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Locked Up: W5

Catalogue Number:  CTV777
Producer:  CTV
Subject:  Abuse, Canadian History, Canadian Social Issues, Criminal Justice & Law, Documentary, Guidance, Health and Medicine, History, Psychology, Science, Social Issues, Social Sciences, Sociology
Language:  English
Grade Level:  Post Secondary, Adult, Educators
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2019
Running Time:  20:00

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Trudging across the snow covered field onto the former grounds of the Brookside Training School in Cobourg, Ontario instantly snaps Rick Brown back to October 1963, when he was just 10-years-old. Brown says he grew up in a dysfunctional home in Guelph, Ontario and that his father would often get drunk and physically abuse him and his siblings. So without strong parental guidance, Brown lashed out, getting into trouble with police for petty crimes. 

Like thousands of other children in Ontario deemed unmanageable, Brown was sentenced by a judge to an indeterminate amount of time at the provincially-run reform institutions known between 1931 and 1984 as Ontario Training Schools. Provincial government officials touted the 18 schools, peppered across the province, as the answer to unruly children.

Brown has now joined a $600-million class-action lawsuit against the Ontario government. Their lawyer says the evidence of systematic state sanctioned abuse at these institutions was well known by officials.

W5's Peter Akman speaks to some of the survivors of Ontario's Training Schools about the abuse they experienced there as children.

Includes W5 Extended Interview - Ontario Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath criticizes the government's unwillingness to apologize to all provincially run Training School victims.

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