Youth Detention Centres

Clothes Torn Off Before Isolation

Updated 15:30

Children and youth in state-run youth detention centres have their clothes torn off by members of staff before they are put into isolation. This also happens to girls who are in care for being sexually assaulted.

The Swedish Public Service Radio Programme "Kaliber" continues its investigation into Sweden's youth detention centres. This week, the Programme reveals that the youngsters are forced to sit in their underwear during their time in the isolation cell. One girl interviewed for the programme tells how she was dragged to the isolation cell and had her bra torn off in front of male caretakers.

In a comment, Ewa Persson Göransson, general director of the National Board of Institutional Care says that this is not the way things should be done. She thinks it only happens in exceptional cases, but that "it does not sound like a good care and therefore should not happen".

But the Kaliber-reporters have spoken to both staff and youngsters who claim it is still a routine at several detention centres.

Last week, the Programme revealed that some of those held at the centres are denied access to go outdoors for long periods, a fact that would break the law if it happened in adult prisons.

Meanwhile, the Programme the National Board of Institutional Care has issued a press release noting that the number of reported incidents of threats and violence against its members of staff at the youth detention centres increased by 16% in 2009 compared to the year before, and by 40 % compared to the year before that. In 66 cases the attacked staff member had to seek medical care, and in 9 cases they had to be hospitalised.