February 8, 1998

p. A10.

New lockup laws could scoop kids

Youngsters running loose on the streets could soon find themselves locked up.

Children and Families Minister Penny Priddy has launched an independent panel of parents and professionals to look into new secure-care options for kids.

Currently there are no laws that allow police or ministry officials to keep kids against their will if they are not in danger or breaking the law.

The new rules would allow the children to be scooped up and place in locked facilities.

Such facilities exist in Alberta and Quebec, where assessments and treatment services are available, such as drug and alcohol detox.

"This subject should spark considerable controversy among professionals, caregivers and human-rights advocates," Priddy acknowledged.

"I hope that by engaging in this debate we can work for the best interests of the young person while minimizing any serious long-term restrictions on their normal rights and freedoms."

Priddy's move comes on the heels of a recent controversy in Richmond in which four young girls were released by RCMP on to the streets alone in the early morning following a raid on an alleged pornographer.

The children were taken into custody Jan. 2 after a raid on the home of Frank Kim. Kim, 24, was charged with sexual assault, making child pornography videos, possession of child porn, procuring a person under the age of 14 for sex, and possession of a weapon.

A final report will be submitted to the minister on or before Aug. 28.

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Last modified: April 8, 2001
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