Calif. Youth Authority: Every Parent's Nightmare
TalkLeft has written many times about the abuse juveniles have suffered while in the custody of the California Youth Authority. In an op-ed in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle, one mother describes her fear at visiting her son and the horror of watching him lose himself and become another person due to the abuse heaped upon him, by both guards and other prisoners. She also offers some constructive suggestions for change. First, her story:
I have not been able to be a mother ever since my son went to the California Youth Authority, the state's system of youth prisons. I have spent the last four years watching him appear in the CYA visiting room with cuts, choke marks and bruises. He has been attacked by other youth or staff more than 40 times. I have seen him lose confidence in himself, become cold and depressed and fearful for his life. And the whole time, I have not been able to do one thing about it. Except lose sleep.
What the CYA calls rehabilitation, the rest of us call tortuous abuse. The CYA is every parent's worst nightmare, and our state's leaders should act now to make sure that no more young people are abused and neglected while under its "care."
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