Diabetic youth says he was repeatedly denied insulin in jail

Published On Mon Dec 21 2009

A 17-year-old diabetic youth from Toronto claims he was repeatedly denied insulin and food while at Roy McMurtry Youth Centre.

Between 7:15 and 8:15 p.m., the teen said, he asked an officer for his dinner and was told, "Someone ate it."

When he explained he needed to take food with his insulin to prevent diabetic shock, he said the officer insisted there was nothing left and ordered the youth back to his room.

The youth ignored the order and proceeded to make a sandwich in the kitchen.

The officer called an emergency crew. The youth said he was tackled to the ground and his hands shackled behind his back. He was taken to an isolation unit and brought to court the next morning for uttering threats. Having not received an insulin shot that morning, he passed out in court.

On another occasion, he said, a nurse at the jail told the teen the facility had run out of insulin.

His mother said she had called the Youth Justice office in Etobicoke to lodge complaints and also contacted the jail's senior manager. Nobody replied, she said.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services said in the interest of protecting a youth's privacy, they could neither confirm nor deny the claims.