AJAs 2018 Finalists


Date Aired or Published April 11, 2018
Media outlet where first aired or published: Telegraph-Journal
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
Location: Saint John
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

They’re banned in Australia for children and were cautioned about after the death of Ashley Smith, but in most New Brunswick police detention centres restraint chairs can still be used to strap unruly children as young as 12. But Mike Landry’s coverage of this issue may become known as the beginning of the end of New Brunswick police restraining children in custody. As I write this, New Brunswick’s Office of the Child and Youth Advocate is reviewing Saint John Police Force regulations surrounding the use of an emergency restraint chair with children as young as 12 years old in detention. Since his reporting, Saint John police haven’t used its chair once with any youth. The drop in usage comes after years of steady increasing. Court reporter Mike Landry uncovered this story, and what was happening in police detention centres across the province, while helping another reporter who was examining use of force at the provincial youth facility. Given his familiarity with the courts, Landry’s initial role was keeping an eye in court for young offenders he knew had been to the jail. The 12-year-old in this story was approached for this reason. That’s when the boy told him about his time in the chair. This story would likely remained hidden in detention cells were it not for Mike Landry's digging. To get the story he had to call every N.B. police department for information, pressure Saint John police and contend with a Youth Criminal Justice Act that makes it near impossible to identify and locate young offenders. To get the story took months of monitoring youth court.

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

This five-part series was completed in addition to Mike Landry's daily court coverage. The research, interviews and writing occurred during lunch hours, during trials, sentencings and current court. No additional time was granted.

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