Author Topic: Editorial: Congress right to propose new rules for boot camps (FL)  (Read 1029 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Source: ... new-rules/

Juvenile boot camps, such as Victory Forge Military Academy in Port St. Lucie, may have to reassess their policies and practices under potential legislation.

Congress has begun efforts to crack down on "tough love" residential facilities in the wake of reports of abuse and deaths. If that legislation is not adopted, the Florida Legislature should take action on those facilities located in the state.

In June, the U.S. House passed, by a vote of 318-103, legislation to forbid facilities from withholding food and shelter, limiting the use of restraints, and barring deceptive marketing techniques.

The Senate is not expected to take up the bill until after the November elections.

An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 teens attend such residential military-style schools. The young people often have behavioral, emotional or mental problems. Parents sign their children up to attend those schools and pay for their participation.

The Government Accountability Office reported that in 2006, 28 states reported at least one youth fatality in a residential facility from accident, suicide or neglect, according to Associated Press.

Under the House legislation, fines of up to $50,000 could be imposed for each violation of the law.

Victory Forge came under scrutiny earlier this year after a 16-year-old cadet ran away in shackles and claimed to have been abused.

The Department of Children and Families spent two months investigating the facility and determined it should be shut down. In a summary of its investigation, DCF said, in part, Victory Forge staff "engaged in physical discipline that is harmful to children, such as choking to unconsciousness, punching, kicking, banging heads into walls and cabinets."

The DCF investigation looked into 35 prior abuse allegations at Victory Forge. But, DCF has no jurisdiction over the private school.

Port St. Lucie police and the State Attorney's office also looked into the school and concluded no criminal activity had occurred. That's in part because parents sign a form in which they OK certain forms of discipline.

But, parents cannot authorize anyone to abuse their children.

Had the bill under congressional review been a law, perhaps conditions at Victory Forge and other private boot camps would be different.

Most of these facilities, including Victory Forge, may be doing a terrific job and turning kids around for their own good, the good of their families and society. But, a free hand to commit sadistic acts against troubled kids should not be tolerated anywhere.

The "Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2008" would:

Prohibit physical or mental abuse of children in program care.

Prohibit programs from denying children essential water, food, clothing, shelter or medical care.

Allow physical restraint only for the safety of children or others.

Require programs to provide children with reasonable access to a telephone and inform them of their right to use it.

Require programs to have plans to provide emergency medical care.

Prevent deceptive marketing by residential programs for teens.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Oscar

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Southeastern Military Academy can remain open for 6 months more
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 04:26:17 PM »
Southeastern Military Academy also known as Victory Forge from the shackling case from a few years back has been allowed to continue operation until June 30 this year. If they have no license by then the school is closed.

However it is not good. They had forever to get their papers in order. The judge should have stopped them. For how long can such a place not be in compliance? The joke has taken 10 years so far.

Judge allows military home to stay open despite abuse complaints (Tampa Bay Times)