Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lifeline Youth and Family Services Under Scrutiny Stateside

Lifeline Youth and Family Services, the company which assumed control of Escuela Caribe, the abusive juvenile detention facility located in the Dominican Republic, is under scrutiny stateside for negligence.  

In a recent article in the Stacey Page Online (Kosciusko County, Indiana's only digital newspaper), writer Stacey Page reports that three commissioners of Kosciusko County "signed a letter to Indiana State Representatives asking that they evaluate the facility."

For several months there have been many calls to local law enforcement asking that they help break up fights or locate runaways.  However the letter was prompted largely because of violent incident, where a student ran away, "hid in the vehicle of an employee of nearby Paragon Medical and shot the man in the chest."  The juvenile has been charged with attempted murder.

It's unsurprising to read that the U.S. (or D.R.) schools are chaotic- Lifeline employees are not required to have experience working with juveniles and are underpaid. These facts in part  prompted Julia Scheeres to write a petition to Lifeline CEO Mark Terrell asking him to enact reforms at the Dominican Republic campus (now known as Caribbean Mountain Academy). However, it is extremely disturbing to discover that the negligence at these supposed therapeutic schools is so blatant here in the states, where facilities are required to have some modicum of regulation, that local communities are asking Indiana for inspections.  How much worse is the situation in the Dominican Republic?    

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