An I-O-U is normally a light-hearted gesture, like I-O-U 50p, or I-O-U one hug, but for two adopted teenage girls living in Arizona, their “owed” post-it notes consisted of a variety of punishments, stacked up because they were receiving them faster than could be completed. The police found these lists littering the house of a couple named Johann and Kimery Jorg.
They had adopted a total of four girls, however the eldest two were subjected to severe punishments as a form of discipline for their “deviant and defiant behaviour.” They called their method “deep prison”, which involved punishments like keeping the girls living in the back garden with no clothes, and making them run around for hours in the scorching heat with no shoes.
Both 11 and 13 year-olds fostered by the couple were found extremely malnourished. They had been surviving off “prison food”, a combination of oatmeal, prunes, or grits and salsa. The 13 year-old girl had reportedly lived without clothing since December. She was forced to wear nappies, and sometimes did not even have that luxury. Her bathroom facilities were a mere bucket and she lived out of a tent.
The girl stated punishments were for crimes such as stealing and lying, and admitted she had stolen some food once because she was hungry. As a punishment, the Jorgs had shaved off her hair and said that she did not deserve to have any. Social workers became involved after the couple went to a health clinic to seek help for their children’s “naughty” behaviour. However after telling them the methods they had tried, the clinic contacted the authorities.
When visiting the home, police also found another two girls in their care, a 7 and 8 year-old. However they had been favoured, and were discluded from the deep prison methods of discipline. When questioned, neighbours said that they had almost forgotten the couple had two eldest girls because they were never seen.
The girls forested by the Jorgs are now in custody. They had all previously been removed from abusive homes, so it is extremely saddening that they were subjected to yet more maltreatment, either by victimisation or witnessing it first-hand. Anyone who has suffered from criminal injury is urged to come forward to seek compensation for injustice.