Utah youth treatment centers are in the news these days with disturbing frequency. These organizations are supposed to be caring for young people and helping them recover – but instead, are frequently accused of mentally and physically abusing patients. Multiple articles published by news outlets like the Salt Lake Tribune have highlighted abuses and the lack of oversight. The question is, where are the regulators, and why are they not doing their jobs?
Examples of Abuses at Utah Youth Treatment Centers for Substance Abuse
The number of abuse allegations against Utah residential treatment centers are too many to count. Some of them include:
Staff member threw teen to the ground and caused concussion
At the Provo Canyon school, a teen refused to cooperate with a staff member. The staff member grabbed the teen and threw him to the floor where he sustained a concussion. The concussion went untreated for a week. All of this was caught on video.
Therapist sexually abused a patient
A 41-year-old therapist was treating a 16-year-old girl at a residential treatment center in New Haven. The therapist raped the girl multiple times. Staff members had noticed inappropriate behavior but did nothing about it. The girl’s next therapist learned of the rapes and reported them to law enforcement and the man eventually pled guilty and was sentenced to seven years to life in prison.
Utah Regulators Rarely Found Fault with Treatment Centers Until Recently
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah regulators exercises a hands-off approach to residential treatment centers for all but the last few years. Even with video evidence, like the video of the staff member throwing the teen to the ground mentioned above, was not enough to force state regulators to take action. They didn’t threaten to shut down the treatment centers or even cite rule violations.
What Has Changed?
Many people have wondered why regulators in the state of Utah failed youth treatment center patients so badly. Was it the fact that Utah has the most residential treatment centers of any state? Is it because those treatment centers funnel hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue into Utah each year? It may be years before we know exactly what went on that kept regulators from doing their jobs.
Fortunately, local news agencies uncovered records exposing this lack of oversight and people are starting to take notice. Celebrities like Paris Hilton are speaking up about their abuses at Utah’s treatment centers. And brave victims of abuse are taking legal action against their abusers.
If you or someone you know what abused by residential treatment center staff in Utah, we are here to help with your legal needs. Our team has helped numerous clients with Utah residential treatment center abuse lawsuits. We are ready to hear your story. Please call us today at (801) 845-4577 or complete our online contact form now.