DRA's polished website claims the following: “All aspects of our program are integrated and designed to be therapeutic in purpose.” Yet the only information given to support such a claim are consumer testimonials, not unlike reviews you might read on a restaurants website. Unlike DRA, however, a restaurant using selective positive reviews to support their claim of deliciousness does not have to show that what they are serving is, in fact, food. A parent considering placement at DRA is not given any reason to make such a presumption. DRA does not provide sufficient information to verify that outcomes support the claim that a student graduating from DRA is better off because of DRA. For example, how might a reasonable parent further investigate what it is about DRA's 'therapeutic milieu' that 'facilitates change' to determine that this is actually 'therapeutic' and not a run-of-the-mill private detention center that forces change, which is distinguishable from growth, by making most or all privileges and rights conditional upon those changes and cloaking these practices in language of healing? By our survivor accounts, the latter is true.
It appears the 'integrated', therapeutic all-the-time, program design is simply a euphemism for a program that is rigid, tightly controlled, highly coercive and punitive. Because DRA does not offer any scientific basis that would give merit to their claim and anecdotal evidence can not provide any assurance as to what might be the actual effect and outcome of placing a child at DRA, the anecdotes of survivors should be given significant weight by any parent or referral source concerned with children's welfare.
Dr. Phil and Dr. Drew
Two peas in the industry's pod
What we know:
· Outcomes: Evidence through actual research of long term group placement at programs (not DRA) does exist. Based on those outcome studies, there is no reason to believe that the emotional, behavioral or mental health needs of youth like Alont'a are likely to be met by DRA as it promotes itself and certainly not as described in practice. For Dr. Drew to claim otherwise is irresponsible at best. For DRA staff to make such claims to consumers is misleading, if not outright fraud.
o Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law: Residential Care Factsheet
· Risks: What minimal chance might exist for a positive outcome is easily undermined by the high risk of harm and death. Congressional hearings in 2007 and 2008 highlight this risk by offering a detailed account of the many problems associated with programs just like and, arguably, including DRA. The account, based on the findings by the Government Accountability Office’s investigation and report include: the widespread problem of abuse and maltreatment of children, inadequate state regulation, oversight and monitoring, the use of fraudulent marketing by and poor staff training.
The former MTV doctor of a new generation doesn’t appear to give a second thought to advancing our nations discourse in the interests of youth rights and protection. This despite our own Supreme Court’s recognition over a decade ago that segregated placement perpetuates fear-based stereotypes, is discriminatory and deemed community inclusion a right. Instead, Dr. Drew looks backwards for solutions. We hope you agree and will use your words to let Dr. Drew know why this is unacceptable to you and ask that he reconsider his decision to become one more psychiatrist that is part of the problem and invite him to join us in being a part of the solution.
|< Prev||Next >|