Yes, it is

A Fox News station in Arkansas asks a question on its Facebook page. It asks: Is this method of restraining juveniles torture?

The Yell County Juvenile Detention Center uses this restraint mechanism called the “wrap system”. Some juvenile detainees call it “torture”. Now, the Arkansas Department of Human Services has sent a cease and desist letter to Yell County officials asking them to stop using the device. What do you think about the wrap system?

It supplies a photo of the “restraint mechanism”:

Yes, that’s torture. Thank you for asking.


  1. says

    I don’t think a C&D is adequate. I think every individual who has used this – on minors to boot – should face criminal charges.
    The face caricatured on the mask is also disturbing, as it shows the individuals who employ this device find it amusing to torture & humiliate their victims.
    Just like the torturers in Abu Ghraib did.

  2. simulateddave says

    Wha … I don’t … why … ?
    Hannibal Lector wasn’t wrapped up like that. I’m also curious about the security or rehabilitative purpose of drawing demented eyes on the headgear with a Sharpie.

  3. Al Dente says

    If the jailors need to restrain their inmates then they can use handcuffs and, if necessary, ankle cuffs.

  4. carlie says

    I audibly gasped when I scrolled down to the picture. I don’t understand that face mask at all – it looks like it would restrict breathing to the point of passing out. I’m claustrophobic enough that just that helmet/mask would make me hyperventilate and pass out.

    One person in the comments claims that this was staged, and that in a normal situation there would not be duct tape covering the entire face (the face shield is clear), but it was covered because of it being a demonstration (that part makes no sense, why would the person in the demo care if his face was shown?).

    Another comment says this:

    “State Juvenile Ombudsman Scott Tanner investigates complaints within the juvenile detention system. He says several youths housed in the Yell County facility voiced concern about the WRAP, so he went to Danville to experience it himself. That’s him in the photo, which was taken in September.

    In his report that followed, Tanner says the WRAP caused difficulty breathing and increased anxiety. He also says it presents a risk for head injury and violates state standards, which say any placement of juveniles must be therapeutic and not punitive.

    In the report, Tanner also mentions his interviews with juvenile detainees. He says their descriptions of the WRAP were consistent: “It is torture. This should not happen to kids.” Tanner says the juveniles told him the restraint was additionally humiliating and traumatizing because they were restrained in the wrap in front of other detainees.”

  5. Humanist says

    This is what happens when you dehumanise a prisoner. Kind warm compassionate caring people can and do these kind of things every day. Because the victim is no longer a person. He is an object to be man-handled, mocked and cast-away.

  6. lorn says

    Instead of going on lurid photographs perhaps we might find out about the system from the people who created it.

    There is no mask, of any kind, included in the system. The only mention of a mask I could find is of standard split masks, typically gauzy units that cover the mouth and nose. The mask in the picture looks to be a Suzuki wrap-around motorcycle helmet with the face screen covered with duct tape and a caricature of some kind rendered in magic marker. As far as I can tell Safe Restraints Inc. doesn’t make any helmets.

    Restraints always look pretty brutal. It is never pleasant to have to restrain anyone, even as they may be trying to kill you, and the mechanical devices necessary are of necessity crude devices. In comparison even hospital five-point restraints look no less brutal even as they are often vital to keeping both the patient and hospital staff safe.

    The torture you are so keen to detect is clearly not in the devices but rather the intent and use of the devices. The Wrap system seem no more prone to promote suffering than any other restraint system and seems to have been designed to limit the chances of harm. Every system can cause harm, Standard handcuffs can cause great pain and permanent damage to the wrists and shoulders if improperly used. It also has to be noted that any restraint system can be torture if left on for too long. Forced maintenance of almost any posture can cause cramping and psychological trauma. Even the wide open padded room can lead to physical and psychological trauma.

    Of course people seeing the ugly reality of pictures of people restrained is going to push people to avoid use of physical restraints. Which will inevitable lead to the other alternative, chemical restraints. They have a terrible record, often precluding any chance of psychological progress and opening vast field for long term economic and sexual exploitation, but, on the up side, the inmates will certainly be well behaved. Whacked out of their skulls they won’t have even the option of thinking about struggling.

  7. John Morales says


    sonofrojblake @13, what makes you imagine that was intended as a refutation, rather than as an observation supporting an opinion?

    (Did you intend your own comment as a refutation of Silentbob?)

  8. sonofrojblake says

    what makes you imagine that was intended as a refutation, rather than as an observation supporting an opinion?

    If it were an observation supporting an opinion, it would have been reasonable to expect the poster to offer an opinion. No such opinion is offered, other than (possibly) “this person has posted things on other subjects with which I have disagreed”. I say “possibly” because I don’t want to unfairly imply post 12 was blatantly ad hominem.

  9. says

    It is interesting to observe that a torture apologist is also a police brutality apologist and an occupation and war apologist. Pattern-spotting of that sort can be useful. Authoritarian views tend to hang together.

    Sonofrojblake’s passive-aggressive sniping, on the other hand? Pretty fucking boring.

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