Abuse at Utah youth treatment centers appears to occur frequently, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. Unfortunately, this seldom leads to the closure of these facilities. According to APM reports, during the past five years, the Utah Office of Licensing has not shut down a single facility. This is despite many reports of abuse.
Why Doesn’t Abuse Lead to Closure?
For many, the lack of closures is confusing and upsetting. Why wouldn’t regulators close these places down if they are hurting children and teens? Amanda Slater worked as the head Utah regulator for three years. APM reports interviewed her and asked why regulators failed to close problem facilities.
“When a child dies or is injured, it is a tragedy,” she said. “But we have rules and statutes that we’re supposed to follow. And we need to look at it objectively and make a decision based off of that. But I do believe we have the tools to do that, if it is necessary.”
It appears that while she held her role, she didn’t think that the organization had justification to close facilities based on accusations of abuse. However, she did say that the passing of Utah’s latest regulations to increase oversight of youth treatment centers allowed her to take more disciplinary action.
According to Slater, the new regulations required her staff to inspect treatment centers more frequently. It also spelled out prohibited actions, something that was apparently lacking in prior laws.
Increased Oversight Could Lead to Less Abuse at Utah Youth Treatment Centers
For anyone who has suffered abuse at Utah youth treatment centers, Slater’s comments might not bring much comfort. Given the life-altering damage such abuse does to victims, her statement could come across as far too little. However, her final comments about the empowerment given her by the recent reforms are reasons for some optimism.
Increased oversight guided by the latest legal reforms is an important first step to preventing abuse at Utah youth treatment centers. The more regulators are looking at these facilities and taking disciplinary action, the more deterrents there will be for abusers. Of course, we still haven’t seen any closures of abusive treatment centers – so there is a long way to go yet for true abuse prevention.
Representing Utah Youth Treatment Center Abuse Victims
You don’t have to suffer in silence, and there is no cost to you unless we win. Our law firm files lawsuits on behalf of abuse victims under the right circumstances. We encourage you to contact us and tell us your story. It’s possible we might be able to represent you and help you take legal action against those responsible.
Contact our Utah law firm today at (801) 845-4577 or fill out our secure online contact form to get started.