H.R. 911, known as the Stop Child Abuse in Residential Treatment Programs act, is a bill that could potentially protect thousands of abused kids, ensure that the abusers are punished… and is currently stalled in the Senate. First introduced on February 9, 2009, the bill is designed to revise the current system of behavior modification centers for youth. The bill passed in the House last year on Feb. 23 without amendment by a margin of 295-102-35. After a year and a half however, the Senate has not taken up the bill. It is up to us to put pressure on them to do so.
With a patchwork of state laws that have been ineffective at protecting young people, this bill is the best chance to put a stop to (or at least lessen) the terrible abuse that occurs in teen behavior modification camps. While it defies reason that these practices weren’t already banned, the legislation would prohibit programs from physically, mentally, or sexually abusing children and prohibit them from denying youth essential food, water, clothing, shelter, or medical care. The bill would increase transparency for parents and make it harder for them to be lied to or deceived by programs claiming to offer treatment.
In addition to NYRA, a chief proponent of this bill is the Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth, a former NYRA project and close ally. NYRA members are strongly encouraged to help CAFETY get this bill introduced and passed in the Senate, please take action here.