Boy with a mental impairment was stripped of his clothing and spent three days ...

An Indigenous teenage boy with a mental impairment was stripped of his clothing for 'three days' because he refused to wear an anti-suicide smock that he likened to wearing a 'dress'.

The boy, understood to be 17 years old, was held in Brisbane's maximum-security police watch house - which is also home to adults accused of offences such as murder and rape - earlier this year due to lack of space in youth detention facilities.

Newly unearthed documents obtained by the ABC revealed three officers from the facility restrained the boy so they could dress him in a 'suicide smock' after officials deemed him to be a suicide risk.

A suicide smock is a single-piece, tear-resistant garment used to prevent a detainee from committing suicide.

But when the boy refused to wear it he was stripped of his usual attire and instead 'chose to wear the garment as a sarong'.

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An Indigenous teenage boy with a mental impairment was stripped of his clothing for 'three days' because he refused to wear an anti-suicide smock that he likened to wearing a 'dress' (CCTV footage of an inmate at Brisbane Watch House pictured)

An Indigenous teenage boy with a mental impairment was stripped of his clothing for 'three days' because he refused to wear an anti-suicide smock that he likened to wearing a 'dress' (CCTV footage of an inmate at Brisbane Watch House pictured) 

The young man was diagnosed as suffering from a neurodevelopmental disability and foetal alcohol spectrum disorder according to Office of the Public Guardian documents.

The documents stated he told the child safety officer about his adverse mental state, and the officer then relayed to Queensland police that the boy was suffering from 'suicidal ideation'.

Officers responded to the information by placing the young man in a padded cell and attempting to put him in the suicide-preventative outfit.

'Subsequently three or four male officers held [him] down and undressed him … and [he] was yelling and screaming the whole time,' the document said.

The boy is understood to have told child safety officer he had refused to wear the smock because he had 'feelings of shame'.

'High concerns' for the boy were also raised by the Queensland Department of Child Safety who wanted to try to get the boy some clothes.

(File picture) 'High concerns' for the boy were also raised by the Queensland Department of Child Safety who wanted to try to get the boy some clothes

(File picture) 'High concerns' for the boy were also raised by the Queensland Department of Child Safety who wanted to try to get the boy some clothes

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The Office of the Public Guardian also expressed their concerns for the young boy in an email.

They asked to 'escalate a complaint' in relation to the 'lack of clothing' that had been provided to the young man.

It stated he had not been given any clothing besides the smock.

The image shows a prison 'suicide smock'

The image shows a prison 'suicide smock' 

The Public Guardian office also said holding the boy in an adult watch house was distressing and had contributed to a decline in his mental well-being.

A spokeswoman for Child Safety Minister Di Farmer said the boy was given the smock to wear 'for his own safety' but he was later 'assessed' and it was found he was able to wear 'ordinary' clothes.

Frances Quan Farrant, senior research and policy officer at People with Disability

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