Sunday, 30 November 2008

My Response - Part 3

Part 1 - This covered the Letter from Senator Shenton

Part 2 - This covered the section 'What is Greenfields'.

Part 3 - This will cover 'Les Chene Boys Orgy of Destruction', and more importantly, 'Instructions to Les Chene from The Magistrates Court Greffe'.

Senator Shenton, through his own admission has chosen to cite paragraphs from the JEP instead of citing 'considered and worthy departmental reports...'.


Why would he use the JEP paragraphs instead. Maybe because their headlines have a greater impact than the wording of a departmental report? A report which talks about young children, a 12 year and a 14 year old!

'Les Chene Boys Orgy of Dustruction',

This does have a much greater affect a report called,

"Incident at Les Chene involving two young boys aged 12 and 14".

Sorry Senator Shenton but this section of your report is complete garbage.

If there are any States Members who cannot see through your spin and diversionary tactics then God help us all.

I am really pleased that you have decided not to go for Chief Minister post.

If this report were to be used as an example you would have the transparency of a house brick.

You would be better off reading story time at the local library; when it is closed!

Moving on, the next section says;

"18 escapes in a five month period".

Did it not occur to anyone that if they keep escaping then the building should be improved. If your rabbit escapes from your garden you fix the fence. Yes?

We have heard time and time again that the Les Chene building was not fit for purpose; It was simply a farmhouse.

It was in use for more than 25 years, why did it not occur to anyone to made some changes? The secure children's home I managed in Essex, UK for two and a half years had no bars on the windows. It has no cell doors. It has no Pits area.

Since it opened in 1994 not one child escaped, not one.

Also, since it opened in 1994 not one child was held in solitary confinement as a punishment.

I have watched a 14 stone young man run at one of these windows that was about 8ft high and 4 ft wide and he bounced off, repeatedly.

All that was needed at Les Chene was proper doors and locks and reinforced double glazed windows.

This, along with better investment in staff.

The very people who the unit is most dependent upon.

The very people who have suffered the most in the past two years.

The very people who are the least to blame for all of this.

It is not rocket science.

So it was just a farmhouse, well you know what, this might work for some readers but in my book this is just a lame excuse. An excuse to justify locking up Jersey's most vulnerable children.

But hey, why spend money on these children when you can just lock them up instead.

To me, this sounds a little like the recent refusal on the part of Senator Shenton, to send three siblings to the UK as it was too expensive. There is no service is Jersey than can provide these three with the specialist treatment that they so desperately need.

We could put the £600,000 per year needed in the rainy day fund instead!

Or, maybe we can invite a few more 11K's to Jersey and charge them virtually zero tax because that would be better for the island wouldn't it?

So, we have seen that its a lack of investment that forced young people to be held in solitary confinement for long periods.

Senator Shenton, when these siblings become so out of control due to the States neglecting their needs will you see that they are locked up in solitary confinement too?

Senator Shenton, when you were a foster carer and they were naughty did you send them to their room? Probably.

What is wrong with this you may say.

Nothing. No until you send them to their room,

lock the door,

remove their personal belongings,

strip them to their boxer shorts,

remove all items from the room apart from a crash mat and a bottle of water,

leave them there for 28 days other than when they want to use the toilet and have some exercise.

Then is it okay?

This brings us to the next section called, 'Instructions to Les Chene from The Magistrates Court Greffe'

The solitary confinement at Les Chene was so effective that the magistrates decided why stop it.

What did they do?

Did they help develop better alternatives to custody?

Did they provide more wide ranging community sentence options?

Did they look at preventative interventions such as working with the family?


They formally ordered that vulnerable children should be locked into solitary confinement as they saw fit.

That's right, the Magistrates, only five years ago, ordered children into solitary confinement.

That meant the next "12 and 14 year old [who] went on the rampage" would now be ordered into solitary confinement until the magistrates decided otherwise.

Cast your mind back to a few weeks ago, who topped the polls?

Ian Le Marquand.

Yep, one of the magistrates who masterminded the whole thing.

What does that tell us?

Not only was this guy allowed to do this but the people of Jersey liked him so much that he topped the polls!

Now he wants to run the Home Affairs department!

This is all mad. Seemingly, the majority of Jersey people support this approach.

I don't actually consider myself to be liberal but when you consider this, it could be argued that Hitler was liberal!

In this section of the report Senator Shenton does not use the words 'solitary confinement' or 'single separation', but do not be fooled.

The statement refers to 'secure unit', 'secure room' and 'locked part of the school'.

This area later became known as the Pits.

This was solitary confinement.

Let me remind you of the interview I did with a young man a couple of weeks ago at the JEP office.

He was given a 'secure remand' as it was know then. This is exactly what Senator Shenton refers to above.

In the case of this young man, solitary confinement for 28 days.

Yet despite this information, many people in Jersey still consider this practice to be okay?

Who was the AG at this time. Who was it before 2000?

I know it was William Balliache from 2000, he was in charge at the time when the Magistartes order them into solitary confinement.

As the AG he must have endorsed the order.

Getting back to resources and money.

Senator Shenton concludes this section by pointing out once again that the building, staffing, training and behaviour management were lacking.

So much so that children were locked up in solitary confinement.

I am sorry that I have used the word solitary confinement so many times but it is needed. We need people to really understand what this was like. Young children locked in a room on their own for weeks, with limited staff/child interaction and virtually no stimulation whatsoever.

Whether they were horrible little brats or not is irrelevant.

I would not subject my dog to such treatment.

Would you?

Joe Kenendy has not been mentioned yet, and lets face it, it is no secret that he is not very high up on my Christmas list.

It has to be said, there are few people in this world that I dislike. In fact, I could count them on one hand.

I have said publicly before, he bullied me, this man literally reduced me to tears.

He really is a bully and a control freak through and through.

He is also ill equipped to be doing the job he is doing.

Since his return from suspension he has not been seen by staff from one month to the next.

Some staff have not seen him since his return four months ago.

However, I do have one good thing to say about him.

He put an end to the Magistrates locking the children up.

Yes, he stopped them doing it. Well done Joe Kennedy.

But before you get too excited, I wrote earlier that he is a bully and a control freak.

Yes he is.

Although he stopped the Magistrates locking them up, he did it himself instead.

He brought along the Grand Prix system which meant that young people were locked in solitary through this system instead of the Magistrates doing it. More of that in Part 4.

Enough of my rant this evening.

If you (States Members included) cannot see that this whole thing is a cover up then there is something wrong.

I have a question to end on.

When the Howard League for Penal Reform first visited Jersey in May of this year they came arrived on a Sunday evening.

Who invited himself to see them 9am on Monday morning?

The Bailiff, Sir Phillip Ballaiche.