


About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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