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The Trouble With Troubled Teen Programs - How the "boot camp" industry tortures and kills kids . .

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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:33 PM
Original message
The Trouble With Troubled Teen Programs - How the "boot camp" industry tortures and kills kids . .
http://www.reason.com/news/show/117088.html

(snip)

Every time a child dies in a tough love program, politicians sayas Florida Gov. Jeb Bush initially did on hearing of Andersons deaththat it is one tragic incident that should not be used to justify shutting such programs down. But there have now been nearly three dozen such deaths and thousands of reports of severe abuse in programs that use corporal punishment, brutal emotional attacks, isolation, and physical restraint in an attempt to reform troubled teenagers.

Tough love has become a billion-dollar industry. Several hundred programs, both public and private, use the approach. Somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 teenagers are currently held in treatment programs based on the belief that adolescents must be broken (mentally, and often physically as well) before they can be fixed. Exact numbers are impossible to determine, because no one keeps track of the kids in these programs, most of which are privately run. The typical way to end up in a government-run program, such as the camp where Martin Lee Anderson was killed, is for a court to give you the option of going there instead of prison. The typical way to end up in a private program is to be sent there by your parents, though judges and public schools have been known to send kids to private boot camps as well. Since they offer treatment, some of the private centers are covered by health insurance.

In the nearly five decades since the first tough love residential treatment community, Synanon, introduced the idea of attack therapy as a cure for drug abuse, hundreds of thousands of young people have undergone such therapy. These programs have both driven and been driven by the war on drugs. Synanon, for example, was aimed at fighting heroin addiction, its draconian methods justified by appeals to parents fears that drugs could do far worse things to their children than a little rough treatment could. The idea was that only a painful experience of hitting bottom could end an attachment to the pleasures of drugs.

But like the drug war itself, tough love programs are ineffective, based on pseudoscience, and rooted in a brutal ideology that produces more harm than most of the problems they are supposedly aimed at addressing. The history of tough love shows how fear consistently trumps data, selling parents and politicians on a product that hurts kids.

- more . . .

http://www.reason.com/news/show/117088.html
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. I personally think they should be illegal
And, it REALLY should be illegal for US citizens to be involuntarily institutionalized outside of the US, which often happens to these kids. And, many of these kids are gay, normal teens, etc.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I agree with you 100%
It should be illegal, and people should be going to jail for being involved in this abuse. x(
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. The problem is the legitimate rights of a parent
How do you distinguish between a tough boarding school and a "treatment boot camp"? If you base it on the name, the torture business will only change their brochures.
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cannabis_flower Donating Member (386 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. Here's a great website..
about that very issue - http://thestraights.com/index.htm

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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Ah yes, The Semblers BFEE Ambassador loyalists and criminal cultists
also do a search on The Finders...
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