Every day in America, a child is at risk of placement into a privately owned and operated locked (meaning institutionalized-style) so-called "specialty" school or program whose conditions, policies and practices may expose them to standards of care and treatment that are inhumane, unethical and unsafe.
Denied due-process or even an independent evaluation by a behavioral healthcare professional who does NOT work for the institution - it can be many months and even years before these children are "recommended home" or turn 18 - the age of majority in most states when children, like adults, can not be forced into an institutionalized environment nor held in one against their will -- without a court order.
NO MINOR MATTER
Institutionalization without due process and other children's rights abuses,
exploitation, fraud and even deaths under the invisible hand of free-market capitalism
B Y B A R B E S T A M P S
Founder and Director of Teen Advocates USA
This practice of institutionalizing minors without legal authority has led to the involuntary commitment of tens
of thousands of America's youth in private for-profit residential programming facilities located in and outside the United States and opened the floodgates to an unregulated multi-billion-dollar industry that thrives on children
as a commodity - a veritable cash crop.
Who are these invisible "captive teens" and how did they end up spending the better part - if not all - of their adolescence trapped in the bottomless pit of a money-making institution that specializes in modifying unwanted
behavior by stripping children of their fundamental rights and subjecting them to Darwinian notions of tough love?
Not surprisingly given the hefty price tag that comes attached to specialty schooling most of the 10,000 to 20,000 children estimated to be enrolled each year are white, middle-to-upper-class-youth whose parents can
afford to spend upwards of $50,000 a year to keep them under lock, key and 24 hour surveillance.
THE BUSINESS OF CORPORATE GULAGS FOR KIDS
Imagine being 16 years old and awakened at 3 a.m. by 2 burly strangers hired to transport you by any means necessary, including handcuffed, to a faraway place where upon arrival the first thing you notice is all the doors