Convictions for, or reports to authorities of, abuse or fraud at residential programs for teens do not prohibit program operators from opening new facilities under different names or in different states. Check with state regulators and conduct your own independent research before placing your child.
Pasadena Star News, Oct. 26, 2011— Two disturbing videos obtained by this newspaper offer an inside look at Pasadena-based boot camps. The videos were created at least two years ago. One shows Kelvin "Sgt. Mac" McFarland forcing children to gorge themselves on water. The children in the video struggle to drink the water and several are seen vomiting as a result. Read more
By Maia Szalavitz, Time Magazine - Oct. 7, 2011 —The first legislation aimed at regulating residential programs for troubled teens was introduced on Thursday in the House and the Senate. The bill would crack down on hundreds of programs housing thousands of teens, many of which use punishing "tough love" regimes found to include physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Read more
Mother Jones Magazine - Sept./Oct. 2007 — The idea that punishment can be therapeutic is not unique to the Rotenberg Center. In fact, this notion is widespread among the hundreds of "emotional growth boarding schools," wilderness camps, and "tough love" antidrug programs that make up the billion-dollar teen residential treatment industry. Read more
Boston Globe/Boston.com - May 25, 2011— The founder of the controversial Judge Rotenberg Educational Center is scheduled to face criminal charges in Dedham today arising from a night in 2007 when two special needs teenagers at the center were wrongfully administered dozens of electrical shocks, according to the father of one of the victims and another person with knowledge about the case. Read more
Washington City Paper - May 27, 2011— “Every year, the District spends tens of millions of dollars sending its most troubled children to distant [Residential Treatment Centers] RTCs—and The Pines [operated by Universal Health Services, parent company of The Pines and Aspen Education Group] has benefited like few others. Between 2009 and 2010, the city’s Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services nearly doubled the number of kids it sent there. Several other city agencies that tend to troubled kids also use The Pines. Read more
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Last updated 6/8/12