Sunday, May 25, 2008

US house moves aginst residential treatment abuse

The US house's Education and labor full committee had a hearing on May 14th and passed a bill which would directly regulate residential treatment facilities (one of my pet peeves-if you don't know anything about this issue a good place to start is this Government Accountability Report) for minors at a federal level, enforced by random visits, mandatory reports, civil penalties, and federal private rights of action.

This may not make it of course-becuase some of the facilities trying to be regulated don't receive federal funds-and the congressmen may be wondering whether the proposed law would be constitutionally valid under interstate commerce doctrine. Also the appropriation to fund the oversight is a bundle, and it only passed committee by 27-17.

I would have required states to regulate the facilities and simply threatened to remove regular educational funding as a penalty.

We will see where this goes. I'm optimistic becuase it does appear that the issue will see debate on the whole house floor. It would be nice if our congress knew that there was more regulation of animal shelters than there are for residential treatment of teens in some states. It would be nice if they heard about widespread allegations of physical torture and cult like brainwashing sometimes resulting in death. It would be nice if they knew these programs were funded by unwitting parents requiring second mortgages promised expert treatment by professionals. it would be nice if the victims of these facilities were no longer forced to sensor their thoughts out of fear of more punishment.

it would be nice.

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