TV Program Claims Children Held In Watch Houses Like "Caged Animals"

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CC0 Public Domain 

The ABC has raised concerns about children being “held like caged animals” in police watch houses, which are meant to house adult offenders.

The Four Corners program is referring to documents which detailed cases of children being held, sometimes for weeks, in adult watch houses.

Overcrowded youth detention centres are being blamed.  

The ABC accessed more than 500 files detailing cases of children as young as 10 who have spent time in watch houses in the Sunshine State.  

In one case a boy under 14 years of age was held at the Mareeba, Cairns and Brisbane watch houses.

One email stated that he spent 34 days in a watch house, and that he “has to be released … served too long”.

In another case a girl lost a finger after a door was closed on her hand at the Brisbane watch house.

Minister for Police and Corrective Services Mark Ryan has been contacted for comment.  

Mark Willacy’s, Inside the Watch House, will air on Four Corners at 8.30pm on Monday.