SUMMER (PRISON) CAMP
The Observer has a bizarre story (part I and II) on Jamaica’s Tranquility Bay, a bizarre rehabilitation facility to which rich Americans can send their unruly kids:
Parents sign a legal contract with Tranquility Bay granting 49 per cent custody rights. It permits the Jamaican staff, whose qualifications are not required to exceed a high-school education, to use whatever physical force they feel necessary to control their child. The contract also waives Tranquility’s liability for harm that should befall a child in its care. The cost of sending a child here ranges from $25,000 to $40,000 a year.
I’m not sure what exactly “49% custody” would mean and am a bit dubious, frankly.
Along with multiple guards known as ‘chaperones’, the family mothers and fathers control and scrutinise their children 24 hours a day. The only moment a student is alone is in a toilet cubicle; but a chaperone is standing right outside the door, and knows what he or she went in to do, because when students raise their hand for permission to go, they must hold up one finger for ‘a number one’, and two for ‘a number two’.
Corporal punishment is not practised, but staff administer ‘restraint’. Officially it is deployed as the name suggests, to subdue a student who is out of control. However, former students say it is issued more often as a punishment. One explains: ‘It’s a completely degrading, painful experience. You could get it for raising your voice or pointing your finger. You know you’re going to get it when three Jamaicans walk in and say, “Take off your watch.” They pin you down in a five-point formation and that’s when they start twisting and pulling your limbs, grinding your ankles.’
Hmm. Go read the rest and form your own conclusions.
(Hat tip: PolitiX)