Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » CHILD ABUSE FOR PROFIT

    Filed at 5:52 am under by dcobranchi

    No, it’s not the Pearls (non-profit) or TOS. But it sure sounds familiar:

    You wouldn’t believe the terrible things that were done to me,” says Alexia Parks’ niece in An American Gulag. [1] But she continues: “I know now it was for my own good.” Thus ends Parks’ account of her struggle to help her niece after she was enrolled in several behavior modification schools. The similarity to the end of 1984 is striking: a previously headstrong individual returns from months of torture as merely a shell of their former self, having learned to love their tormentors. The difference is that Parks’ story is true.

    Usual definitions of torture include the use of practices such as solitary confinement, non-medical application of psychiatric drugs, unprovoked beatings, starvation, and verbal abuse as means to change a person’s behavior. Many Americans are reluctant to support the use of these techniques even on criminals, much less teenagers with behavioral problems. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is being done on a large-scale basis as “tough-love” programs have become a booming industry. These programs come in several varieties, including boot camps, “therapeutic” boarding schools or academies, and wilderness programs. At the cost of several thousand dollars per month (up to $40,000/year), these schools supposedly provide a climate where troubled teens can continue their regular education while receiving treatments designed to improve their behavior.

    Via Jesus’ General.

    3 Responses to “CHILD ABUSE FOR PROFIT”

    Comment by
    April 25th, 2006
    at 1:41 pm

    Gulp. The similarities are striking though will admit to problems reading this stuff, tbh.

    Do you have an equivalent to our Action for the Rights of Children (accessible via archri...t.com/) in the US? What would they make of it, I wonder?

    Comment by
    April 25th, 2006
    at 4:20 pm

    Also see

    The Trouble With Tough Love

    By Maia Szalavitz

    Sunday, January 29, 2006; Page B01

    It is the ultimate parental nightmare: Your affectionate child is transformed, seemingly overnight, into an out-of-control, drug-addicted, hostile teenager. Many parents blame themselves. “Where did we go wrong?” they ask. The kids, meanwhile, hurtle through their own bewildering adolescent nightmare.

    I know. My descent into drug addiction started in high school and now, as an adult, I have a much better understanding of my parents’ anguish and of what I was going through. And, after devoting several years to researching treatment programs, I’m also aware of the traps that many parents fall into when they finally seek help for their kids.”
    Nonetheless, a billion-dollar industry now promotes such tough-love treatment. There are several hundred public and private facilities — both in the United States and outside the country — but serving almost exclusively American citizens. Although no one officially keeps track, my research suggests that some 10,000 to 20,000 teenagers are enrolled each year. A patchwork of lax and ineffective state regulations — no federal rules apply — is all that protects these young people from institutions that are regulated like ordinary boarding schools but that sometimes use more severe methods of restraint and isolation than psychiatric centers. There are no special qualifications required of the people who oversee such facilities. Nor is any diagnosis required before enrollment. If a parent thinks a child needs help and can pay the $3,000- to $5,000-a-month fees, any teenager can be held in a private program, with infrequent contact with the outside world, until he or she turns 18.
    Why is tough love still so prevalent? The acceptance of anecdote as evidence is one reason, as are the hurried decisions of desperate parents who can no longer find a way of communicating with their wayward kids. But most significant is the lack of the equivalent of a Food and Drug Administration for behavioral health care — with the result that most people are unaware that these programs have never been proved safe or effective. It’s part of what a recent Institute of Medicine report labeled a “quality chasm” between the behavioral treatments known to work and those that are actually available. So parents rely on hearsay — and the word of so-called experts.

    Help At Any Cost site here

    Comment by
    April 25th, 2006
    at 4:21 pm

    I meant, Help At Any Cost