Separated migrant children are headed toward shelters that have a history of abuse and neglect; Children chained up – torture and child abuse charges
June 21, 2018 Comments Off on Separated migrant children are headed toward shelters that have a history of abuse and neglect; Children chained up – torture and child abuse charges
Immigrant Youth Shelters Have History of Child Abuse Claims: Report
Government contractors and non-profits running immigrant child shelters have been accused of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect, according to a joint investigation by the Texas Tribune and Reveal.
“Taxpayers have paid more than $1.5 billion in the past four years” to the companies operating the shelters, the report revealed. The Office of Refugee Resettlement has given over $5 billion dollars in grants to the companies since 2003 in 18 states. In Texas, state inspectors found 400 deficiencies in the shelters, including reports of broken wrists, burns, and sexually transmitted diseases. Southwest Key, the company that runs the shelter at the deserted Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, has received over 246 violations. In Florida, a former employee at the Homestead shelter was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a “sexually inappropriate behavior” with a child—she once asked a 15-year-old for a pornographic video.
In New York, an 11-year-old boy was sexually assaulted by an older child at The Children’s Village shelter. Thirteen organizations have dealt with serious allegations since 2014, but ORR has only ended agreements with two of those companies….
Separated migrant children are headed toward shelters that have a history of abuse and neglect
Taxpayers have paid more than $1.5 billion to private companies operating shelters accused of serious lapses in care, including neglect and abuse.
by Aura Bogado, Patrick Michels and Vanessa Swales, Reveal and Edgar Walters, The Texas Tribune June 20, 2018
Taxpayers have paid more than $1.5 billion in the past four years to private companies operating immigrant youth shelters accused of serious lapses in care, including neglect and sexual and physical abuse, an investigation by Reveal and The Texas Tribune has found.
In nearly all cases, the federal government has continued to place migrant children with the companies even after serious allegations were raised and after state inspectors cited shelters with deficiencies, government and other records show.
Since 2003, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department has awarded nearly $5 billion in grants through the Office of Refugee Resettlement, mostly to religious and nonprofit organizations in 18 states, to house children who arrive in the country unaccompanied. The program grew quickly in 2014, when around 70,000 children crossed the southern border alone.
Now this web of private facilities, cobbled together to support children with nowhere else to go, is beginning to hold a new population: the more than 2,000 children who arrived with their parents but were separated from them because of a Trump administration policy.
In Texas, where the resettlement agency awarded the majority of the grants, state inspectors have cited homes with more than 400 deficiencies, about one-third of them serious.
Allegations included staff members’ failure to seek medical attention for children. One had a burn, another a broken wrist, a third a sexually transmitted disease. In another shelter, staff gave a child medicine to which she was allergic, despite a warning on her medical bracelet. Inspectors also cited homes for “inappropriate contact” between children and staff….
A case in point is the Shiloh Treatment Center, a mobile home complex-turned-child care center. Located in rural Manvel, Texas, the center was founded in 1995 by Clay Dean Hill, who is now 69. In 2013, the resettlement agency began funding the shelter, sending more than $25 million in grants over five years.
In 2001, Stephanie Duffield, 16, died after being restrained by staff. Following her death, Shiloh was found to be “in compliance” with state requirements, according to the refugee resettlement office. Since then, Shiloh has been dogged by allegations of child abuse, leading Brazoria County’s district attorney, Jeri Yenne, to call for increased monitoring of the shelter.
Children have died at two other programs affiliated with Hill, Behavior Training Research Inc. and Daystar Residential Inc. Between 1993 and 2010, three children died after being restrained at those facilities. In 2002, Latasha Bush, 15, died from asphyxia. Eight years later, Michael Keith Owens, 16, died after being restrained inside a closet. Both were ruled homicides.
Daystar closed after Owens’ death. Behavior Training Research remains registered as an active domestic for-profit corporation.
Over the last three years, Texas inspectors found eight deficiencies at Shiloh, including poorly supervised medication inside the facility and overdue background check renewals for staff….
911 call in child abuse case: Girl reports parents, says sisters are ‘chained up’
June 20, 2018, by Associated Press
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A 17-year-old girl who had just escaped her home of horrors called police dispatchers and revealed in a high-pitched voice the abuse that had gone on for years.
“My two little sisters right now are chained up,” she said in a recording played Wednesday during a hearing to determine if her mother and father stand trial for a raft of abuse charges.
“They will wake up at night and they will start crying and they wanted me to call somebody,” she said of her siblings. “I wanted to call y’all so y’all can help my sisters.”
The girl’s mother, Louise Turpin, dabbed her eyes with a tissue as the 911 call was played in Riverside County Superior Court.
David and Louise Turpin have pleaded not guilty to torture, child abuse and other charges. They are being held on $12 million bail each.
The 911 call in January was the start of a new day for their 13 children, some of whom didn’t even understand the role of police officers when they showed up at the house in response to the call.
Officers freed two children who were shackled to beds and arrested the parents in a case that drew worldwide attention to severe neglect at the Perris, California, home that looked neatly kept from the outside.
Inside, police discovered something completely different.
The house reeked of human waste, and the evidence of starvation was obvious, with the oldest of 13 siblings weighing just 82 pounds. The children were locked up as punishment, denied food and toys and allowed to do little except write in journals, prosecutors said.
Children were isolated from each other and locked in different rooms in small groups. They did not have access to televisions or radios but expressed themselves in the hundreds of journals that investigators seized from the home where they were schooled.
After they were freed, the children, who ranged in age from 2 to 29, were immediately hospitalized and eventually released….