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.
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.