- File photo
"Bound & Broken," a report by the Colorado Child Safety Coalition, found the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections (DYC) is "plagued by punitive practices that cause physical and emotional harm to the young people in its care."
The report cited a "culture of violence" that makes DYC facilities unsafe for children and staff and impedes rehabilitation. The report was based on interviews with 21 youths who are or have been incarcerated in 11 DYC state-owned facilities and 1,000 pages of internal documents, videos and medical reports of incidents. The report said staff used isolation, verbal degradation and physical pain via knee strikes, pressure points and a full-body straitjacket against youth, many of whom were abused in the past or suffered from mental illness.
The ACLU of Colorado urged the state to adopt the "Missouri Approach," which relies on internalized change for kids by building relationships between youth and their peers as well as staff.