State-run boys’ properties ‘perpetuate violent criminality’

Daniel Rei has given evidence to the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care.

2021-05-04 12:55:50

A person who has spent a few years of his life in jail says he learnt his commerce whereas in state-run boys’ properties.

Daniel Rei has given evidence to the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care.

Daniel Rei has given proof to the Royal Fee into Abuse in Care.
Photograph: Andrew McRae

Daniel Rei, 47, has given proof to the Royal Fee into Abuse in Care because it focuses on residential care.

Rei, of Ngāti Toa Rangatira, has been out and in of jail, serving 18 years all up.

He first went into care on the age of 13, spending time on the Rosendale Household Residence after which the Melville Boys’ Residence, ending up at Kohitere Boys’ Coaching Centre.

He mentioned violence permeated by means of the entire properties he was in and it began from day one.

“Everybody has seen these jail films, with the whip-cracking guard who offers the welcome with jail speeches. It’s truly an actual factor. I do not know in the event that they get it from the films or the films get it from them, nevertheless it’s an actual factor.

“They mentioned ‘look, you’ll go effective right here in case you do precisely what you’re informed and in case you do not some form of painful punishment bodily goes to be inflicted on you, and this isn’t possibly, that is what’s going to occur’.”

He mentioned there was all the time a tradition of utmost violence and no narking, which was ingrained in him from the early days of residential care.

“And it has continued proper as much as the current the place even as we speak me sitting right here makes me really feel like demise and it could be nearly preferable than sitting right here doing this.”

He mentioned most residential boys’ properties have been run alongside strict hierarchical strains by the boys themselves, and whereas workers have been finally in cost they allowed the boys free rein.

“The older boys have been used as overseers and since they’d internalised a hierarchical construction from inside then that was it. That was what everybody needed to adhere to. So the boys had provide you with these things inventively over time.”

He mentioned workers turned a blind eye to violence amongst the boys, however solely till there may very well be repercussions and paper work needed to be crammed out.

Rei believed workers had an over-inflated sense of entitlement.

“Believing that ‘that is simply the way in which it’s. We’ll handle these little pricks anyway we will and we are going to use them to do it as a result of it is not us beating them up, it is them beating one another up’.

“You guys can do no matter you need simply do not let it get to the skin.”

At Kohitere he spent spells within the safe unit, a complete of 154 days.

He was the primary boy ever to flee from the Kohitere safe unit and he took another boys with him, “to allow them to share within the glory”.

Aside from every day bodily schooling, the remainder of the time was spent on his personal.

Rei mentioned all he actually realized in care was how you can enhance his legal talent set.

“Learnt how you can be sneakier, and extra violent and fitter and simply extra angrier, actually extra offended,” he mentioned.

“Methods to combat higher, how you can combat a couple of particular person, how you can make improvised weapons, how you can steal automobiles, how you can commit profitable arson if mandatory. Concealing strategies for hiding contraband which might be utilized in prisons worldwide. Remember it is not Shawshank Redemption, a few of us have been actual small children, and a few of us have been enormous. All the stuff you needn’t know actually,” he mentioned.

Rei mentioned he had destroyed his life with medication, alcohol and with an informal angle to violence, all learnt in boys’ properties. He mentioned it turned him right into a monster.

“I am nonetheless bothered by the identical emotions. I am nonetheless affected by the previous and the fact is it is by no means going to go away.”

He mentioned there have been two Daniels, one he by no means wished to be – broody, darkish, socially remoted and typically violent, and the opposite, mild hearted, cracking jokes, sensible and achieved, and he wished he was all the time the second.

Rei left the listening to with a powerful message for the Commissioners.

“Do not let this occur once more to anybody please, for god’s sake, do not as a result of it is simply created, it is a petri dish and a coaching floor that can proceed and perpetuate violent criminality far into the long run.”

Rei has been recognized with post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD) and a generalised anxiousness dysfunction.

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