Today's Paper Latest stories Most commented Obits Wally Hall Weather Newsletters Traffic Puzzles/games
story.lead_photo.caption Special to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette - 10/08/2014 - Staff members at the Yell County Juvenile Detention Center place Scott Tanner, the state's juvenile justice ombudsman, in the WRAP restraint system and a motorcycle helmet, demonstrating how the staff have restrained disruptive youths at the facility. The practice has since been halted after the state Division of Youth Services learned of it. - Photo obtained under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act

One kid threw wet socks. Another flipped off a staff member. Several others beat on doors and walls in their cells and didn't stop when asked.

The Yell County Juvenile Detention Center in Danville used a restraint device known as The Wrap for at least two years to punish incarcerated teenagers for acts such as yelling, banging on doors, name-calling, rude gestures and throwing wet socks. The lockup stopped using The Wrap in September after the state Division of Youth Services learned of the practice. After the agency took the action, the Democrat-Gazette requested incident reports from the juvenile detention center for the first nine months of the year.

Narratives of those reports that involved The Wrap or a mechanical restraint chair can be viewed here.


  • This story is only available from the Arkansas Online archives. Stories can be purchased individually for $2.95. Click here to search for this story in the archives.

    Print Headline: Youth lockup used restraint as punishment

    Sponsor Content


    You must be signed in to post comments
    • Nodmcm
      November 18, 2014 at 4:16 a.m.

      I guess the good news is that the state freedom of information act worked well in this case, to expose this 'child torturing.' Now we will find out just what happens to people who torture children purposely, with intent to harm. Civilians doing something like this would be looking at either life terms in prison, or at least remaining in prison until they are over 60 years of age. Because these people worked in the criminal justice industry, maybe a few of them will be fired, perhaps one or two will have a hard time finding another job 'working with' children at some other agency. An earlier editorial asked, "where were the adults when this was going on?" Indeed, and now that we know the torture device was used for minor infractions, it is substantially worse than earlier imagined. This case proves that given a chance, grown adult human beings lose all common sense and Christian judgment when placed in the authority and physical control of other persons. This is a huge problem, obviously, and one that better training and supervision might not even solve.

    • Testingonetwothree
      November 18, 2014 at 5:11 a.m.

      wow it was degrading and how do you train these dogs learn quick with shock collars maybe we need to try that...lets see the #s on how many of the kids that come out of these facilities graduate to prison within 5 years of release

    • PopMom
      November 18, 2014 at 5:48 a.m.

      Children should be rewarded for good behavior and punished by being denied access to tv, internet, phones etc. Some of these kids learn their bad behavior from the guards who are supposed to be there to protect them. Unfortunately, these are low paying jobs and do not always attract the best people.

      November 18, 2014 at 7:32 a.m.

      Stop means stop. No means no. Get with the program or be restrained!! Simple. Taking away their cookies and TV will not do it.

    • skeptic1
      November 18, 2014 at 8:50 a.m.

      The two here who think this is a good idea are a sample of who is guarding these kids. Maybe if detention center employers were required to possess more than a GED we'd see more effective and creative solutions to bad behavior.

    • PopMom
      November 18, 2014 at 12:19 p.m.


      As a former CASA, I've worked with these kinds of kids, and many of them have been the victims of abuse and neglect. Most of them need more TLC than they do restraint. Children tend to emulate the adult role models around them. When the adults act out of control, the children will as well. I could not use corporal punishment on my 16 year old if I wanted to. He is 6 ft tall and weighs 70 pounds more than me. The phone has long been the punishment of choice, and now it is the car keys. It has been a while since he has had to be punished. He is a sweetheart.

    • FreeSpiritMan
      November 18, 2014 at 12:20 p.m.

      Maybe water boarding next is the answer? Not all, but most are there because of the way they were raised.

    • Murphy01
      November 18, 2014 at 1:59 p.m.

      Thanks Pop and FSM, I knew It had to be someone else's fault.

      I was raised in what I would consider to be an upper middle class home. I was never abused but raised the typical hell a teen may be expected to. Got into a little trouble here and there, probably a little more than the average teen. One thing I never forgot through all of it? I always knew the difference between right and wrong. The trouble I got into was all self induced. That's the problem with most folks today, they never want to take responsibility for their own actions. That philosophy is proven correct everyday in the comments I read here.

    • PopMom
      November 18, 2014 at 3:22 p.m.


      I bet you threw a few water balloons and talked back to your parents in your day. Did they tie you up and put a hood over your head? I don't think so. It's not like these kids murdered somebody. The punishment of no computer time is sufficient in this day and age.

    • Packman
      November 18, 2014 at 4:35 p.m.

      Hey Pop - So, your 16 year old weighs 325? :)