Author Topic: Restoration Ranch - Investigation abuse  (Read 1735 times)

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Offline wdtony

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Restoration Ranch - Investigation abuse
« on: May 06, 2012, 05:09:40 AM » ... eUn1A.cspx

DHR Investigates Restoration Youth Academy After Allegations of Abuse

Published: 5/02 7:27 pm
Updated: 5/02 7:31 pm

(PRICHARD, Ala.) - The mother of a former student at a Mobile County reform school said kids are being physically abused while under the school's care.

Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said her office, as well as the Alabama Department of Human Resources, is investigating the Restoration Youth Academy in Prichard, but there is no credible evidence of any physical abuse.

The mother told Local 15 News she did not want her identity, as well as her daughter's identity, revealed because she fears for their safety.

The claims come after Prichard Police said six students broke out of the Restoration Youth Academy Saturday night. The six were found by authorities in Florida after stealing a van from the academy and driving it to Lee County before they ran out of gas.

"I asked them," Academy Director John Young said, "I said, 'What were you all going to do?' 'Well, we were just going to go down to Tampa, and just hang out.' I said, 'What we're you going to do for food?' One of the kids said, 'I was going to rob me somebody.' "

Young said the kids were safely returned to the school by authorities, but were not charged for stealing the van. The anonymous parent claims the academy is above the law.

"They are terrified to make arrests there because, and I've personally witnesses this, John Young and Will Knott told them, 'Go ahead and make an arrest. I'll put the cuffs on for you, and, tomorrow, I'll have your badge," the mother said.

The woman, whose daughter has since returned home from the school, claims police have copied her on reports sent to state representatives regarding physical and sexual abuse at the school. She said the kids are sometimes put in solitary confinement.

"Naked, and locked them in there with hoods on their head for days at a time with no food or no water," she said. "They will beat the kids, thirty lashes, with leather belts for fidgeting in church, and they've admitted this to police officers, but, you know, nobody thinks that that's abuse."

Academy Director John Young said they have welcomed investigations into the claims.

"They talked to every kid," Young said about the county investigators, "and the kid admitted to them, 'I just want to go home, so I lied on them so hopefully they'll close this place down so I can go home."

Young said the allegations of abuse are false, maintaining critics are attacking the school in an attempt to shut it down.

"We have found no credible evidence to support any claims of any physical abuse," District Attorney Ashley Rich said.

Rich said she has reviewed the complaints thoroughly, and said her investigation is still open.

"We still do have an ongoing investigation as to what laws govern the administration of the school and the academy itself," Rich said.
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