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Archive for the ‘Institutional Child Abuse’ Category

The Silver Lining in the Bad Economy!

In Institutional Child Abuse on March 6, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Darrington Academy is the latest one (“troubled teen” program) to bite the proverbial dust!!!

Story from the News Observer

Darrington closes doors
BY BRIAN K. FINNICUM, EDITOR

Monday, March 2, 2009 4:01 PM CST
Darrington Academy, a private school for troubled teens in Blue Ridge, closed its doors Friday, a move that owner and headmaster Richard Darrington says is due to the current state of the economy.

Darrington said the income from the number of parents who could pay the school’s tuition no longer covered the school’s fixed costs. He said enrollment at the school had declined from 180 students two years ago to fewer than 90 now, and “at that point it became no longer possible to keep the doors open and the kids safe.”

The closing comes as a joint investigation of certain activities at the school is under way by the Fannin County Department of Family and Children Services, the Fannin County Sheriff’s Department and state regulatory officials.

Sheriff’s Department Investigator Diane Davis said the investigation has been under way for approximately three weeks, and was launched when she was contacted by DFCS officials in reference to reports they had received.

As part of that investigation, a search warrant was served on the school Feb. 13 where video surveillance cameras, computers and numerous files were confiscated.

Davis also said that as part of the investigation approximately 120 interviews were conducted of students and school staff with the assistance of DFCS investigators from surrounding counties.

Davis declined to release any particulars of the investigation as it is still in progress.

Although Darrington said the school’s closure was unrelated to the investigation, he said that the school had stopped accepting new enrollments after the investigation was launched, “exacerbating an already existing financial situation.

“We’re cooperating fully,” Darrington said of the investigation.

“I just want to see it resolved as soon as possible,” Darrington said.

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Four Escape From The Judge Rotenberg Center

In Institutional Child Abuse, Judge Rotenberg, programs on February 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm

 

 

  SATURDAY FEBRUARY 21, 2009 Last modified: Saturday, February 21, 2009 2:03 AM EST 

Four escape from Rotenberg Center

FOR THE SUN CHRONICLE

REHOBOTH – Four residents of a Judge Rotenberg Educational Center facility escaped Thursday night and stole a car, before being apprehended a short time later in Raynham.

The Rotenberg Center is a special needs school based in Canton.

A staff member from the Rotenberg residence at 225 County St. alerted police about 9:30 p.m. that the young men, ranging in age from 18 to 20, were missing and requested assistance, Police Chief Stephen Enos reported.

Rehoboth police conducted a search of the area for an hour with the assistance of Dighton police and a Massachusetts State Police K-9 unit.

Police then received a 911 call about four young men seen on New Street, but the individuals left the area in a white van before police officers arrived.

Dighton, Taunton and Raynham police were notified, and within minutes Taunton police located the van, chased it into Raynham, where the van was stopped, and apprehended the men.

http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2009/02/21/news/4458130.txt

House Education Committee Approves Legislation to Stop Child Abuse in Teen Residential Programs

In Institutional Child Abuse on February 21, 2009 at 4:43 am

House Education Committee Approves Legislation to Stop Child Abuse in Teen Residential Programs

Bill Would Help Ensure Parents Have Information They Need to Keep their Children Safe

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the House Education and Labor Committee approved legislation to protect teenagers attending residential treatment programs, including therapeutic boarding schools, boot camps, wilderness programs and behavior modification facilities, from physical, mental, and sexual abuse and increase transparency to help parents make safe choices for their children.
Investigations conducted by the Government Accountability Office during the 110th Congress uncovered thousands of cases and allegations of child abuse and neglect since the early 1990’s at teen residential programs. Currently, these programs are governed only by a weak patchwork of state and federal standards. A separate GAO report, also conducted last year at the committee’s request, found major gaps in the licensing and oversight of residential programs – some of which are not covered by any state licensing standards at all.

GAO concluded that without adequate oversight “the well-being and civil rights of youth in some facilities will remain at risk.”

State reported data to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System in 2005 found that 34 states reported 1503 incidents of youth maltreatment by residential facility staff.  Of the states surveyed by GAO, 28 reported at least one youth fatality in a residential facility in 2006. GAO concluded both of these statistics understate the incidents of maltreatment and death.

The Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2009 (H.R. 911) would establish minimum standards for preventing child abuse and neglect at teen residential programs. It would require states to inform the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of reports of abuse and neglect at covered programs, require investigations of such programs and require the HHS to issue civil penalties against programs that violate the new standards. The bill also calls for states, within three years, to take on the role of setting and enforcing standards for both private and public youth residential programs.  

“Today, we are taking an important, common-sense step toward finally ending this culture of abuse and neglect that has put thousands of teens in jeopardy,” said U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the chairman of the Committee, and one of the bill’s authors. “Parents deserve every assurance that their child will be safe when attending a residential program intended to help them build a better life.”

“I am pleased to see that we are moving one step closer to making residential treatment facilities safer and better regulated,” said U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), the chairwoman of the Healthy Families and Communities subcommittee.  “Hopefully, as a result of the Committee’s actions today, we will be able to move forward with the necessary reforms to end the deceptive marketing practices and patterns of abuse that have already impacted so many families and make residential treatment facilities safer places for children to get the help they need.”

In addition, the legislation would also ensure that parents have the information needed to make safe choices for their children about teen residential programs.

Among other things, H.R. 911 would create a toll-free national hotline for individuals to report cases of abuse and a website with information about substantiated cases of abuse at residential programs. The bill would require programs to provide children with adequate food, water, medical care, and rest. And to prevent deceptive marketing practices and create transparency to help parents make safe choices for their children, it would require, among other things, that programs inform parents of their staff members’ qualifications, roles, and responsibilities.

The House passed similar legislation last June by a bipartisan vote of 318 to 103, with the support of the American Association of Children’s Residential Centers, American Bar Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America, Children’s Defense Fund, Easter Seals, Mental Health America, the National Child Abuse Coalition and many other organizations.

For more information on this legislation, click here.

For more information on the committee’s past hearings on these abuses, at which GAO released its reports, click here.

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Wesley Fager, Hero to All Who Fight Institutional Child Abuse!

In Brainwashing, Current Events, Institutional Child Abuse, Mel Sembler, Miller Newton, People, programs, Straight, Inc., Wes Fager on February 14, 2009 at 2:30 pm
Wes Fager, A Hero & Friend of FICANetwork. Rest In Peace My Friend.

Wes Fager, A Hero & Friend of FICANetwork. Rest In Peace My Friend.

For Anyone Who Has a Hard Time Believing Straight, Inc. is still Alive and Well. (A story about AARC)

In Brainwashing, Current Events, Institutional Child Abuse, Mel Sembler, Miller Newton, People, programs, Straight, Inc. on February 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm

A great story was done by Gilliam Findlay exposing the AARC program and Dean Vause as the fraud that it is. This is a “MUST-SEE”

I know it’s true, but it’s very difficult to imagine that the program has managed to exist and live on quite lucratively for so long. The SEED/STRAIGHT model is going on its 5th decade of living. Unbelievable.

At least in Canada this makes “Top Headlines.” Maybe there is some hope for the end of the program up there. (keeping my fingers crossed.)

Here is the print article about the the program. Alberta drug rehab centre abused us, former teen patients allege
Executive director calls them ‘liars,’ former patient denies abuses

Here is the full episode which was shown in Canada on television POWERLESS

This aired in Canada last night. (Friday 02/13/09 at 9:00pm)

Miller, McCarthy Reintroduce Legislation to Stop Child Abuse in Teen Residential Programs

In Current Events, Institutional Child Abuse, Legislation, politics, programs on February 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm

House Education and Labor Committee will consider legislation on Wednesday

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) today reintroduced legislation to protect teenagers attending residential treatment programs from physical, mental and sexual abuse and to prevent deceptive marketing practices by operators of private residential programs for teens. The lawmakers also announced that the House Education and Labor Committee will mark up the legislation on Wednesday.
Investigations conducted by the Government Accountability Office during the 110th Congress at the lawmakers’ request have uncovered thousands of cases and allegations of child abuse and neglect since the early 1990’s at teen residential programs, including therapeutic boarding schools, boot camps, wilderness programs and behavior modification facilities. Currently, these programs are governed only by a weak patchwork of state and federal standards. A separate GAO report, also conducted last year at the committee’s request, found major gaps in the licensing and oversight of residential programs – some of which are not covered by any state licensing standards at all.

In addition, the GAO’s investigation revealed that many teen residential treatment programs have been using deceptive marketing practices and questionable tactics to lure vulnerable parents desperate to find help for their children.

“For far too long, these abuses, neglect and mistreatment of children – some of the most horrific violations of trust imaginable – have been allowed to go on completely unchecked,” said Miller, the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. “Parents deserve every assurance that their children will be safe and protected when attending a program intended to help improve their lives.”

“It is no doubt a painful and difficult decision for parents to send their children to residential treatment facilities and the last thing they should have to worry about is the possibility of unknowingly putting their kids in harms way,” said McCarthy, chairwoman of the Healthy Families and Communities subcommittee. “It is crucial that federal standards are set in place to prevent the abuse, neglect and deceptive marking practices that have devastated so many children and families.”

To address these problems, the Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2009, would:

  • Establish, for the first time, minimum federal standards for preventing child abuse and neglect at teen residential programs. The bill would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to inspect all programs around the country every two years and to issue civil penalties against programs that violate the new standards. The bill also calls for states, within three years, to take on the role of setting and enforcing standards for both private and public youth residential programs.
  • Strengthen protections for children attending these programs. The bill would require programs to provide children with adequate food, water, medical care and rest.
  • Ensure that programs are transparent and provide parents with information about teen residential programs that enable them to make safe choices for their teenagers. The legislation would create a toll-free national hotline for individuals to report cases of abuse and a website with information about substantiated cases of abuse at residential programs, including programs locations, owners, and history of violations and child fatalities. Programs would also be required to inform parents of their staff members’ qualifications, roles and responsibilities.

The House passed similar legislation last June by a bipartisan vote of 318 to 103, with the support of the American Association of Children’s Residential Centers, American Bar Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, the Child Welfare League of America, Children’s Defense Fund, Easter Seals, Mental Health America, the National Child Abuse Coalition and many other organizations.

For more information on this legislation, click here.

For more information on the committee’s past hearings on these abuses, at which GAO released its reports, click here.

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Student Uprising at Center that uses Electic Shocks as ‘Treatment’

In Institutional Child Abuse on February 6, 2009 at 1:52 pm

They fail to mention that electric shocks are their primary mode of treatment.

Teen arrested after uprising at JRC
By Kate Sullivan Foley
Wed Feb 04, 2009, 10:01 AM EST

Stoughton – Police arrested one teenager after an apparent uprising at the Judge Rotenberg Center at 66 Kevin Clancy Way.

At 9:27 p.m. Monday night police received a call from a worker who stated that the center was being taken over by students.

A representative from the JRC said if a situation escalates to a point where there is potential for an injury, staff members have the authority to call local police.

“In this case a severely emotionally disturbed kid at a school for emotionally disturbed kids had an episode,” said JRC Spokesperson Ernie Corrigan.

He said that the situation “was handled well.”

Stoughton Police Sgt. Paul Williams and Officers Shawn Faria, Joe Zbinski, Edward Barker and Joe DeSousa responded to the incident.

“The officers walked into a tumultuous situation,” said Stoughton Police Executive Officer Rob Devine.

There was general unruliness and students were yelling, he said. Counselors were attempting to calm students down when officers arrived.

The initial call reported possible injuries, but police said no physical violence or apparent injuries were observed by officers.

Officers identified one student as the instigator of the bedlam, Devine said.

That student was separated from the other students, but continued to act out.

After allegedly ripping something off a wall and punching a hole in another wall, the 16-year-old student was arrested, Devine said.

The student was transported to the police station and charged with malicious or wanton damage or defacement.

At 11:36 p.m. police released the student into the custody of a representative from Judge Rotenberg Center.

According to Devine, police are only allowed to hold a juvenile for up to six hours. At that point or before, the court decides if the youth should be released into the custody of his parent or guardian or should be sent to a Department of Youth Services Detention Center.

In this case, Devine said, the Judge Rotenberg Center is the proper custodian and the youth was released accordingly.

The Judge Rotenberg Center is described on its website as “an educational and treatment center that is designed to help students with severe behavior problems to strengthen their repertoire of desirable behaviors and to decrease or eliminate their undesired behaviors. The primary applications employed by JRC include behavior modification, precision teaching, programmed instruction, behavioral counseling and behavioral self-management.”

Connecticut Junior Republic Announces Plans to Close Residential Program in Litchfield

In Current Events, Institutional Child Abuse, programs on February 6, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Read the interesting press release from the  Junior Republic Residential Program. It details interesting reasons they plan to close the program in Connecticut.   Click on this link to read the press realease. ct-junior-republic1

See News Article on the Closure  HERE. Or read the text below

WFSB.com


Center For At-Risk Boys To Close Doors

Money, Violence Among Reason For Closing, Documents Say

POSTED: 4:10 pm EST February 5, 2009
UPDATED: 7:25 pm EST February 5, 2009

The Connecticut Junior Republic, which treats at-risk teenage boys, announced last week that it will close its Litchfield campus, costing over 100 people their jobs.

CJR representatives said one of the main reasons is fewer troubled boys are being treated in programs where they live at a facility.

With the development of more community-based and in-home services in the last few years, the population of youths who are being referred to residential programs has changed, said Gary Kleeblatt, a spokesman for DCF. As a result, he said, only youths with a more intensive level of need are now referred to the more restrictive levels of care provided in a residential program.

DCF and CJR worked together to make appropriate changes, he said. A suspension on admissions was imposed, the census was reduced, and staff training and staffing levels both increased, he said.

However, Kleeblatt said, despite these efforts and as a result of a decreased demand for the kinds of services CJR provides, it’s our understanding that CJR felt they did not have adequate numbers of children to continue in its residential program.

As a result, he said, CJR reached the conclusion that it would move in another direction and concentrate on children whose needs are appropriate for community based services.

However, the Channel 3 I-Team obtained documents that give more insight about CJR’s closing, including reports of four unannounced inspections conducted by the Department of Children and Families in November, December and January.
According to the documents, DCF said it was concerned about staff members being seldom seen checking on children, a residential cottage with overflowing outside garbage cans, a residential cottage in which some children were still in bed at 11 a.m. and a visit during which four boys tested positive for marijuana.

Another entry from the December report state that some of the boys were “reported as acting aggressive and out of control. One staff member refused to work a shift because she was being harassed by a group of boys, while another staff member was threatened to be raped by male residents.

”The I-Team also obtained a memo discussing a pair of day in early January during which Connecticut State Police had to perform sweeps and lockdowns of the campus because staff members found notes that said someone “brought a gun to CJR.” The memo states the another note said the writer was going to “shoot the principal as well as others.
”No gun was found, police said.

Another factor in the decision to close was the cost. The documents state that in at least one case, charges to keep one teen at the center for a month totaled $9,000, adding up to more than $100,000 per year.

DCF is currently engaged in transition planning to ensure that the youths at CJR receive appropriate treatment services in other settings and that this transition occurs in an orderly fashion, Kleeblatt said.

CJR, which has rehabilitated hundreds, if not thousands of teenage boys through its residential program over its 100-year history, wouldn’t comment on the documents the I-Team obtained.

Boot camp where Martin Lee Anderson Died is being renovated.

In Institutional Child Abuse on February 5, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Former Bay County Boot Camp which has been closed since April 2006, was being renovated as of Feb 4, 2009.

Teen Court and Guardian as Litem will be sharing the building.

County finds new use for old boot camp

February 4, 2009 – 6:42PM

PANAMA CITY—Martin Lee Anderson entered the old Bay County Boot Camp on Jan. 5, 2006, a troubled 14-year-old. He left on a stretcher, and soon after his death the next day, he became a cause célèbre.

While controversy over Anderson’s death raged on, the building where it happened sat empty, the land unused.

The Bay County Boot Camp closed on April 6, 2006, and the next month Gov. Jeb Bush signed a law shuttering the rest of Florida’s boot camps.

Almost three years later, the building will re-open to house the Guardian ad Litem and Teen Court programs. Bay County employees are completing the renovation for $70,000, instead of contracting out for an estimated $250,000 to $280,000.

Work started Monday to convert the building into office space.

The site will not feature any marker or memorial to Anderson when it re-opens this summer. The fence and light pole he was held against by guards is still there, though.

The backyard, where the teenaged inmates did pushups, sit-ups, and ran laps up a hill, is now leveled. A bulldozer sat in the middle of the yard Wednesday, with a mountain of dirt still to move.

The loud clap of hammers against nails pierced the cold morning, as a county crew put the framework of the new offices together.

“We are very excited,” said June Lashbrook, director of Guardian ad Litem’s 14th Circuit office. The program’s staff of 16 occupied a workspace suited for only seven in the Juvenile Justice Courthouse, across 11th Street from the boot camp.

Lashbrook hopes her program, which provides legal representation for abused and neglected children, and Teen Court bring some good to a building that holds painful memories.

“I think it’s making something so very positive out of a tragedy, because this will now enable us to have the space that we so desperately need,” she said.

The county owned the boot camp land, but the state owned the building, and after years of haggling, the two sides reached a deal. Because the same land and building conflicts existed across the street at the Juvenile Justice Courthouse, the county and state arranged a swap, so that the county owns the entire boot camp site, while the state owns the courthouse site.

“This is just a dream we never thought would ever come true,” said Suzanne Cox, director of Teen Court, which arranges for first-time misdemeanor offenders ages 12 to 18 to do community service through a sentencing process that includes volunteer teenagers as lawyers and jurors.

Cox surveyed a former boot camp classroom, which will become her courtroom. The only sign left of the room’s former use was a metal pencil sharpener, the old kind with the crank, screwed into the windowsill.

Outside, two workers pulled nails out of wooden planks stripped from the building, so the wood can be reused. A host of county departments are involved with the renovation, which should be complete by June 5.

“This basically is just a cleanup, a fix-up,” said Mike Gordon, county builders services director. The former boot camp inmate bedrooms are being turned into offices. Teen Court’s bathroom is a converted men’s room; the urinals will be boxed over instead of removed to save money.

The county is still searching for someone to take the barbed wire from the fence surrounding the property, one of the final exterior signs of the property’s former use.

“It’s pretty hard to find somebody to work with that stuff,” said Assistant County Manager Dan Shaw. “It’s unclear at this time (who is disposing of the barbed wire), but it’s going away.”

ON THE WEB –  See a video of the renovation of the old Bay County Boot Camp

FIVE programs closing or making plans to close within the last month!

In Institutional Child Abuse on January 31, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Whether its exposure, or the economy, it doesn’t really matter what the reasons are, programs are finally closing!!! The general public is finally seeing residential-type programs (be they called wilderness, boot camps, military schools, specialty boarding schools… they all operate around the same basic abusive principals) for what they really are. (Nothing but money-making scams at the expense of our children’s safety.) This is good news for teens, parents, families and the entire community of the USA.

As the generation of children who were “raised” in program grow up and have their own children, we will probably see a rise in them abusing their own children, unless they seek help for the trauma they experienced in the program. Then once they have grandchildren, hopefully the abuse cycle that began with residential programs will have finally come to an end.

Go American Consumers! Keep doing your homework! You are headed in the right direction! No more fraud! No more abuse!!!