Monday, October 22, 2012

Presidential Candidate Romney Linked to Abuse at For-Profit Teen Treatment Facilities

    Several recent articles connect Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to abuse in the troubled teen industry. 

    Art Levine’s The Dark Side of a Bain Success details how neglect at Bain controlled-for-profit teen residential programs have resulted in patient abuse, emotional trauma, and even death.      

    Susie Madrak’s Child Sexual Abuse in the World of Romney's Top LDS donors links Romney not only to mistreatment at the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs, a chain of for-profit teen treatment centers founded by former Romney financial co-chair, Robert Lichfield (see details below) and also to molestation in the Scouts program. 

    Lastly, the Daily Kos collects several links documenting Romney’s connection to torture and abuse in the teen treatment industry in this piece. Of particular note is a 2007 article by Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids author Maia Szalavitz. 133 plaintiffs have filed suit against Romney’s associate, Robert Lichfield. Teens allege that they were “locked in outdoor dog cages, exercised to exhaustion, deprived of food and sleep, exposed to extreme temperatures without adequate clothing or water, severely beaten, emotionally brutalized, and sexually abused and humiliated. Some were even made to eat their own vomit.”

    Lichfield was previously mentioned here and here.

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