Author Topic: Radley Balko covers KHK  (Read 856 times)

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Offline ramprato

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Radley Balko covers KHK
« on: November 17, 2005, 09:00:00 AM »

November 16, 2005
Kids Drug Warriors Helping Preying on Kids
So after watching the local news report on Kids Helping Kids (and you really need to see the video), I can tell you it is an exact replica of the Straight programs of the 1980s and 90s, all of which were shut down due to allegations of abuse, lawsuits, and criminal probes. Note also the length of stay -- 11-12 months. If that duration is like the one at Straight, much of it is spent in complete isolation from parents and family.

The paramaters of what constitutes "drug-related behavior" were set exceedingly broad at Straight, so that just about any kid could be a potential drug case, and thus a Straight client. That in mind, check out this list of "warning signs" from the KHK website. Just four of these apparently means your kid's probably into the drugs, and a likely enrollee in the program:

Has your child....

seemed depressed
become rebellious and defiant
had trouble with the law
had a bad attitude
avoided you upon arriving home
become increasingly isolated
had a drop in grades
required extra sleep
dropped out of favorite activities
changed friends
started looking unkempt or unhealthy
changed image/clothes/personal style
been caught lying
possessed unexplained money
threatened or attempted suicide
frequently broken curfew
been fired from work
come home high or drunk
destroyed car or property

Do you...

argue with your spouse about your child‚??s behavior
feel anger or dislike for your child
fear you are a failure as a parent
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Nonconformistlaw

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Radley Balko covers KHK
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2005, 05:11:00 PM »
Just found this and if it is posted elsewhere, my apologies. I did try to make sure it wasnt posted already.

"November 16, 2005
Straight, Inc. Lives
Jim Leitzel notes a local news report on a disturbing, cultish drug rehab center in Ohio called "Kids Helping Kids." In the course of calling attention to the program, Jim also links to the recent Alternet report on Mel Sembler and Straight, Inc.

As it turns out, the two are related. Kids Helping Kids is run by George Ross, former National Education Director for the Straight program. Ross continues to set up next-generation Straight facilities under different names, even as he continues to accumulate lawsuits, accusations, and criminal charges alleging abuse. The Kids Helping Kids program is actually located in the same building the Straight program operated from until it was closed by authorities in 1987.

Leitzel also notes that the town in Ohio where Kids is operating -- Millford -- was the scene of a sleazy sting operation in 2004. The District Superintendent hired a college student to infiltrate the high school to solicit drugs from other students. The program cost $40,000, and netted about a half dozen pissant distribution charges, including one student arrested for selling the agent less than an ounce of pot. Leitzel rightly castigates these tactics, which included the agent -- a young female -- establishing emotional bonds with high school boys, then directing them to go out and find her drugs to win her favor. Then, of course, she arrested them.

I suspect these two stories are connected. One of the tactics Straight used to win "clients" was to recruit principals and superintendents from schools in the area around the facility. They also won over judges and school boards. Kids caught with drugs, alcohol, even kids who merely misbehaved, then, were often refered over to Straight in lieu of criminal punishment. Given the abuse many of them then endured at Straight, criminal punishment probably would have been preferable.

I don't have time to do any follow-up right now, but I'd be interested to see how many of the kids busted in the Millford high school sting were required to enroll in Kids Helping Kids as part of their punishment. My guess is that Ross operating by the old Sembler playbook.

Posted by Radley Balko on November 16, 2005"
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
quot;In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.\" George Orwell