The growing national movement to expose and reform the increasingly dangerous “troubled-teen” industry is highlighted in a powerful New York Times opinion piece

A compelling New York Times op-ed written by contributing Op-Ed writer Maia Szalavitz brings needed attention to the increasing efforts to address the murky and dangerous practices rife within the “troubled-teen” industry. Notable public figures like Paris Hilton have recently worked to amplify this cause, disclosing personal horrors endured in establishments meant to improve teenage behavioral issues.

Despite attempting to mirror reputable psychiatric centers, these establishments often bypass regulation resulting in reduced or even perilous so-called care. Legal loopholes permit faith-based programs to evade standard protocols set for child care facilities. Alarmingly, practices such as corporal punishment — outlawed even in prisons — find a place in such facilities due to lax regulations across numerous states. The lack of comprehensive government data on these facilities further conceals the true extent of youth harmfully affected.

Buoyed by the advocacy of Hilton and others, a bipartisan group introduced the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act (S.I.C.A.A.) this year, rallying support from 50 co-sponsors. This legislation, seeking to illuminate the shady teen care industry, embarks on a multi-agency investigation to expose the breadth of abuses in youth residential facilities, and advocates for a transition towards safer, evidence-driven outpatient services.

Lieff Cabraser is actively investigating similar allegations of abuse of patients and residents at Acadia Healthcare facilities, the largest stand-alone behavioral health services provider in the U.S. Additionally, we represent six individuals and a putative class of thousands of other children across the U.S. in a federal class action sexual abuse lawsuit in Pennsylvania against Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Facilities over allegations of the rape and sexual abuse of inpatient clients, as well as abuses committed by fellow inpatients, horrific acts that were ignored and/or suppressed by Devereux staff and management. Some patients who raised such allegations claim they were not only disregarded, but punished for initiating complaints, including the withholding of food, physical restraint, isolation, and even physical abuse.

Learn more about the Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Staff Sexual Abuses Class Action Lawsuit and the Acadia Healthcare Abuse Investigation.

Sexual Abuse Lawyers at Lieff Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser’s sexual abuse survivor advocacy team represents survivors across the U.S. who have been victimized by sexual violence and sexual abuse. We treat every client with care, respect, and compassion as we bring our comprehensive legal skills forward on each case. We have a dedicated team of lawyers, nurse consultants, and paralegals experienced in working with and listening to survivors who work individually with every client in every case to see that justice is won.

Contact us

Use the form below to contact a lawyer at Lieff Cabraser.