Australia Racism inside Victoria's youth detention centres detailed in plea hearing for Laa Chol's 18yo killer

10:42  09 december  2019
10:42  09 december  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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In criminal justice systems a youth detention center , also known as a juvenile detention center (JDC), juvenile detention , juvenile hall or more colloquially as juvie

A detention center , or detention centre , is any location used for detention . Specifically, it can mean: A jail or prison, a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state as a form of punishment after being convicted of crimes.

a woman taking a selfie: Laa Chol's killer had recently been released from youth detention. (Instagram)© Provided by ABC NEWS Laa Chol's killer had recently been released from youth detention. (Instagram)

A teacher within Victoria's youth justice system has described issues of systemic racism and criticised the treatment of men from African backgrounds, during a plea hearing for the man who killed Melbourne student Laa Chol.

Ms Chol, 19, who was fatally stabbed during a brawl at a short-stay apartment in Melbourne's CBD last year, was described in court today as a loving daughter who financially supported her family.

Her attacker, an 18-year-old man, was found guilty of murder in September for inflicting the stab wound which penetrated 8.5 centimetres into Ms Chol's chest, piercing her heart.

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The Parkville youth justice precinct in Victoria . Detainees are submitting evidence to the state’ s inquiry into youth Obviously I do not think my voice is being heard because I am labelled as a criminal. Centre -wide lockdowns have been happening more frequently since the big riots in November, a

The facility has 16 Juvenile Detention beds and 8 Treatment. The Center serves over 25,000 youth in Bonneville, Bingham, and Butte Counties. The treatment center provides Sex Offender Treatment, Cognetive Behavioral Therapy, Addiction Treatment, Family Therapy, and Mental Health Services.

The man, who was 17 at the time of the murder and cannot be named for legal reasons, had previously pleaded not guilty to murder, instead admitting to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

A pre-sentencing hearing in the Supreme Court heard Ms Chol's killer spent nearly two years from the age of 15 in Victoria's youth justice system.

He was released just a short time before Ms Chol's murder.

Laa Chol© ABC Laa Chol

Parkville College's Flexible Learning Centre's campus coordinator leader Emily Hurley met the convicted man early in his incarceration and gave scathing evidence on the way youth inmates were treated in Parkville and Malmsbury detention centres.

She criticised the extensive use of "isolation and separation" as a punishment.

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Ursula is the colloquial name for the Central Processing Center , the largest U. S . Customs and Border Protection detention center for undocumented immigrants. The facility is a retrofitted warehouse that can hold more than 1,000 people. It was opened in 2014 on W. Ursula Avenue in McAllen, Texas.

Melbourne Youth Justice Centre (formerly Melbourne Juvenile Justice Centre and Turana Youth Training Centre ) is a youth corrections facility located in Parkville, Victoria , Australia. The facility is designed to accommodate 15- to 17-year-old males through four units and a separate multi-purpose

"It's actually not allowed to be used as a punishment," she said, referring to a report by the Victorian ombudsman which found the practice was unlawful and alarming.

"It was frequently used and young people were locked in rooms for days and weeks. That practice continues," she said.

"I know the charge that he faces today and the enormous pain that they've caused and I realise he has a lengthy history.

"I also know the system in which he was put at 15 is incredibly dysfunctional and harmful to young people.

"The only sense I can make of it is that time at Parkville and Malmsbury was incredibly damaging."

Ms Hurley said she would visit her students during lockdowns and crouch down to speak to them through the door.

"It's pretty distressing, it's not something you get used to," she said.

"He told me the only way he could survive it was to withdraw into himself, to supress his emotions and try to pretend he was somewhere else.

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Youth is the time of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity). It is also defined as "the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc

such as juvenile detention centers and courts, with it being common that juvenile systems are A juvenile delinquent in the United States is a person who is typically below 18 (17 in Georgia, New Depending on the type and severity of the offense committed, it is possible for people under 18 to be

"He changed from the energetic bright child I knew. He lost faith in getting out. He lost faith that someone cared."

Laa Chol© ABC Laa Chol

Ms Hurley described a system where the inmates were subjected to racist "collective punishment".

"The African boys were often blamed for things that happened," she told the court.

She said recalled one incident where the convicted man, along with all the other young African men, were put into lockdown.

"They had been unable to determine who had been involved and so they left all the boys, not the whole unit, just the young African men locked in their rooms," she said.

"Things like that happened a lot."

Mother tells court 'now I am alone'

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kaye said sentencing the man would be complex, but stressed the seriousness of his crime.

"She was not armed," he said.

"It was absolutely senseless what he did. Cowardly. She was defenceless.

"To kick in the stomach someone who you've already stabbed is an aggravating factor."

The family of Ms Chol refused to read a letter written by her killer, which prosecutor Kristie Churchill said contained a last-minute "expression of remorse".

In victim impact statements read to the court, Ms Chol was described as a loving daughter who has helped to support her family financially.

Ms Churchill read from a statement prepared by Ms Chol's mother, Ojwanga Abalo, who described the legal studies student as a caring daughter and sibling.

"I trusted her completely with everything and now I am alone," the statement read.

"Laa was like a tree I planted. I put everything into her, I watched her grow and now it's like someone has cut that tree down."

The man is due to be sentenced next week.

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