Monday, October 13, 2008

"The industry" falling from favor in Maryland

"The industry."

That's what many folks call the youth confinement racket. Many (if not most) teen residential programs (whether in the public or private sector) are known to be abusive, and many will take great pains to try to silence critics.

But now the state of Maryland is moving away from residential treatment facilities and opting instead for community-based programs. Why? Nonresidential programs are much more effective than locking kids away. They have much higher success rates and cost much less. (Many residential programs are known to be wholly unsuccessful.)

Under this new policy, a 43-bed center is closing, and two-thirds of the juveniles held there are being sent home for nonresidential treatment.

Nationwide, confinement programs have been dropping like raisins lately. At least one other has vanished just in the past week, and a confirmedly abusive program in New York state closed about a month ago.

This follows last year's closure of another Maryland facility after the brutal death of a youth there.


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