- Associated Press - Friday, July 18, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A judge in Las Vegas has ordered the removal of Clark County offenders from a northeastern Nevada state youth facility in response to complaints about restraint methods such as ‘hogtying,’ officials said.

Clark County Family Court Judge William Voy ordered the 12 youths returned this week from the Nevada Youth Training Center in Elko after a hearing Wednesday about reports that detainee wrist and ankle shackles were linked in a technique known as “hobbling” or “hogtying,” Deputy Public Defender Susan Roske said.

Roske told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (https://bit.ly/UdXo2v) that it appeared the practice was used as punishment.

Jennifer Lopez, spokeswoman for Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, confirmed Voy’s verbal order and said Masto’s office was awaiting the judge’s written order.

Court spokeswoman Mary Ann Price said neither she nor Voy could comment because the matter involved juveniles and was confidential.

Roske said Voy’s hearing involved three offenders, including two 18-year-olds she represents.

She said one of her clients was housed in Elko, more than 400 miles north of Las Vegas, and the other had been at the Caliente Youth Center, about 150 miles north of the city. Both claimed the hobbling technique was used on them last year.

An interview with a juvenile detainee obtained by the Review-Journal described the restraint technique as “a youth’s feet being ankle chained and their hands being placed in waist chains then handcuffs are used to connect their wrists to the ankle chains.”

The 160-bed facility in Elko detains boys ages 12 to 18, and the 140-bed Caliente Youth Center holds male and female detainees.

The Justice Department investigated the Elko facility in 2002 after complaints of employees abusing detainees.

The Review-Journal reported in 2004 that five employees were fired and others were disciplined.

Four years of Justice Department oversight ended in 2008 with a finding that the state had resolved federal agency concerns.


Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, https://www.lvrj.com

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