RMYC, People need to get involved...


CDNBear
#1
I'm very much a law and order kind of guy. I'm a firm believer of you do the crime, you do the time. I'll even turn a blind eye to violence in the prison system, as a bit of extra incentive. But not when it comes to kids, not near adults, but kids. 14 and under, first offenders and the like.


A friends son was recently sent here...

Roy McMurtry Youth Centre, Brampton,

In a panic, he called me and asked me if I knew a good lawyer, and/or anything about this place. I gave him my lawyers number. But I didn't even know this place existed.

I'm no stranger to the youth justice system, I missed the whole Young Offenders Act, and served a long closed custody sentence for my weapons offences as a kid, and rightly so. I had an edge, I was aggressive, violent and habitual. When I went in, I really only needed to be turned around. Instead I was subject to the cruelty of a system that is set up to deal with adults. Thus upon my release, I was changed, but not for the better. I was more violent, more aggressive and now I know I was going to avoid getting caught. My saving grace back then, I had some street smarts, I was quick on my feet and a fighter.

But this kid isn't. I can't explain the charges, or give his name as we all know, but I look at this kid like he's one of my own. He has the same aspirations, the same skill sets, the same sort of relationship with his family, he, like my youngest was picked on incessantly by peers, and he has no criminal record. If fact, it's his first brush with the law. The only problem is, much like my youngest, he's an FBI and when he had enough with how he was treated, he really had enough, if you follow my drift.

He's using my Lawyer, and I'm driving out to this place today to see my friend, and hopefully get a chance to see his son. We kind of figure if he sees all his friends, it will help him keep his chin up. In this place, he's a fish out of water. Actually, it's more like a fish in the Sahara.

Being the kind of guy I am, I research everything, especially when someone I know is affected by it. This place terrifies me, and I've done my time. But as a kid, this place would scare the living sh!t out of me.

I fully acknowledge that even as a youth, you have to pay for your sins. But and this is a big but, while a child, still growing is in custody, the system really has to be a parent. This place wouldn't pass the CAS, if it was a parent. I can't understand how something like this can exist in today's day and age.

If we looked after our kids like this place looks after kids, we'd would lose our kids. Now don't get me wrong, I was in a place like this way back when, I made false complaints. But now a days, we have the Provincial Child Advocate to watch over kids in places like this. They receive and investigate the complaints 24/7.

Here's a report from the Advocates office, on the Roy McMurtry Youth Centre.

http://provincialadvocate.on.ca/docu...20Mar%2029.pdf

Since this place opened, it's been one horror story after another. With excuses like "Growing pains" thrown back at the complaints.

I don't buy it, not where kids are concerned. When a child's future sits in the balance, there is very little room for error, 'growing pains', slow correction and ineffective reaction.

Some stories that I missed about this place over the last year...

Roy McMurtry Youth Centre | WhyProhibition.ca

I find the one story of a Crown witness being in the same unit as the teens he was to testify against particularly troubling.

I've contacted Irwin Elman, the head of the Provincial Child Advocates office, and offered my help. I've fired off an email to Laurel Broten, Minister of Children and Youth Services, to do more then just look into concerns and complaints and actually do something.

When youth is concerned, we as a society need to be proactive, active and engaged. These children are the future of the nation. We can sit by and let a system fraught with errors and gaps do the dirty work. While making irreversible changes to kids, or we can demand that they treat them like human beings and help guide them back on track. In the end, it only serves to our benefit.

This makes 232 on my list of Liberal f!ck ups.
Last edited by CDNBear; Jul 24th, 2010 at 07:19 AM..
 
Liberalman
Free Thinker
#2
Tell me how would you solve the problem because the problem has to be solved
 
CDNBear
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Liberalman View Post

Tell me how would you solve the problem because the problem has to be solved

Having read the report from the Provincial Advocate, I would say the best place to start, is with the Admin and staff. The center was to be based on the "Relationship custody" approach. While this is true, the staff and the Admin seem to be at odds about its implementation.

That lack of cohesion is visible.

Then there's the inconsistencies between the staff's approach. Staff has to be consistent in how they deal with kids. Things like favourtism and mocking, only breeds resentment and kids aren't stupid. If they think they can get away with something because a staff member doesn't like someone, they will.

Security is also paramount, staff must react and react fast to protect the kids in their custody. If you or I were to turn a blind eye to someone assaulting one of our children, we would be charged and CAS would be interested in finding out whether or not you were a fit parent.

Boredom, seems to be a common theme in the complaints. The programs that have been touted as cutting edge and in place are not. Idol hands are the devils play thing, is an old but all to true sentiment.

If it were left up to me?

I'd iron fist it. Staff will follow the proscribed program to the 'T' or find themselves unemployed. They will intervene in all cases of violence, and be proactive instead of reactive whenever possible. Or find themselves unemployed.

The programming the center is supposed to have, would be in place and adhered to by the staff, or the would find themselves unemployed.

Are you seeing a common theme here?

When it comes to kids, I make no leeway for error. Especially when they belong to somebody else. When I'm out with my sons and their friends, I'm in charge, I am ultimately responsible. I would never risk the health, safety and well being of another persons child.
Last edited by CDNBear; Jul 24th, 2010 at 07:33 AM..
 
Liberalman
Free Thinker
#4
When I become mayor I will change this
 
CDNBear
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Liberalman View Post

When I become mayor I will change this



Good call.

I guess sending an email to Broten is out of the question eh?

I gotta run now, I'm heading out to Brampton to this facility first hand.

You know what? I know some kids in my own neighbourhood, that are little criminals and I fully believe that they should be incarcerated. But not in conditions like this. No child, no matter the crime, deserves this.

I hate to actually say it, having the mindset I do, but from my perspective, this is borderline "cruel and unusual punishment".
 
petros
+1
#6  Top Rated Post
How can they have growing pains when there are hundreds of sucessful centers across the country? There is nothing new about the problems kid's face only the back drop changes. Apparently the back drop of the facility is failing. Is it a youth prison or is it a youth rehabilitation center?

I know from personal experience the non security staff are very good but a lot of the time their hands are tied especially over the past few years as fear has gone haywire and security given more money than rehab and education.

The powers that be have demonized kids and made people afraid of their own children.

As an FBI his parents and all supporting peers are going to be competing with some very slick recruiters with vaste resources.

Be careful and best wishes.
 
AnnaG
#7
Best thing I can think of is make as big a stink about it as possible. Newsmedia and everything. Try 5th Estate and W-5 sort-of-thing.
 
CDNBear
#8
Well, I can say this, it's a big shiny place, on the outside. And the entrance is neat, with its sliding glass doors and pretty female Officers at the desk. But that's as far as I got. I'm not immediate family.

I made on attempt to argue my case, but as soon as I was warned that they had every right to cancel the visit for his parents, I yielded.

The hour long visit they were told they would get, was actually only 45 minutes, through glass and on a phone. That's how SCB had to visit me, when I was in PRISON. The upside is, the family told me, the boy was chipper, scared but chipper, the staff was very friendly and environment clean.

I realize this is hearsay, but according to them, the boy informed them, that not a single member of the staff. Not his case worker, not the unit staff, not the outdoor staff, not the food service staff, think he should be there. The common comment has been, "You shouldn't be here". Which now takes me back to the Crown and Duty Counsel, and what they were thinking when they denied him bail and sent him to this place.

Having gone over everything they had on the incident, I can understand some apprehension, in releasing the child back into the custody of his parents still within their community. But given the fact that there is no history of violence in the family, he has no record, and that the family posted valid surety, I can't think of any reason for the Crown to deny him bail and in the end send him to a facility like this.

Now this is a family with no "justice system" experience. He's been a straight arrow his whole life, she's been a model woman. Their son and daughter have been typically average kids with no brushes with the law. They simply dropped the ball, when they relied on the Duty Counsel to advocate on theirs and their sons behalf. A sad, but typical mistake. By the time they thought to call me. Someone they haven't seen in a few years, which must have been hard for them to do. Their son was already on his way to this facility, and there was nothing we could have done.

I did manage to corner a staffer in the smoking area and did my usual shtick, play nice, make light conversation and get chummy, before asking some hard hitting questions.

To my surprise, I wasn't met with the usual excuses, like the kids were the problem, management dropped the ball. The person I talked too, simply said "We dropped the ball. We weren't prepared." He went on to explain how they had hire numerous more staff. In fact for the amount of kids in the facility, there's more staff then is actually needed. Now I realize I could have been fed a line, but at this point, for everyone's need of sleep, I'm trying to be optimistic.

Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

How can they have growing pains when there are hundreds of sucessful centers across the country?

Excellent question. I've been out of the system for far to many years. The programs available to me back then were, "Shut up and do what you're told" and "You didn't do what you were told so WHACK!"

Quote:

There is nothing new about the problems kid's face only the back drop changes. Apparently the back drop of the facility is failing. Is it a youth prison or is it a youth rehabilitation center?

Both, the place looks like a "SuperMax". It's an scary looking place that made her cry as soon as she got out of the car and absorbed the whole thing.

Quote:

I know from personal experience the non security staff are very good but a lot of the time their hands are tied especially over the past few years as fear has gone haywire and security given more money than rehab and education.

To true.

Quote:

The powers that be have demonized kids and made people afraid of their own children.

The "hug-a-thug" crowd didn't help any either.

I'm torn here, I'm a law and order kinda guy, do the crime, do the time, I'm biased because I know this kid, and I'm stuck trying to balance law and order with justice. You and I both know they aren't mutually acquainted.

Quote:

As an FBI his parents and all supporting peers are going to be competing with some very slick recruiters with vaste resources.

I had a chance to talk to him over the phone last night, I gave him the low down on what to do and not do. I made sure he knew he had an advocate he can call 24/7 and that he should respect the staff and avoid confrontation at all costs.

Quote:

Be careful and best wishes.

I will and thanx.

Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaG View Post

Best thing I can think of is make as big a stink about it as possible. Newsmedia and everything. Try 5th Estate and W-5 sort-of-thing.

I actually passed that by the parents, and no.

Like me, they are proud Canadians, who just happen to be Native. It was discussed how this will become a part of the stats on Native youth and crime. That's about as public as he wants to make it. I gave him the number for the editor of the TANSI paper in Tdot, if he changes his mind. If he does call Dennis, Dennis is well acquainted with other local news personalities.

*******************************

I've come to realize, that there isn't just trouble in this facility, but trouble in the whole youth justice system.

For years I've been rallying against the YOA, then the YJA. I said it was to soft, it was ineffectual, to lenient. I still think in many cases it is. But when it comes to first time offenders, I think it goes way to far now.

I'm not under any delusions that this kid needs to have the fear of God thrust upon him. But to take a kid from the sticks, with no criminal record, who has zero street skills and toss him in with the truly habitual offenders, is just asking for trouble. He's a kid at a cross roads. Like my young self, he needs to be guided, he needs some therapy, he needs to be scared, not scarred.

I entered a broken, displaced youth, I exited an angry, bitter and better criminal. Sending kids like this to a facility like RMYC, is idiotic. Right now I'm trying to find a facility closer to them or us, to have him transferred to, and not having much luck. It seems the system is being centralized.

I feel bad for these poor people, they have no idea how to navigate the system, and there was no one there to guide them. That's just another huge flaw in the system. I believe in justice, I believe in the law, but I believe they are fundamentally, two different things, and unless you've been there, you'll get screwed.

The lawyer I recommended, can't see them until Tuesday, the poor kid is stuck where he is, unless their lawyer can get another sitting in front of the Judge. Barring that, he'll be there until mid August when he comes up for another bail hearing. This time they'll have adequate representation and a courtroom full of friends and family. He spent the first 3 days in suicide watch, after that, he'll be sent to general population, in a 14 person unit. He's a fair sized kid, not quite as big as my Kooter though, and certainly not as capable. I'm afraid for this kid, my kids are afraid for this kid. Actually my oldest being the more compassionate one, is afraid, my youngest, is just angry.
Last edited by CDNBear; Jul 25th, 2010 at 07:50 AM..
 
CDNBear
#9
Just an update...

He was denied bail again today.

He's served his last 3+ weeks in a maximum security youth facility for a first offense, without ever being sentenced, let alone found guilty. He's received nothing but a stellar report from everyone and anyone that has come into contact with him.

And yet he was denied bail again.

I watched his mother break down in the court room, as a Judge requested she control herself. Thankfully it wasn't my child, I wouldn't be making this post. But even then it was still difficult for me to contain my contempt.

His lawyer, my lawyer, was astounded. He couldn't understand what the issue was either.All the conditions were met, surety was more then ample, glowing reports, and still he was sent back to a facility that even the staff feel he is completely out of place in and should not be there.

In a last ditch attempt, his lawyer filed for an emergency hearing for next Monday, in which he wants all the evidence examined and a valid reason for denying this kids bail, a second time.

I really do hate to say it, and it wasn't me that first said it, "This stinks of racism to me". Was his lawyers exact words. I questioned the accusation, I asked to see all the details and testimony of the complainant, and yes, the charges are serious, but there was no hospitalization, no need of any medical attention beyond some first aid, a mothers love and a couple ice packs. I can't see anything that would say no bail. Hell, I was charged with three weapons offenses when I was a year younger then him, I was out the next day! Now when I was sentenced, I got three years closed custody, but I was granted bail, after firing a weapon in a store.

A mental health worker for the courts was brought up to talk with his mother, who was almost inconsolable. Even she was astounded that the child was denied bail yet again.

The Crown and keeps making statements about the viciousness of the attack, the fact that two adults had to physically restrain the kid to get him to stop.

But no one is looking at the fact that he has no criminal record, and he hasn't shown any signs of being an aggressive person while incarcerated. It's a "one off".

Parents that looked to me, the guy that has been in the system, the man that said if there son was good while at the Roy, they couldn't deny him bail again, they guy that set them up with an excellent lawyer. The guy that's putting them up while they're here. The guy that has helped them be proactive and led them by the hand and seek all the mental health info they can to show the court that they are good parents, and are willing to have their son receive therapy to control his temper, which up until that one day, was mild and meek. While keeping a record of every conversation, every message, every date time and name.

And I failed.

I feel impotent. I feel enraged. I have feelings coursing through my veins that I haven't felt in years.
 
Colpy
Conservative
#10
From your very sketchy description of the events......you would think 25 days in lock up would be punishment enough..........dammit.