« Reveal

The Bad Place

2020-11-21 | 🔗

The vacant building that once housed the Riverside Academy in Wichita, Kansas, was covered in haunting graffiti: “Burn this place.” “Youth were abused here … systematically.” “This is a bad place.” The facility, run by the for-profit company Sequel Youth & Family Services, promised to help kids with behavioral problems. But state officials had cited the facility dozens of times for problems including excessive force by staff, poor supervision and neglect. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Support for reveal comes from all birds, while the holidays are going to look a little different this year. One thing remains the same: they're, not the easiest on our planet, with a little more consciousness around the gifts we give. We can all help reduce that impact. All birds has you covered with their signature line of cosy shoes made from a Reno wool, new apparel line and Trina socks and undies, which make for perfect stocking stuffiness with all birds feel confident, knowing your wearing a product, that's doing right by you and the planet head to all bird Stockholm today for the perfect gift give light, tread lighter all birds. From the centre for investigative reporting and p r eggs, this is reveal a mallet Chris Hagman lives in Wichita Kansas with his two dogs Maggie and Annie Females, they run mouse he's pencil at a time with them outside in the neighborhood scary
big long walks, I got box, or so I get around one of their favourite destinations. To be a spot along the Arkansas River. There was a pretty building their pre war, brick walls, white columns, there's a beautiful city on golf course right outside the front steps- maybe thirty yards. It was just kind of a nice place to walk, welcome by fourteen years. Probably Kristen know much about the building. He heard It used to be a home for unwed mothers and more recently, some kind of youth treatment centres called Riverside Academy the academy quietly closed last year, didn't even noticed at first, but any police found people hanging out in the vacant building trashing the place even sleeping there. I don't love being the nosey neighbour. What but unknown people that have kids right along that stretch of road. My biggest concern was that
putting it become a public safety hazard. So Chris decided to take. A closer look, maybe complained to the city as you to cross the overgrown lawn. He noticed the spray payment messages scrawled across the brick walls, Once I pray for the victims, we want justice. There was one about that said. We need to talk about Riverside Academy, Christine middle school in does on part time bar tending and he's pretty fearless the door building was unlocked, so he went inside came back later to show a friend what he saw Chris recorded it with his cell phone throughout the building there were very alarming thanks great painter that I read that check this out on one wall, someone had ridden. This is a bad place. and ass. They moved from Rome to rob the spray paint
allegations about what happened at Riverside Academy grew more explicit. Youth were abused here. One said systematically got kind of sick to my stomach, but I had so much a journal on that. I just wanted to keep going whoever it written these things on the walls they purposely. One of these words to be seen and heard they were put where they will foot by coincidence like they were trying to tell a story, or they were trying to say help in so many words, Chris went back to the building almost every day until he was confident he photographed everything he report. what he saw TAT the news, media, the police, even the FBI body, seemed interested. It was very defeat to know that it fell on deaf ears in September of twenty nineteen. Chris was their filming again as a backhoe role.
To the building and knocked down to make way for luxury apartment. Complex The words on the walls were raced forever. You anymore, Tell that anything existed, the graffiti is gone, but you can still find glimpses of what happened to the kids at rivers a canopy fragments of their stories remain in the records of the Kansas Department of children and families are partner for today show a PM reports fought to see those documents when they finally got them. They uncovered troubling bring of citations against Riverside Academy, excessive force by staff, poor supervision neglect. bullying by residents in under qualified medical personnel. One investigation concluded the staff's indifferent, towards a child in pain was frightened. Riverside is close now
but its parent company still open it still treating children and its facing even more troubling allegations of abuse. It's a for profit, business, called sequel, youth family services today, we're going to show you what happens to children who are sent the sequel and why more is being done to protection Abraham report spent the last year investigating sequel with reporters spread across ten states. Curtis Gilbert led the team critic. Why did you take so many months? so many journalists to get to the bottom of this story, because sequel is just a huge company It's a two hundred million dollars a year enterprise. It's got thousands of employees. Twenty nine residential treatment centres there in fifteen different states, they used to be even more than that and its also been in business for more than ten, years. So that's a lot of time to cover. You know over those twenty years third occasion
be a scandal that might erupt at one of these facilities and indeed even make the news again vested in it. But no one had really put all these pieces together because the company was just so large and so spread out, and so how did you end up at fees, residential treatment centres. In the first place, there are lots of different paths that can lead to sequel some of the kids get in trouble with a law, and then a judge will send them to seek to try to rehabilitate them. Some of them are kids and foster care system, and the government just can't find a family for them to live with, and then some of them are kids with just really serious mental health problems and those problems become so serious some possible for them to keep living with their families. That's the case with a family matter earlier this year. The hunters and did you like Javier Sound, like they live in farming, turn Minnesota near the North Dakota Border, like Arthur Angela hunters, the mommy,
She showed me the wall in her house, where she hangs all the photos of her kids. This pilot, my favorite memory, that's Ostend rate there. That was our first pitcher look a little three. That's how old Austin was when the hunters adopted him and his sister, their birth parents were teenagers from West Virginia Austin, abused during those early years. He spoke only gibberish when he arrived in Minnesota and initially communicated with hand signals the hunters would later learn. He had fetal alcohol spectrum disorder The family already had three kids at the time in the photo. The oldest girl POE as though she's reading aloud to ask him. Do you know he's pointing at the book to know? What's in the book of Pisa Gump, they stuck that they are so that here poets cause they want and am looking in the little ones want look, so they stuck a piece a gun. There is like look, there's Gub yeah. I wish you could take those moments on changes like keeper.
Austin started getting into trouble when he was about eight he'd. Still things from other kids at school, disrupt the class refused to do his work. He spent almost every day in the principal's office, the local catholic school. Most of the time he just lie on the nor under her desk there's another photo on the wall from one often was ten or so. For that one the family is outside and Angela's moms place. My folks have like a hundred acres some, but anyway, there's this big trail and call it the money trail. There's, always rabbits FIFA, and so is right in front of their. We had a photographer come then he's right. There next beyond that when that was probably the most that's the last when we took before Us- and you know. We haven't had a family, one link that so. When I was eleven, he came and his sister were the weed tremor. Luckily, she was wearing a leather jacket. He also stamped dad in the with a lawn ornament. So we just block them
in the health and comment on one thing we could do the sheriff's office took. asked into a juvenile locked up in the North Woods of Minnesota, then to a Catholic children's home the other side of the state in Minneapolis, but Angela Her husband were still very much in his life visits phone calls family therapy sessions, we're never gonna give up and can because he has Eve. Yours are problems or whatever he's our son of my love him to the end of time. We made it amendment when we adopted him at three years old on his good days. Arson is an intuitive kid with a great sense of humour, he's not a strong reader, but he still loves, especially about the military in the wild West. Just before Christmas, in twenty sixteen came back and lived with his family, but Angela and her husband quarry say it didn't work out. So that things went
down two hours. He out was like bad to worse. He threatened his parents, came at Corey with butter knife even tried to set a fire near the water heater. The hunters knew it wasn't safe for him to keep living at home. He went to another residential treatment centre. This time for a year, but Einstein was kicked out after an injured three employees or to restrain them and they refused to take him back, and so he sat down in a detention centre couple different ones. They switched and Brown, and what happened. Then they were looking for a facility. Facilities in Minnesota but take em, they kept refusing am, I think we had like fifteen denials at that point. That's what went for most of twenty nineteen ass an languishing in juvenile detention. That's where kids with severe behaviour, Oprah I am sometimes end up because there's no other place to send them and then after nine long months, his county social worker, finally at the hunter. Some good news, she'd found a facility that would take him, and
That point, I I don't know nothing about it and I was just excited and I felt hopeful who sorted out his while finally phone what good it was: a sequel facility com, Lakeside Academy, located seven hundred miles away in Kalamazoo Michigan the dish Its main Angela nervous, so was also made the journey in the back of a secure van. She got on a plane and booked a hotel in Kalamazoo, so she could see the some person and I over there and as I over there and drove up it was beautiful. It looked you know from the outside. There was like woods on there's a golf course next to the facility like almost a college camp, a sort of in a way only a small one relief washed over her. She met a caseworker she liked, and then she prepared to say goodbye to her. Fourteen year old Son, she felt like every he was gonna- be ok and hugged Austin and we took a pitcher and have a pitcher and left me up and looked good from the outside. It looked
Nice Angelo, didn't know what at the time, but investigations had begun to expose Sir serious allegations of abuse at other sequel facilities around the country restrained thrown to the ground kit and beaten. That's worth stating Astrogator say happened to a child inside sequel. Now former residents are sounding the alarm telling in see news. What they experienced at Clarissa was abusive and may state investigators began looking into flames of sexual assault, violence and neglect, threatening to pull the facilities licence of more than a dozen significance, there Ben much news coverage of problems at Lakeside Academy, but it didn't take long for start seeing red flags the first one, her phone wasn't ringing. Even when often had been in juvenile detention. She and her husband where you are in constant contact with him, but it lakeside residents head to earned the right to talk to their parents they set of his
various weren't God. He didn't get phone calls and there like what he asked. because levels or whatever and has to become tighten or something like that tighten was a status. Lakeside Academy gave two kids who behaved well me, Basically, programmes have a system like that students. Who stay in line, get rewards things like later bedtimes, more freedom to Rome, campus and phone calls home, but for the hunters the silence was agony. We'd, like three weeks for sure three weeks. No phone call. from him. Nothing I feel like he felt like we abandoned am, and they member Corey calling in here like we want to act or a sign. This is ridiculous and when Angela finally did get to talk to her son, she get even more concerned often had told me that a staff had kept him in the punch Europe's and term somebody.
Reported it to Cps there in Michigan, and it was investigated, as the investigator called us looking down the collar, I from children could have to serve a bed, I'm carrying Jerry Angela inquiry. The investigation couldn't find evidence to back up what asked him was saying, but just two weeks after the allegation surfaced. Angela inquiry got a letter from the county, Lakeside wanted Austin gone instead said needs were too complex and I just It very strange I just felt like it was because he reported what happened That's what I felt personally, it's just assumption can't prove can prove it assumption, but I really felt like that because he for that too, then he wasn't alone phone calls for two weeks. They said because this behaviour either sullenness and his phone privileges for pole.
But getting rid of Aston wasn't so easy because, just like, before his social worker, couldn't find anywhere else to send him, and so he was stuck there. Another kid we'll call Chris also get stuck it Lakeside Academy a couple years before us in arrived. We aren't you his real name, because he was a minor at the time and he's worried his tough childhood could follow him into adulthood. Chris has vivid memories of his first day at Sad academy, I can remember, is staring at my feet in length it was so loud. There are so many people on one area is hot smell. Like teenage body owner and everyone was talking, everyone was yelling, and then we had stop yelling to get everyone else to stop yelling and is almost too much. Chris was seventeen at the time he drew up in full.
the care and he wasn't getting along with a family, had been staying with so as caseworker sent him to Lakeside Chris was told it'd be temporary, just a place to stay until a new, fast family was found. I was supposed to be there. charges. No sex offender, I'm nervous around I mean I can't tell you how many times have her. You don't need to be here. You want me to be here, you you'd be here. Why am I Soulier, Chris actually liked allow the people who worked at like side, but he also saw staff who were too quick to physically restrain kids who miss we'll get frustrated. We're going do react out, we're gonna test limits were going to try to live. man we weren't living in there. We were just their precise he'd been there for five months when Lakeside, head administrator, Steve, lighter, come to his office. He told Chris some important guests were coming to campus. They were executives from the parent company.
Sql and he wanted Chris to show them around. But I seen I seen a golden ticket. I took it out of there. Chris had a fantasy that the executives would realize he didn't belong there, but somehow they rescue him help him find a new foster family. He watch them roll up in a fancy. Black He thinks it was a Mercedes dressing like flannels or flannels, or you know, but notes the nice slacks into their shining belts suit This is, and they all all the same. They all just look their business there for business. Chris says his job was to present rosy view of lakeside. I knew not to talk about a new I had to tell him that I thought I was My friend poop his when used in restrain, I feel like if I would have told him the most negative things I could about lakeside, I feel like when the last word on, I feel it out of it
what time I've walked on campus by myself. Might have been the last time in anything, really really positive happened but merely under the tour. He thought he saw an open, so I'm walking around you, no explaining him. You know we got, we had activity field, you know we at we wrestle. We have the wrestling team, wake up at six, a dot m. Do you know practice, and we do this. You know blah blah blah yeah, you guys like to hear this was his chance. Unlike now and as it now, if you heard it out of here impotent, like didn't but it was not addressed so another day. Next, building fantasy meet reality, There was no offer to find a better place to live. He says the executive, only saw what they wanted to see. They has looking at everything in and such like. Ah almost like yeah, we built this, but what is this year here for five minutes,
What about the buildings we didn't show you you're, not even curious. Ah, what about the Restraint logs, you don't wanna, take look at that. It wasn't like that. They didn't show up to talk to the king the insured do anything other than to see that their business was still up and running Non flames thing looks on order cool ones, lunch, Chris ended up spending nine months at lakeside. He didn't get, until he found himself a new foster. only to live with. Was gone, but he was right to be worried about the way the staff restrain kids lakeside emergency dispatch.
By means other than they could have had a man with an ambulance, her side academy. When we come back, we take a closer look at how sequel makes money and what it takes to get job there. My understanding was that they were willing to hire literally anyone who is willing to take the job and could pass a background check. That's next on reveal the centre for investigative reporting in p r eggs. Support for reveal comes from all birds fly. The holidays are going to look a little different this year. One thing remains the same: they're, not the easiest on our planet, with a little more consciousness around the gifts we give. We can all help reduce that impact. All birds has you covered with their signature line of cosy shoes made from marine
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ip dot com, slash, reveal quip, better or a health made simple and rewarding from a sort of war, investigative reporting and p r eggs. This is reveal a mallet today were teaming up with a pm reports and public radio reporters in ten states, too investigate sequel, it runs residential treatment centres for kids all over the country. Its residents include kids in the juvenile justice system and foster care, and those. We have significant mental health problems and a number of it facilities have had serious problem in recent years, this spring police had to make yet another run to a treatment centre in Columbus, Ohio Aerial here and they were getting fed up with the people who ran sequel, Parma
the female colleague says you knew the police, that was, it is happening Straight or a guy named Jeffrey Rice came out to talk to them. We five girls here, we, who was captured by the officers body cameras these nationally weapon, drawing properly. We are equipped to we never had. This is what's confusing about this place. You're a lot that facility it bring untroubled. Kids when you don't expect tat problem, that's not do we, to this extent, because I think these girls are, only on the back door. They come from we're trying to solve somebody's. Do a better job screen on people come on in
ass, a jury, but that's it. That's a possibility to cells. The real agenda is due to come together and get on with your company that get some type of different policy, because you're, not work in a safe environment. It is safer, the state of Ohio is now trying revoke the company's licence to operate there after finding what they called seriously and adequate staff monitoring supervision in staffing levels. Opium reports found that keeping staffing costs low is at the heart of seagulls. Business model is a PM reports, Curtis Gilbert again back in twenty fifteen, an entrepreneur name,
He Ripley gave a talk to a bunch of business students and his alma mater the University of Baltimore. It's really an honour to be here, and I thank you for showing up. We were thinking really talked about the chain of fast cash, workers rights, he started in Washington, DC area. The meat is Al Gore may, its prime dry aged Beavis Ladys early career as an executive at Jiffy, live in the nineteen eighty soliloquy but a thousand units on the map in about ten years, and that's where Ripley met his mentor here was Jeems hind we sold after their real change. Business was to in over by another company. In the early nineties, the two men hatched a plan to start a new venture. The idea was to run juvenile treatment centres and to make a profit doing it. time reform. Schools were usually run either by the government or its charities so they visited one in Pennsylvania to see how it works and when they saw
the accounting ledger aid so much money, Ripley was astonished at how much money was coursing through the place and, unlike Jim, I think, This is a good bit. I thought not that's why, but I think this is a pretty good business. We hoped Jim Hymen found weeds, MRS International and then in One thousand eight hundred and ninety nine Ripley launch a competing company. He called it sequel, Ripley discovered the demand for youth treatment was virtually limitless most of the customers or government agencies probation social services. almost always pay their bills on time. The revenue was way more predictable than some of the other businesses, he'd, started in a restaurant a day like this year's pretty much. But there are many people not go outside. It's raining. It really affect your business, whereas with my business with kids In my programs around the country. There are many a paid today:
for all of those things that are in in my academies. Today, France, steady flow of cash allowed sequel to expand across the country by the time Ripley gave this talk five years ago. The company was pulling in more than two hundred million dollars a year and more than thirty million. If that was pure profit and the reason that we can make that profit is, if you control you're staffing alone, So you have to have enough staffing to have an excellent programme, but you can have too much staffing to eat up your profit, Ripley, didn't we. onto our interview request, but we know that his company went on an act position been around this time. It was snapping of local chains from Florida, Utah to Ohio and then in twenty seventeen Ripley tried to take sequel. Public but the deal fizzled and he ended up selling it to a private equity firm. Instead, while all this was happening, see, J half was working as a supervisor at US
equal treatment centre for girls and Alabama and he was watching the Let's go downhill, she is vital step staff. Fighting kids, all kind of chaos have says too big. Things changed during his three years at a sequel facility. In the town of Owens Crossroads, the company started, taking kids who had more severe developmental disabilities just talking? You knew like ok, this kid, his kids, that gonna function well in this programme economy, and we would take these cases. Way. I think it was a morsel of just to feel a bit economy. Half was working, masters degree in psychology at the time? And he says when he started most of the employees? he's had a background in social work or counselling, but is it years went by. He says the court of the new employees deteriorated to stand. they will bring me you could see. It was just more
I'm here for job and not here for decades economy, they're, not even qualified to be in the position it in and adjust their half says was the root of the problem. I mean you're, not paying enough money to get quality employees, with the proper trying to people who are graduating school in working on masses programmes and things at an age are apply because of the pay, and they knew this. So, since the recipe for destruction of sending a kid to sequel, isn't cheap record show government agencies pay anywhere between a hundred thirty dollars a day to more than eight hundred dollars a day but depending on the facility, for my please say, starting wages for staff working in the dorms tended to be in the range of eleven to thirteen knowledge, and our turn over was a huge issue. Kyler James used to work at
He Lakeside Academy in Michigan my standing was that they were willing to hire literally end One who is willing to take the job and could pass a background check state record, show that in time, Nineteen more than one. third of the staff and like side had been on the job. Less than a year. Darcy Welcome also used to work at Lakeside Academy when you hire twenty year olds for thirteen dollars an hour to take care of seventeen year olds. That might not be a recipe for success and we needed more people who are better trained and better paid. In fact, in twenty nineteen, a sequel executive acknowledge the company simply didn't pay enough retain quality staff for us to compete in this community. We got a razor wages. Gary floor was the executive director of the sea, treatment Centre in Sheridan Wyoming. He spoke about the problems facing the facility at a meeting of the local County Board of commissioners
not many people going to work for twelve and one slash four ton or doing okay You can go out. The truck, stop be the night clerk for dollar. Fifty stock shelves at Walmart for one thousand two hundred and fifty sequel recently boosted wages at its Wyoming treatment centre to more than fifteen dollars an hour for employees with experience, but minutes of a company meeting from April show. It still has a hard time recruiting public records show the staff there has had difficulty dealing with them. Kid. Siegel accepts and the government has struggled over the years to get the company to fix that. It's a story that illustrates just how difficult it is for regulators to control what happens in a privately run treatment centre in twenty. Sixteen the state. If I issued a damning report about the facility which locals call and ass, I the state found staff there physically restrained kids as a form of discipline it those cited the company for accepting children who needed a higher level of care than it could provide. they have a lot of issues. Nicole,
european works for the Wiring Department of Family services and she helps oversee and ass. I felt like when you are on hampers the kids were running the show, and it was not say and not helping Anderson, says: sequel has been working to improve its culture since then, and it's made a lot of progress, but just as one problem and emphasise, seems to get better another one pops up to replace it last year it was dozens of runaways. This year, assaults have been weigh up. Corn Schmidt directs the Wyoming Department of families. MRS. She says she's aware of the problems, but there's only so much you can do to address them because she's constrain by her states, licensing, regulations is really a primary focus on physical planning and health and safety food. All of those typical things Schmidt says the state isn't in the business of dictating the data they operations or the kind of treatment well offers that's really not our job. We're not Sarah tests, we're not clinicians.
We are not mental health experts, and I do think there are some of the deficit there, but So in a state where we really do have a lot of respect for that private industry right they are private business and while we have some responsibility and make sure the kids are saved theirs. So payers who are paying for that service from that particular facility and thereby knows there so is. There are business than to go in and make therapeutic decisions on behalf of their programme, and I think that's a good debate and in that debate, Wyoming has come down on the side of the free market customers. Don't like the way sequel does business, though stop you.
It services, even though the kids who go to seek will have little or no choice in the matter, and the government agencies who pay the bills often have few other options that hands off approach from regulators has left law enforcement to deal with violence when it breaks out Alan Thompson is the sheriff assured in county been meeting with sequel management at an aside monthly, but he feels like his efforts, haven't paid just emotionally and physically draining and exhausting to keep battling the same concern year after year after year, and just at the point now that our staff needs. If the residents of shared in county that need our services and an aside for profit- and He can spend their money doing what they
Did you do to make their students in staff safe there already getting a lot more of our time? Then then most residents of shared in county are- and I don't see any of that- has changed the climate most of the kids at and assign aren't even from Wyoming state goes with other options for its own kids, but emphasise still getting a steady flow of residents and money from other states that's Curtis Gilbert of a reports reporting help on this story from a team of reporters include. Tennessee Watson in Wyoming does Dwyer, Michigan and cultural. Neil in Alabama sequel declined our request for an interview in a statement. It said it had quote, provided the care and support needed to help our students live, productive and fulfilling lives, but it added our successes. Do not excuse are
failures. When we come back, Angela Hunters Son asked witnessed one of those failures, look at the damage that they seek or facility. At my side. Something broke it here. That's next on reveal. From this Therefore, investigative reporting MP are ex. This is reveal a mallet for the last year, our partners, at eight p M reports, have led a group of reporters investigating sequel youth in family services, the uncovered dozens of cases of abuse and proper strengths and decrepit conditions.
of which had never been previously reported for much of its twenty year. History sequel has been able to avoid public scrutiny, but last year one state law maker from Oregon started to change that Lauren dig are reporting partner at organ. Public broadcasting has their part of the story It was twenty eighteen and the state of organ had a problem. It didn't have enough homes Fritz Foster KIT, for while the stay put kids in hotel rooms, but a guts for that it try. Another solution, send their kids out of state. There are plenty of residential treatment centres with empty beds, happy to take his in exchange for hundreds of dollars a day per child when states in inner circle. Sir heard about this, she said googling the facilities Percinet Committee argument, services will come to order and at a legislative hearing she told state regulators. She was appalled
woody after facility turned up reports of licensing violations, arrests, injuries, sexual assaults inappropriate restraints and other problems. In fact, one of them tilities had so many concerns that our neighbouring states, Washington, pulled all of its kids out last ball our children remain there and she didn't Google tells her contacted licensing agencies and police departments and other states and she asked them to send her the report on the facilities there- weren't, things about blood the walls blood. In the time our room is sexual assault, oral sex, stabbing and in the stomach it was. So out rageous most as it has been sent out a state to Tennessee. two Idaho to Utah and beyond, or facilities owned and operated by the same company. Ok good afternoon mining
this Mandy Moses and then the chief operating officer for sequel, youth and family services, like sequel, executives, flewed organ to defend themselves in front and elsewhere committee. I am proud to serve and an organization whose mission is to pare young people too. responsible and fulfilling lives by providing entering education and living support within a safe structure, and dynamic environment. The sequel officials made a case that equal treatment centres where a safe place for organs, kids, but a couple of weeks later at one of those somebody's holding or increase in Utah. Thank God, like the recording, is hard to hear But an employee at sequels read, write, canyons, says kid all over the campus are fighting and he got half an hour
She says there isn't enough staff to handle it Danny weapon. Anything. I can find out what she asked for some officers to come out on the other hand, a Swat team arrives at the school. more than twenty students were entered in the fights the internet. Prompted investigation, And you'd our regulators down that fighting wasn't. The only problem The uncovered numerous accounts of staff abusing and mistreating kids. A few months later sequel closed the facility. the company said it had not consistently delivered on its mission. The whole thing confirmed: Senator guessers fear She wanted organ to stop sending kids to seek for she would early in the morning before her
children were awake and she would fire off long emails. sequel to regulators and other states. She blasted the company on Twitter and when she couldn't stop thinking about the kids stock in simple facilities should head out to her When we first moved into this house literally, there was a giant pile of bricks, tons of bricks, clear her mind. She would dig out the bricks and take a shovel and punch at the nodded deep roots. Every time she finally start planting. There would be another layer of bricks and mortar tangled routes, but I was really frustrated coming out in digging roots and just getting really sweaty was a really good relief and it was a good way to really think about needing to get in deep root of the problem it took about a year. But now the garden is full of Daphne scented, geraniums and lavender girls are calls it. Her seat
rage garden as girls are kept up. The pressure I knew it was time for a change that, He heard a new ceo, a business man they drew from a different industry. today. Special guest is the ceo of twenty four hour: Fitness Chris Resource that you should pleasure real honour. What in size you about the business. Gosh. I've been a bit of a gem Jim goer for years, and I have been a member of twenty four when Chris, Greece has made the move from twenty four hour, fitness to sequel. He promised things were going to get better and after me, of damaging media reports. He was on a mission to improve it companies image? There is one person to win over, and I was at dinner with my two daughters and my phone rang Senator go Sir, and it was is syndrome elsewhere Annabelle unethical amazing, whose colleen- and he said yes, my name is
Chris Rousseau's, I'm the ceo of Sql, and I just really like to get to know her. I think she has concerns about my company and I'm like. Oh that's me on this Russo told gasser. He was in the midst of overhauling sequel. He had installed huh of surveillance cameras he'd been on listening tours, visiting the facilities and he had a plan. Do you see use of physical restraints? He asked if he could showgirl, sir, all the improvements he was making sure read to meet him and I was so they could tourism in the company's facilities together. So he in a piggy me up at the airport I bought it will have a coffee. Before I came out the two spent hours in the car together we made a logics about corn. There was so much corn. I ain't increases really funny. I really. I really liked him a lot during the first
for those who had a moment where she wondered if she misjudge the company the place was nice, the staff was play, the resident seemed happy sequel. Is so gay answering the questions and theirs. tell me when you go. It's like the Disney land, you hey gotTA, Disneyland and everybody is cheerful and wholesome and smiling and positive. That is the team that greet you they'd make eye contact Did you they shake your hand? Theirs a polite, there's so friendly there, so positive, an enthusiastic and they love the kids. It's it's just like this the girls are still had doubts. She decided to stop at one more sequel facility. Before flying home. She chose a treatment centre in the Chicago supper that was charging her state eight hundred dollars a day per child. The same though, She wasn't gonna go with Rousseau's. In fact she wasn't. To tell anyone from sequel this visit
would be unannounced, I got there in the mid afternoon and it was so different because they didn't know I was coming. They knew I was they knew. I was pretty quickly dancers. Northern Illinois Academy was a mass, the walls were filthy and there was a terrible smell within the first few minutes. Before these I had director came out there and of having this conversation, probably about what were they gonna do with me. I saw girl in an inappropriate restrain. Girls are said she saw a teenager with a developmental disability pinned up against the wall. Guzzlers ass. She was told, The girl had entered in office and headed toward a fruitful without knocking on the door first at the end of her visit. Girls are worked out I remember I sat down and just started to cry. We are told regulators what she saw they investigated and declared that the deficiencies
Sequels Northern Illinois Academy were so serious. They put children's health and safety at risk, but the facility stayed open. About six months later go through to another sequel facility. It was lakes the academy in Michigan the same treatment centre where Angela hunters, son, Austin alleged staff member, had assaulted him. The meeting at lakeside was an attempt sequel to is the state of organs. Growing concerns sequel, CEO, Chris Rousseau's was there. His relationship with girls are wasn't friendly anymore, and I too Maybe you see the right things, and I so want to believe you, but these things keep happening. So, think you have a problem with your people on the ground, because you restraints don't look like what your policy say. Your executive director
so you people have training that they don't have. All these things keep happening and your kids are in danger: girls also issued a warning. Somebody's gonna die like them. Can be seriously her. They're gonna die in one of these restrained, One of the king who was living at lakeside economy, then Cornelius, Frederick Junior. He was sixteen awarded, state because his mother was dead and his father was in prison. Kiley James was one of teachers there on the first day you come in. Of course you introduce yourself to if the kids and asked them for their names- and he very sweetly said Cornelius fredericks- and I said that is the most elegant me I've ever heard. Please. I got a smile, a genuine smile We had a really beautiful smile,
and I see it all the time. April Cornelius was sitting by himself in the lakeside lunchroom. He tried to start a food fight. He threw a couple pieces of his at another boy. Is nothing that as it happens, in every high school cafeteria in the country, but what happened? Wasn't normal staffers shut Cornelius to the fore and held him there seven other employees joint in they put him down for twelve street minutes when it finally ended. Cornelius was limp and unresponsive. The staff stood around try to set him up, splashed a little water on him. Somewhat later say they thought he was faking. It took another twelve minutes before the head nurse. Finally called nine one. One
Emergency dispatch other than they clarify the man. You have been a retreat and now he's unresponsive. Crazy, breathing, yeah lightly Cornelius died at the hospital two days later. Cool examiner, ruled it homicide by asphyxiation. The surveillance video circulated on social media. It show the staff penny now Cornelius for twelve minutes, and waiting another twelve minutes, call, nine one one cornelius was black and his death drew comparisons to the police, killing of George Floyd and sparked protests around the country there's nothing worse than seeing a sixteen oh no, dwarf in the
now tell children, no Then and two other staffers who hell Cornelius Down, have been charged with child abuse and envy Terry Manslaughter sequel claimed it was cooperating with investigation, but please records show. Is lawyers try to prevent it? actors from interviewing its employees. In a statement to eight p reports this summer the company said quote: there is no cost Cornelius should be with us today. His family has filed a lawsuit against sequel, Joe we fire is one of their attorneys. This is what happens when you turn over your private eyes, and you turn over facilities that really should be
much more regulated and oversee, I'm hoping to disclose to the people of not only the state of Michigan, but the United States that the privatisation of these facilities that are run for and institutionalized children who have no choice in the matter are being treated. It has commodities and that, as after Cornelius died lakes, The academy fell into chaos. Students brought along racial lines, at least ten ran away. One of them was asked, hunter. The boy for Minnesota in Yemen have shoes on hammer anything since mom Angela says her son saw what happened to Cornelius. He was there in the lunchroom and he was afraid something like that might happen to him
after he ran away. He broke into a. Why am CIA Animo town? He stole food out of vending machine police found three days later, hiding in the woods to top it. If he tested positive recovered nineteen, There has been a significant outbreak as equals Lakeside Academy. He was one of forty one kids there who caught I had already experienced the unimaginable trauma of his early life. Angela says he left lakeside. hand me even more traumatized look at the damage that the sequel facility to my son, something blank could here in our relationship, changed after Michigan anything he feels like he does it for us or anything anymore, which I dont. Even I can tell him that difference, not ok,
he's. Ok, no number be ok, again, Bianca Back principles. her son is now back in Minnesota and once again, the count Having trouble finding somewhere to send him, so you living at a juvenile detention center wherever he ends up. I'm going to make sure this time, I'm not going to trust that because the county takes them there, that it's! Okay, that's my problem. I trusted too much. I trusted the outside look at that place. I trusted I trusted. We're supposed to help my son I trusted. Now I'm going to have every piece of paperwork there is and I'm going to be involved at every single thing, because I'm going to know I'm going to drive him nuts One thing is for certain wherever I think those next. It won't be run by sequel, Angela won't allowing and neither well as data Minnesota. It cut its ties,
the company this summer, after Cornelius direct, was killed. Lauren Digg is a reporter. It Oregon public Broadcasting she's a part of a team led by a pm reports that spent the last year Vesta, getting sequel, youth and family services. You can find their complete investigation online at eight p M report, DOT, Org, Slash sequel, including a video reconstruction. What happened to Cornelius, Frederick at Lakeside Academy, the state of Michigan forced lakeside and another sequel facility, there, too close company has shut down a total of eight treatment centres since twenty nineteen, many the closing happen during investigations or under pressure Government regulators, Ohio, is in the process of trying to revoke, seek, was licence to operate their Chris
So it is no longer the company ceo, he last a little over a year in the job sequel decline. and our interview request in a written statement, it said quote: without Org nations like ours, vulnerable youth with the potential to a vibrant lives will continue to fall through the cracks it added. That's why we can and must do better for the state of origin. The death of Cornelius, Frederick and Lakeside Academy was the last straw. It finally did with Senator Gale Sir, had been pushing for the state brought its faster kids home. It found places for them in Oregon and like Minnesota. It severed ties with Siegel, but sequel survives. It runs twenty nine treatment centres around the country and dozens of states still sin kids to them,
Today, show was produced by Curtis Gilbert from eight p M reports and law and dig at o p b in organ donation is a part of a huge Europe. Boarding, collaboration that included dusting Dwyer of Michigan radio tennis. Watson of Wyoming, public radio, Conor O Neill in Alabama Natasha Signa, which in Tennessee David five Of course, you are in SALT Lake City, Daniel later been Iowa and a PM reports, Audrey Kennedy and will crash so. Thanks said no mean a GEO dean of Casey. You are in Kansas City Catherine Winner edited today. program, Dave Man and Andy crews edited the online version of the story. You can find it at eight p, M reports, DOT, Org, slash, sequel Victoria bear Nevsky is our general council. Our production Andrews, Amy Mustafa score and said
design by dynamic do o J Breezy, Mr Jim Briggs and Finance, and though my man YO, a router that help this week from bread. Simpson are ceo, is Chris from Bergmann Thompson is our editor in chief executive producer is Kevin Sullivan theme, music is by camaraderie light support for reveals provided by the Raven David Logan Foundation, the John D and Catherine T Macarthur Foundation, the Jonathan who can family foundation the Ford Foundation. The highs Simons Foundation, the democracy fund and the ethics and excellence in journalism foundation reveal, is a co production of the centre
or investigative reporting and p r eggs. I'm Alison and remember. There is always more to the story.
Transcript generated on 2020-11-21.