TOXIC TREATMENT: THE ABUSE OF TEAR GAS WEAPONS IN CALIFORNIA JUVENILE DETENTION
ACLU Southern California
May 22, 2019
Pepper spray, formally known as aerosolized oleoresin capsicum or "OC spray," is so toxic and dangerous that it is classified and regulated under state law as a form of tear gas. It can cause not only intense pain, but also blistering of the skin, respiratory arrest, and even an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks; its psychological and emotional impacts are uncertain.
And yet, it is alarmingly overused in California's juvenile detention facilities against youth as young as 12 and those in psychiatric crises.
This ACLU Foundations of California report, the result of reviewing 10,465 documents, is the first to detail the use of these toxic chemical agents in state and county juvenile detention facilities. It finds that state and county officials used toxic chemical agents more than 5,000 times between January 2015 and March 2018 against children and youth in juvenile facilities in 25 counties and in state facilities overseen by the Division of Juvenile Justice.
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive