Make-a-List Monday: People in institutional settings

People who disappeared from nursing homes, residential treatment facilities, group homes, etc.

I have mixed feelings about residential treatment for minors (I’m not talking about places that just provide housing for foster kids although I do include them on this list). I am especially the for-profit facilities wealthy people send their teens to.

On the one hand, residential homes for children can provide wrap-around 24-hour care for a child to address their behaviors and/or emotional problems, and also provide the family with a respite from the child’s behaviors.

Like, I know a guy whose 14-year-old son is in a psychiatric residential treatment facility, paid for by the state. He’s had behavioral issues since he was a toddler, probably in large part because his biological mom was addicted to drugs (the boy is adopted), and he’s been hospitalized many times. The kid has a lot of very serious emotional/psychiatric problems, some of which can’t be cured, only mitigated. He’s basically too dangerous to keep at home. He threatened his father with a shovel once, and another time tried to crash their car while the father was driving. The boy’s father is (rightly so) concerned that after his son turns 18 he’ll wind up in prison, or worse, for something or other that’s pretty much beyond his control. Obviously residential treatment is necessary in a case like that. He’s been in, I think, two residential facilities so far, and is doing well in his current one. (He did well in the last one too but the state stopped paying after a year and they sent him home before he or his family was ready for it.) Not only is this boy getting therapy and medication and a structured environment at his treatment facility, but the 24-hour observation at the facility (mostly) keeps him from hurting himself or anyone else.

But on the other hand, there’s so much potential for abuse in these facilities, and when they go bad they tend to go REALLY bad. A few children have died in those places, and many more are abused by the staff or other residents. I’m not saying that all of those places are like that, but an uncomfortable percentage of them are.

And with the for-profit homes for wealthy families, a lot of them just want your money (tuition starts at like $5,000 a month and up, and the children can stay there for years at a time) and it seems many of the residents did not need residential treatment in the first places. I’ve heard of cases where a kid was sent to one of those facilities simply because they didn’t get along with their new step-parent. I’ve looked at the websites for those places and some of them are like, “Your child might need residential treatment if he refuses to clean his room or do chores around the house” or “Your child might need treatment if he frequently argues with you and doesn’t get along with his siblings and doesn’t obey the house rules, such as curfew.” Um…I’m pretty sure those are all normal teen behavior. And some of the sites also say things like, “If your child is at our facility and writes home to say there are rats here and the food is spoiled, don’t listen to him. He’s lying.” Yet many times those places have been raided by the state after multiple accusations of abuse, or the death of a child in their care, and they DO find rats and spoiled food and other indications of maltreatment. See the Fornits website for more details, including many testimonies from the alumni of various facilities. I’ve read a LOT about those places — there are dozens — and honestly I can think of only one I haven’t heard ghastly things about.

Anyway. I’m rambling. On to the list:

  1. Steven Eugene Anderson
  2. Ella Michelle Andrews
  3. Frank Azpeitia
  4. Vonnie Lynn Bales
  5. Joseph Cleveland Batiste
  6. James Eric Bess
  7. Ricky Laverne Bethea
  8. Thomas Wilson Borum
  9. Damon Lee Boyd
  10. Fidelmar Liborio Cadenas
  11. Eugene R. Chaitowitcz
  12. Young Hwan Chang
  13. Apolino Contreras
  14. Jessie James Cooper
  15. William Charles Cordes
  16. Peggy Ann Cottrell
  17. Mary Alice Cox
  18. Madelyn Lee Diaz
  19. Maria Estrada-Torres
  20. Bob Parker Fasig
  21. Keiosha Marie Felix
  22. Forest Ferguson
  23. Daniel Fogg
  24. Barbara Frears
  25. Shawn Patrick Gallagher
  26. Ruvil Hale
  27. Daniel Kenneth Hall
  28. Justin Phillip Harris
  29. Bryan Andrew Hayes
  30. John Christopher Inman
  31. Kent Jacobs
  32. Kamau Jawara
  33. William Charles Jones
  34. Tracy Anne King
  35. Mark Leland Kirks
  36. Donald Kluge
  37. Robert Charles Livers Jr.
  38. Tommy Lee Lowery
  39. Robert Wayne McCullar
  40. Tyree McCune
  41. Beverly Lofton Meadows
  42. Anthony Daniel Medaris
  43. Johnny Lee Mills
  44. Steven James Needham
  45. Troy Kenneth Nelms
  46. William Fred Patient
  47. Cynthia Lorraine Perry
  48. Robert Thomas Pillsen-Rahier
  49. Blake Wade Pursley
  50. Eric Wayne Pyles
  51. Chen H. Ren
  52. Isaac Joseph Riley
  53. Richard K. Roberts
  54. Guillermo Rodriguez
  55. Chipley Charles Sanders
  56. Kenneth Arthur Schweighart
  57. Clayton Antonio Simmons
  58. Mouy Tien Tang
  59. Lowen Dean Thomas
  60. Ducong Trinh
  61. Marc Charles Welzant
  62. David Edward Williams
  63. Daniel Ted Yuen
  64. William Michael Zani Jr.