Congress Gets Tough on Tough Love Industry

June 26, 2008

On Huffington Post, STATS Fellow Maia Szalavitz, author of the first book-lenght expose of the “tough love” industry, reports victory:

The House Wednesday overwhelming passed HR 6358 (formerly HR 5876) by a vote of 318-103, with provisions to ban degrading and humiliating treatment, set national standards, create a national hotline that must be accessible to teens in program to report maltreatment and $15 million in funding for enforcement and regulation.

Teen “boot camp” “tough love” “wilderness” and “emotional growth” boarding schools and programs currently hold some 20,000-100,000 teens. There have been hundreds of corroborated reports of emotional, physical or sexual abuse and dozens of deaths in the programs, which are currently under no federal regulation, despite being the equivalent of private jails for children.

Still, 103 voted against even as the Government Accounting Office detailed deaths and mistreatment far worse than Abu Ghraib. Onwards and upwards to the Senate.


Oprah’s School and Tough Love

November 13, 2007

Maia Szalavitz, Huffington Post

In the idea that the kids are all liars and any complaints should be dismissed as “manipulation” and you have a predator’s dream… more

Originally published November 7, 2007


Getting Tough on Private Prisons for Teens

November 13, 2007

Maia Szalavitz

What concrete action should Congress take to protect teens from abuse? Maia Szalavitz investigates at The American Prospect… more

Originally published October 17, 2007


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