Thursday, April 24, 2008

GAO criticizes boot camp fraud and abuse

Thanks to several readers for pointing me to coverage of an analysis of juvenile boot camp programs that's in the national press this week.

The Government Accountability Office came out with a followup report to its study of juvenile boot camps and wilderness programs that Grits discussed last fall. See the new report here (pdf). After analyzing these programs in the big picture, GAO followed up at the request of a Congressional committee by analyzing eight individual abuse cases from boot camps and wilderness around the country. GAO intends to come out with a comprehensive study soon of juvenile residential programs.

In addition to allegations of physical abuse, said GAO, some such programs may be committing tax fraud or violating non-profit rules. According to the report (p. 4):
Posing as fictitious parents with fictitious troubled teenagers, we also found examples of deceptive marketing and questionable practices in the private residential program industry. Deceptive marketing included potential fraud, false statements, and misleading representations related to a range of issues including tax deductions, education, and admissions policies.
Some of the fraud claims hit a little close to home. MSNBC reports that a GAO rep testified before Congress that:
that a Texas wilderness program representative misled investigators about whether a trade group inspected the facility and whether the program was covered by health insurance.

Investigator Greg Kutz told lawmakers last fall that there were thousands of allegations of abuse in teen residential programs, including boot camps, wilderness camps and therapeutic boarding schools. When asked about insurance, the program representative "emphasized that we should not call ahead of time to seek pre-approval, because then we would be 'up the creek,'" Kutz said. In fact, experts told investigators that insurers actually could require pre-approval before mental health services are provided.
In another case described to Congress, said MSNBC, "a 12-year-old boy died of suffocation at a Texas facility after being restrained and forced to lie on the floor face down."

I haven't read the report yet, but as Texas considers shifting to regional juvenile justice systems that rely on residential placement, this may be an issue to watch.

MORE from the Dallas News.


Unknown said...

Many of the teen boot camps in country are not licensed and have not certified doctors. These boot camps mainly do this kind of accused work which is very shameful. So parents should the right information about boot camps before enrolling their children.

Anonymous said...

Many residential treatment centers for troubled teens suggest family counseling, family support, therapy and other education program to educate the families of troubled teens about the devastating effects of drug addiction.

Karel said...

The most important thing for parents of a troubled teen is to recognize what sort of problems he/she is facing and decide which type of program, facility, or organization is best suited to deal with the issues facing your teen. Make sure you do your homework. Learn about the techniques and philosophies that these different organizations will use to help a troubled teen. Whenever possible, take the time to visit facilities and meet the staff a faculty of these organizations. Get advice from other parents who have been down the same path you are currently on
Help for Troubled Teen - -

Benjamin said...

There are number of programs that allow treatment rehab etc for troubled teen..boardings school, therapeutic boarding center, boot camps etc etc. But I would recommend, if a troubled teenager hasn't have any sort of mental disorders, family intervention and Home based intervention is a good idea. As from my first hand experience, one of my aunt used such program for his son and it worked really well. Home Intervention System will help you deal with a wide range of problems that children often encounter including; anger, substance abuse, school issues, self-esteem, arguing, motivation, interacting with family, and more.I hope, it helps you in gathering some sort of information. As the Home Intervention System was developed by administrators of schools and programs for struggling youth and has been adapted for home use. The System utilizes a simple but powerful Attitude and Behavior Modification Program.
Best Wishes...

Kiara said...

There are many teen boot camps, which are illegal. They don't have license and as well as the other basic support that they must have. I think due to these organizations all other camps will suffer. People may get bitter impression on such kind of schools. Now parents Should give much more attention as well as get more information about such schools while looking for such organization..