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Disgraced Youth Detention Centre Embraced In Facebook Advertising

A besieged government is promoting the inspirational story of a former Don Dale inmate.

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The Northern Territory's Country Liberal Party has embraced an inspirational story of redemption about the Don Dale detention centre despite a royal commission being called into the territory's juvenile justice system following shocking allegations against the facility.

Facebook: countryliberals

The video was posted on the Country Liberal Party's Facebook page yesterday and tells the story of "Kenny" who was incarcerated at the Don Dale facility when he was 11 years old.

"A couple of years ago in Don Dale, I did what everyone else has done, a bad life, with wrong decisions," says Kenny.

The Facebook video was made for a crocodile park in the NT, which is run by one of the Country Liberal Party's candidates Giovanna Webb.

Facebook: countryliberals

It also shows the text: "When Kenny left Don Dale he decided to change his life - to chase a dream."

The Don Dale centre became the focus of international attention last week after footage emerged of boys being teargassed in cells during an escape attempt at the facility in 2014.

A Four Corners investigation showed young inmates being "tortured", including footage of them being stripped naked and kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. Four Corners also published footage of one young man being strapped to a chair by his arms and neck with his face covered by a spit hood, in images reminiscent of Guantanamo Bay.

In the wake of the program and the announcement of a royal commission into the NT juvenile justice system, chief minister Adam Giles wrote an open letter to the NT News blaming "parental love for children" for the situation.

Statement from Giles in NT News today blaming lack of love from parents for #dondale situation. Keep digging Adam.

The scandal-plagued Country Liberal government faces a wipeout at next month's election.

The latest polling shows support for the CLP has dropped 20 points since the last election, with betting markets showing Labor as $1.01 favourites.

Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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