The Glen Mills reform school in Wezep has been criticised by youth care service inspectors for using an illegal method to restrain disruptive youngsters.
In addition, there is too little public information about what goes on at the school and limited interaction with the outside world, the inspectors said in their report.
One of the inspectors confirmed to Monday’s Volkskrant that staff at Glen Mills use the ‘holding’ method, in which a disruptive youngster is grabbed and forced to the floor until he calms down. ‘Holding’ is only allowed in closed institutions. Glen Mills is an open facility.
The school’s director Henk Ouwens described the criticism as nonsense. ‘If we cannot intervene to control excess, we cannot do our job,’ he told the paper.
The Glen Mills system, brought to the Netherlands from the US, is based on the theory that delinquents are not bad, but have done bad things, and uses peer pressure to reform behaviour. Figures published earlier this year showed 75% of inmates at the Dutch school re-offend on their release, the Volkskrant said.
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