Thursday, December 05, 2013
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The Government Accountability Office released a report on Oct. 10, 2007 ("Residential Treatment Programs: Concerns Regarding Abuse and Death in Certain Programs for Troubled Youth") examining thousands of allegations of abuse at residential treatment programs for youth around the US. The report provides horrific detail of a number of specific cases including several deaths.
According to the report, "GAO found thousands of allegations of abuse, some of which involved death, at residential treatment programs across the country and in American-owned and American-operated facilities abroad between the years 1990 and 2007. Allegations included reports of abuse and death recorded by state agencies and the Department of Health and Human Services, allegations detailed in pending civil and criminal trials with hundreds of plaintiffs, and claims of abuse and death that were posted on the Internet. For example, during 2005 alone, 33 states reported 1,619 staff members involved in incidents of abuse in residential programs."
The report also notes that "GAO also examined, in greater detail, 10 closed civil or criminal cases from 1990 through 2004 where a teenager died while enrolled in a private program. GAO found significant evidence of ineffective management in most of the 10 cases, with program leaders neglecting the needs of program participants and staff. This ineffective management compounded the negative consequences of (and sometimes directly resulted in) the hiring of untrained staff; a lack of adequate nourishment; and reckless or negligent operating practices, including a lack of adequate equipment."