Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - wdtony

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 12
Heads up,

Watch CNN tonight, September 1st 2011

8:00pm EST

Anderson Cooper Reports on Hephzibah House (and more?). This is part one. I have no further information.

Spread the word please.

Just passing it along... More media attention. In this case IFB churches. ... ch_results

News Items / Eckerd Youth alternatives NC program closing
« on: September 05, 2010, 10:36:31 AM » ... eft_column

Lowgap wilderness camp to close

by Tom Joyce
1 day 11 hrs ago (9-4-2010)

Unexpected state budget cuts are leading to the demise of a wilderness camp at Lowgap serving troubled youths, which will soon close and put 45 people out of work.

“We anticipate this closure will be completed by Oct. 2,” said Karen Bonsignori, an official of Eckerd Youth Alternatives, which has operated Camp E-Mun-Talee in Surry County since 1979.

It presently is serving 56 boys, who also will be displaced by the move.

“Unfortunately, times and budget resources are difficult,” Bonsignori added Friday in explaining the reasons for the shutdown.

The Lowgap wilderness camp, on Ramey Orchard Road, had been threatened with closure earlier this year when Gov. Bev Perdue proposed a statewide cut of $7.6 million, and 155 beds, for camps serving troubled teens. This was part of an effort to reduce spending on “social” programs.

Later, funding for the wilderness camp at Lowgap and others in North Carolina was reported to have been left intact after final budget actions this summer in the state General Assembly, and it was thought all would continue operations.

However, a Thursday letter from the N.C. Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention cites “additional budget cuts” it received in programs to provide services for at-risk youth. These occurred in the aftermath of this year’s short session of the Legislature, according to the letter.

“These additional cuts, along with (others) absorbed in the previous year, forced the department to make some difficult decisions,” the letter from the state agency says. “Subsequently, it was determined that funding to Eckerd (Youth Alternatives), along with that of our other partners, would be reduced.”

While state officials had hoped all five camps the Florida-based organization operates in North Carolina would remain open despite the cutback, it has led to what is being called the “difficult” decision to close Camp E-Mun-Talee.

Bonsignori, who is associate vice president of external relations for Eckerd Youth Alternatives, said the company will do everything possible to assist those impacted — both staff members and clients.

“Eckerd is taking extraordinary measures to make this transition as seamless as possible for the 56 youths and the 45 staff members involved,” she said.

“Staff members are being assisted in applying for other open positions within Eckerd’s system of care. In addition, we are working with the youths’ families to help find appropriate placements for the youth.”

The Lowgap wilderness facility approach has involved housing teens in an isolated rural location where they are more prone to learn responsibility and to function positively with others. Typically, they build tents, go on backpacking trips and become involved in community-service projects in addition to furthering their education.

Many success stories have emerged from boys who have lived at the camp, who typically have not benefited from more-conventional programs for troubled teens.

“This consolidation is in no way a reflection on the quality of care that E-Mun-Talee has provided over the years,” Bonsignori said of the closing. “E-Mun-Talee is an excellent program that has helped thousands of at-risk youth turn their lives around.”

The company official added that the surrounding community has played a major role in the Lowgap facility’s operation during the past 31 years as well.

“Eckerd Youth Alternatives deeply appreciates the tremendous community support that has been demonstrated for our youth over the years. We want the local community to know that their kindness and generosity has made a difference in thousands of children’s lives,” Bonsignori said.

The four Eckerd wilderness camps in North Carolina that will remain open are in Candor, Boomer, Manson and Elizabethtown. The Florida company also operates family preservation and reunification services in 10 counties and an adolescent parenting service in Vance County, which will be continued.

Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.

News Items / Teenager found dead at center
« on: August 19, 2010, 05:18:06 AM » ... -hill.html

Teenager found dead at Rock Hill psychiatric center

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. ... z0x2eD4utj

News Items / RTC teen dies: 8-13-10
« on: August 19, 2010, 01:02:24 AM » ... 59350.html

Teen who collapsed at residential treatment facility dies

Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle
Aug. 18, 2010, 10:49PM

The state's foster care agency revealed Wednesday that a 17-year-old girl who collapsed about a month ago at a residential treatment facility has died.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is investigating the death of Shanice Nibbs, who collapsed July 16 while on a nature walk at the Five Oaks Achievement Center in New Ulm, about 72 miles west of Houston. On Wednesday, agency spokesman Patrick Crimmins issued a news release notifying the media that the teen died Friday.

Reporters for the Houston Chronicle and Texas Tribune first contacted DFPS officials two weeks ago about the girl's collapse. At the time, the girl was alive in the intensive care unit at Texas Children's Hospital, and the agency offered no other details, citing the investigation.

An official with the governor's office confirmed that the agency notified it immediately of the incident and that it was aware that the agency had suspended all placements at the facility until an investigation was completed.

An official with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, which conducted an autopsy, said the girl died of complications of hypothermia. It is not known how long the girl had been at the facility, how long she had been in foster care, or if she had a pre-existing health condition.

Two months ago, the Chronicle and Tribune detailed how more than 250 confirmed incidents of abuse or neglect had occurred since 2008 at residential treatment facilities, where the state's most troubled foster care children are placed.

[email protected]

I am assuming that she died of hyperthermia and not hypothermia. -wdtony

The Troubled Teen Industry / PTSD and youth confinement
« on: August 16, 2010, 06:38:07 PM »
Foster care

In the Casey Family Northwest Alumni Study, conducted in conjunction with researchers from the Harvard Medical School in Oregon and Washington state, the rate of PTSD in adults who were in foster care for one year between the ages of 14-18 was found to be higher than that of combat veterans. Up to 25 percent of those in the study meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD as compared to 12-13 percent of Iraq war veterans and 15 percent of Vietnam war veterans, and a rate of 4 percent in the general population. The recovery rate for foster home alumni was 28.2% as opposed to 47% in the general population. ... s_disorder

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Branches - Weird video
« on: August 06, 2010, 04:31:52 AM »
This video plays on the addiction page of the branches website:

It's good to know that the therapy science is coming from a reputable source...sheesh ... _embedded#!

The video is good..... unless you've been in the program and know how they use it.  Kinda like a hammer is good until someone starts to hit you with it.

News Items / Police probe abuse complaint
« on: August 05, 2010, 02:04:12 AM »

Police probe abuse complaint

N.S. boy, 15, suffered black eye, cuts and scratches at facility for troubled youth in Ontario, family alleges

By The Canadian Press
Wed, Aug 4, 2010- 4:53 AM[/b]

Police in Ontario are looking into allegations that a young boy was abused by staff at a home for troubled youth.

Sgt. Kristine Rae, a spokeswoman for the Ontario Provincial Police, said Tuesday that they are investigating the case of a 15-year-old boy from Nova Scotia who is living at the Bayfield treatment facility in Consecon, Ont.

Rae couldn’t provide any details of the case, saying only that they are looking into a complaint at the privately run operation.

The boy’s grandmother, who cannot be named to protect the youth’s identity, said he told her two staff members threw him to the floor, punched him in the ribs and kneeled on his throat late last month.

His grandmother said he suffered a black eye, cuts on his head and scratches all over his body.

She said RCMP, on behalf of the OPP, took a videotaped statement from her and her husband last week, asking what their grandson had told them about the alleged incident.

She said they listened to audio recordings the woman had of her conversations with the teenager.

"They asked if we feel he was telling the truth," she said. "I said, ‘Yes.’ "

Still, she’s not optimistic it will produce results.

"We don’t think there’s anythings going to come of it," the boy’s grandmother said.

The boy was sent more than a year ago to the operation that offers long-term, intensive treatment for boys with conduct disorders because Nova Scotia does not have a similar facility. The decision was endorsed by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

News Items / Federal Judge gets the program experience
« on: August 04, 2010, 06:05:31 PM » ... 6+Texas%29

Ex-judge says prison unfair, 'cruel' to him

Kent alleges inhumane treatment and asks his sentence be shortened

Aug. 3, 2010, 10:18PM

As a prisoner, former U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent has been shunted into solitary confinement, forced to hear the screams of another inmate being raped and ordered by a "cruel" sergeant in the Florida prison system to do calisthenics in the nude, according to allegations in a federal court memorandum filed Tuesday.

Kent has requested that his 33-month sentence be vacated and adjusted based on his allegations of inhumane and unfair treatment.

The former Galveston-based federal judge was impeached by Congress and resigned in June 2009 after being convicted of obstruction of justice. He admitted in a related plea deal that he lied about having repeated unwelcome sexual contact with two female court employees.

In legal action this week, Kent argues he has been unjustly labeled a sex offender by the federal Bureau of Prisons and wrongly excluded from a substance abuse treatment program that could have reduced his sentence by as much as a year. The court filings argue that U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, a senior judge from Florida, also believed Kent would be treated more fairly and would qualify for the program at the time of sentencing.

Instead, Kent says he has been transferred from prison to prison without explanation, at times prevented from communicating his whereabouts with his wife or his attorney and forced to spend long stints in solitary — once for 43 consecutive days. He's now assigned to an unnamed maximum security facility in the Florida state prison system, where the alleged mistreatment only worsened, Kent's attorney Dick DeGuerin said. The BOP inmate website doesn't disclose Kent's current location.

DeGuerin likened Kent's treatment to "torture."

Attorneys for both of Kent's victims had no immediate comment on the judge's request for reconsideration of his sentence.

Says cell was cold, filthy

In the criminal prosecution and in congressional testimony, Kent was accused of repeatedly groping his former case manager both on and under her clothing and once attempting to force her to perform oral sex. He also was accused of forcing caresses on his secretary and of performing unwanted digital and oral sex on her.

In court papers, Kent alleges his mistreatment as a prisoner began in June 2009 - the very day he resigned as a judge. At that time, Kent was assigned to the Deven Federal Prison, a medical evaluation facility in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons system in Massachusetts.

Kent resigned days after becoming the 14th judge in U.S. history to be impeached by a vote of the U.S. House of Representatives. The resignation allowed him to avoid removal from the bench through a full U.S. Senate trial.

That day, BOP staff locked Kent "wearing only a smock and carrying only a single sheet in a filthy ... completely empty cell where the temperature was kept at 60 degrees. The only bed in the room was a raised concrete slab with no mattress and the light was kept on constantly," Kent's motion to vacate his sentence says.

After being evaluated at Deven, Kent had expected to be transferred to a facility where he could receive treatment for alcohol abuse and depression, documents say.

Instead, he ended up at the Lake Butler Reception Center in Florida's Department of Corrections. There, an unidentified sergeant forced Kent to "strip naked and perform a painful and repetitive series of humiliating exercises. Once Sam Kent was too tired and in too much pain to perform the exercises any more, the sergeant confiscated Sam Kent's wedding ring and used it to ridicule him," the records say.

Calls conditions 'abusive'

Kent spent the next 16 days in solitary, where he claims the first night he helplessly listened to the "continuous screams of a man being violently raped in the next cell" and "was horrified to observe that the guards ignored the man's screams and only came to remove the man from the cell after the attack had finally ended."

Kent has participated in alcohol treatment in the Florida state prison, court papers say. But such "abusive psychological and physical conditions" have "jeopardized his ongoing recovery from severe depression and alcoholism." DeGuerin said Kent decided to appeal to the federal courts for relief after other informal complaints brought no real improvement.

DeGuerin said Tuesday he hopes Judge Vinson will grant a hearing to review evidence to support Kent's motion for the reconsideration of his sentence.

Related posts about prison program abuse:



News Items / Youth lock-ups blasted
« on: July 27, 2010, 02:21:16 AM » ... asted?bn=1

Youth lock-ups blasted

Star investigation Hearings order release of children found not to have mental disorders

Published On Wed Jul 7 2010

Diana Zlomislic

Staff Reporter

Just around the corner from the Eaton Centre, a psychiatric facility is locking up youngsters who don't belong in secure custody, provincial documents reveal.

In one case, a 15-year-old girl's “moderately eccentric interests” in origami and the study of bugs were cited by a psychiatrist at Youthdale Treatment Centre as examples of a possible mental disorder. Another teen's admission of having unprotected sex was taken as evidence of a suicide wish because such behaviour could lead to AIDS.

“Secure treatment is not a placement substitute for child welfare,” a provincial appeal board ruled in ordering the release of a 14-year-old boy with a learning disability and limited school supports.

A Toronto Star review of 32 cases over the past two years where a youth formally appealed the lock-up decision found that nearly half (14) were overturned after an emergency hearing by the Ontario Child and Family Services Review Board. Most of these children were ordered released on the grounds they didn't even have a mental disorder.

Youthdale is a non-profit community agency. Last year, it received $11 million in funding from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. In addition to the secure treatment unit and a less restrictive inpatient program downtown that has no maximum length of stay, Youthdale operates four group homes in the Annex, one home in Aurora and three cabins at a remote wilderness setting near Parry Sound for children with mental health issues. The centre also runs a 24-hour telephone crisis line, which is often the first step toward getting a child admitted.

With consent from a legal guardian — often children's aid — youth 16 years and younger can be held in Youthdale's secure unit for up to 30 days where they may receive mood-altering medications. Disruptive behaviour may be managed with chemical injections as well as mechanical and physical restraints.

Paul Allen, Youthdale's clinical director, said a review of his agency's policies and practices, led by two psychiatrists in response to complaints from former patients and parents, is underway. A report is expected later this summer.

“The challenge of balancing a child's rights and needs for treatment is a complicated matter,” Allen said.

To lock up a child, provincial law states that a facility must satisfy five criteria. It must demonstrate the child has a mental disorder; poses a substantial threat to himself or others; that secure custody would prevent the child from causing serious bodily harm to himself or others; that the facility offers appropriate treatment for the child's mental disorder and that there are no less restrictive method available.

A “mental disorder” is defined by the Child and Family Services Act as “a substantial disorder of emotional process, thought or cognition, which grossly impairs a person's capacity to make reasoned judgments.”

Once committed, the child meets with a provincial youth advocate who informs him he is allowed to appeal his secure placement. In 2009, 117 youth were admitted to the secure floor for 30 days. Appeals were filed by 30 youth, but 19 withdrew their applications before the hearing. Of the remaining 11, seven were ordered released.

The girl with the “moderately eccentric interest” in the study of bugs appealed in December 2008. The board ruled the 15-year-old, gifted student's behaviour — pouring flour on the floor and getting into physical confrontations with her mother — was the result of teen-parent conflict and was not caused by a mental disorder.

In the case of the girl who admitted to having unprotected sex, Youthdale claimed the teen refused to take birth control pills, which indicated a “gross impairment to make reasoned decisions.”

The board's decision cited evidence that the child had discussed birth control with a doctor and that the teen's mother threw out sample pills and refused to fill the prescription. The board also took issue with a psychiatrist's suggestion that the teen's ability to make reasoned judgments was impaired because she took Prozac only when she needed to feel better.

“This is typical of even adult patients taking medication,” the board wrote in its decision. “To suggest that a child should be admitted to a treatment centre because of this is unrealistic.”

Review board chair Suzanne Gilbert, a lawyer who specializes in criminal law and youth protection, told the Star she would not comment on individual cases. The board, which must rule within five days of receiving an application, has members with backgrounds in education, law, social services and mental health.

“To lock a child in a secure area is a very serious decision,” she said. Gilbert noted that of the three Ontario facilities with secure treatment units, all but one of the recent appeals have come from Youthdale.

Youthdale's headquarters is a four-storey, tan brick building on Victoria St. A sleep research clinic and gymnasium occupy the basement. There are as many as 20 children occupying beds in rooms on the upper two floors at any given time. Ten beds are reserved for children who present emotional and behavioral issues but no imminent risk of harm to themselves or others. The locked fourth floor is set aside for up to 10 children considered at immediate risk of seriously hurting themselves or others.

“Our approach to managing kids when they are distressed and agitated is well in advance of the 1950s,” said Allen, responding to comments from critics who suggested Youthdale's methods were outdated. Allen said the agency's treatment plans are “good as any care you will find in any hospital or any other mental health centre.”

Allen invited the Star to tour the facility last month.

Two of the children in the secure unit were in common areas at the time. One cherub-cheeked boy is seated alone inside a room with glass windows playing a hand-held electronic game. A girl sat by herself at a table, staring blankly ahead while holding a picture of trees torn from a magazine.

Their bedrooms, though impeccably clean, are cell-like — big enough only to accommodate the length of a twin-size bed, which is fitted with a flat sheet and a pancake-thin pillow. A window is covered in external blinds that open and close with a magnetic device held by staff. On this day, in the early afternoon, they are shut. The only personal artifact that shows a child sleeps here is a small, plush toy dinosaur perched on a shelf high out of arm's reach.

Dr. Nathan Scharf, Youthdale's director of psychological services, explained that the facility has been admitting more children under the age of 12. Many, he said, have neuro-developmental disorders. Scharf estimated that one-third of youngsters admitted to the secure unit now fall into this demographic.

“They're damaged in the sense that there is something wrong with them from the time they were born,” he added.

In one of the cases the Star reviewed, Youthdale argued a 14-year-old girl was a danger to herself because she once said, “I wish I was dead” after learning she could never return home to live with her mother. The girl was in the care of the Catholic Children's Aid Society and suffered from seizure-like episodes during which she drooled and walked into walls.

These episodes were considered further proof she posed a danger to herself. She was considered a danger to others on grounds that she can become “loud and argumentative.”

The review board ruled there was “no evidence that an emergency measure was at all warranted.

“It appears (the Catholic Children's Aid Society) was looking for a way to have her problems diagnosed and receive appropriate treatment after hitting an impasse in the child's care,” the board's decision states.

Youthdale's Scharf suggested the review board's decisions are subjective.

“How they interpret the information is subject to their own attitudes and philosophies,” he said.

In another case, the review board ordered released a 14-year-old boy who had a learning disability and was suspended for skipping school. The board noted “a clear link between the child's lack of appropriate school supports and behavioural difficulties.”

The board recommended less-intrusive options to help the child, such as working with the local hospital to access assessment and counseling services.

In one case involving a 14-year-old girl whose mother contacted children's aid for help after her daughter was sexually assaulted, Scharf told the review board an assessment at the centre's secure treatment unit will sometimes lead to prioritizing youth with community resources. The board called this an “irrelevant consideration.”

“To deprive a child of her liberty in order to more readily access community resources,” the decision stated, “flies in the face of the use of secure treatment as an extraordinary measure of last resort.”

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services told the Star it is committed to providing support for “our must vulnerable,” which is why it empowered the review board to scrutinize admissions into secure treatment.

Said ministry spokesperson Paris Meilleur: “The statistics demonstrate the process works and that the review board is serving its purpose.”

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Suspended ???
« on: July 26, 2010, 03:04:19 AM »
Oh no, where did go?  Hopefully it will be back online soon. We don't want all evidence of Straight Inc. being stripped from the internet!

At least Surviving Straight Inc. is still up.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Restoring Dignity
« on: July 23, 2010, 12:29:45 AM »
Show your support to our neighbors to the north by joining this Facebook page. Feel free to leave comments about personal experiences.

Check it out. Show your support! ... 8503341651

The founder was recently in the news and is currently working to expose and close an abusive Canadian program:

and again here speaking about the IECA conference: ... led-teens/

News Items / Over the GW actress/iphone 4 commercial
« on: July 11, 2010, 11:16:28 PM »
I watched an iphone 4 commercial tonight twice on tv and I swear the girl who cut her hair in that commercial was Kether Donohue, the starring actress in the movie "Over the GW".

I can't find it on Youtube but I'm positive it is her. If anyone finds it please post the link here.

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 12