- Guards in a juvenile prison are strapping teens to mattresses with velcro as a new restraint method, sparking outrage from parents and advocates
- The department defends the “Safe Mattress” as necessary for staff safety, but critics call it barbaric and fear harm to detainees
- Experts urge inquiry into the prison, citing lengthy lockdowns, excessive force, and concerns about detainee’s mental health
Names in this report have been changed for legal reasons*
Unit 18 staff have started strapping teenage detainees to a special mattress with velcro to allow guards a safe exit from their cells.
The new technique, using the ‘Safe Mattress’, is one of several restraint options replacing the now-banned ‘figure four’ hog-tie restraint but has been labelled barbaric by parents of detainees and advocates. The Department of Justice has defended its use.