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Judge to stop practice of shackling juveniles in courtroom

A North Carolina county’s chief district court judge says he’ll stop having juveniles wear restraints in his courtroom, days after local news reports covered the practice.
The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun published a story last week on Durham County Judge Jim Hill’s policy in which some attorneys and juvenile justice advocates criticized shackling children who have been detained and appear in court. Critics say the county’s shackling of juveniles as young as 6 can cause long-term psychological damage and could violate state law.
Hill says in a statement Monday that as a general rule, juveniles will no longer enter his courtroom in restraints. He says he had never been notified about concerns over the procedure prior to the recent news reports.
Hill says he ordered restraints for safety.

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