TROUBLED TEEN INDUSTRY
Despite continuous allegations of abuse, the troubled teen industry continues to operate in an unregulated fashion. Each year, the industry receives around $23 billions of public funds to purportedly treat behavioral and psychological needs of vulnerable youth. However, there are no consistent state regulations nor federal oversight of the programs.
SCOPE OF PROBLEM
Each year, some 200,000 young people live in some sort of group home, residential treatment center, boot camp, wilderness camp, or correctional facility to treat a variety of behavioral and psychological issues. In the last decades, there have been thousands of allegation of abuse in the troubled teen industry, but there is not a single government agency or entity that collects comprehensive national data. Descriptions of abuse include physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical restraint, lack of appropriate health treatment, forbidding communication with parents and guardians, and lack of basic needs like food and water. After being forcibly removed from their homes, these youths are repeatedly lied to and abused in the name of rehabilitation.
Youth can end up in the troubled teen industry in various ways. They can be privately placed by their parents or families, state and local governments, school districts, or they can be placed by mental health providers. Most of the residential facilities operate as for-profit organizations. One such facility has an annual revenue that regularly tops $200 million. Ninety percent of their revenue comes from Medicaid, Medicare, and approximately 500 additional federal, state, and local programs. These programs pay as much as $800 per day for each child at a facility.
HOOP HERO INITIATIVE
One of Hoop Hero’s anonymous ambassador is working with Unsilenced to advocate for the rights of survivors of the troubled teen industry. The voice of survivors has been silenced in the name of mental illness, addiction issues, and perceived behavioral problems. The mission is to stop institutionalized child abuse by empowering youths to create lasting social change and support legislative change in each state. To learn more, please click on the link below: