Residents interviewed by New Times said there were unclear rules and little consistency in the doling out of punishments. Lyons recalled the facility being so cold, she stepped into the courtyard to get warm. She was punished. Another time, Lyons missed an order that everyone had to stay in their rooms. She walked into the hallway. Punished. Another former resident, Monique Carter, says that when her grandfather passed away, she wasn't allowed to go to the funeral. She became depressed and stopped eating. She was punished.

She says staff would laugh at patients who were so medicated they were constantly drooling.

Hillary says two battling girls once turned the hallway into a cage match, one dragging the other across the floor by her hair. The staff didn't react. But when Hillary ignored an order to come in from the courtyard, she got smashed against the wall by staff, blood spurting from her nose.

Every day, someone was dragged out into the side room where booty juice was administered, Samantha Wright claims. She could hear the screams until the subject would slip under. None of the former residents knows what "booty juice" consisted of, and all say that sometimes the sessions were administered multiple times a day.

Ashley was a mouthy adopted 15-year-old who'd been abandoned by her new family. The girl was already documented as bipolar with two serious suicide attempts. "Honestly, I went crazy at Citrus," she says today. "They had instilled in my mind that I was mentally ill. It came to the point where I believed it. At Citrus, all they wanted to do was restrain you or give you shots."

Ashley would jam whatever she could find — Bics, pencils, combs — into the flesh of her left forearm. The injuries were so severe that she was continuously hurried off to the hospital. She would be sent back to CATS, then tear open her bandage and mutilate herself again. The repeat trip to the hospitals were cries for help, she says today. "At the hospital, I would try and tell people about the place, but they would always take me back."


Tanisha Howell's high hopes were in a tailspin. Weeks stacked up into months. Octavious couldn't seem to work himself out of level A. Howell believed by constantly busting down kids, there was no feeling of traction. It was a frustrating hamster wheel."Then what kind of hope do you have of getting out of the program?" she says.

Howell says the punishments for Octavious were unjustified. He fought with his roommates — but only because other boys stole his new underwear and threatened to urinate all over Octavious' clothing. If he went to the bathroom without permission, he was busted for trespassing. "The bathroom?" Howell wondered. The concerned mom says she always got the same response from staff: "It's up to the child, how the child reacts to the program."

Still, Octavious was generally upbeat whenever Howell stopped in for family therapy or chatted on the phone. He led Bible studies and only griped about the bad food. But Howell suspected she wasn't getting the whole story from her normally talkative boy. Howell says she does not know the full extent of ETOs used on her son; she remembers being told that he'd been restrained and that Benadryl had been administered on occasion.

By August, when Octavious had been in CATS for nine months, Howell was getting frustrated. He was still on level A. "You're on the medication — no progress. You're doing your therapy and your treatment — no progress. You haven't made any progress since December 19, 2012, so what's the purpose of being in the program?"

She thought perhaps it was time to take him out of the program. But she would never get the chance.


Responsibility for what happens at CATS is spread among a bureaucratic maze of government agencies.

CATS is accredited every three years by the Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that greenlights health-care facilities across the country. AHCA issues the facility its license and is supposed to ensure compliance with rules regarding facilities, staffing, and operating procedures. The agency does annual reviews and also investigates when complaints are filed online or via phone. Florida's Department of Children and Families also fields complaints about treatment of children via phone and the internet. In Broward, DCF investigates each complaint through the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Records show that between 2008 and today, AHCA found multiple deficiencies in 11 investigations at CATS. (Citrus Health Network's program in Hialeah had three in the same period.)

AHCA found that the center failed to provide blinds in resident rooms for privacy and that kitchen staff did not follow menu protocol as required. (They just "prepare foods that the residents like," a CATS staffer reported.) In 2010, AHCA found three incidents of residents who claimed to have been injured by staff. One claimed he was tackled, another was punched in the face, and the third claimed a staff member tripped him with a bench. In July 2011, surveyors discovered that a resident had escaped from a Citrus van idling at a red light on the way from the dentist. The program had failed to follow required ratios of staff to residents, and its van was not equipped with childproof locks.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
38 comments
Lynxx3
Lynxx3

Great article Kyle.I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and hope you keep the pressure on. Sometimes the media is the best bet to get something looked into. This is an atrocity! We are failing these children, and all this red tape is bureaucratic Bull Shi**

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

...................and don't think the attorneys care about the patients and conditions of the facility as much as they are really in it for the M O N E Y

cha - ching !

these attorneys smell a potential settlement of which they will typically get MORE than the patient in fees plus costs and the motivation for the patient is also the smell of M O N E Y

cha-ching !

Gil Rodriguez
Gil Rodriguez

I do agree the kids are not "normal " but that is no reason to treat them like animals . These people were def over medicating them . Doesn't sound like the "treatment" was beneficial . And the head Doctor not wanting to face the press ? Hhheeelllloo don't be stupid people . That man doesn't care because he collects his check and that's it . I'm not glad the kid died but I'm glad it has been brought to public attention . Like Heather said , more safety measures need to be implemented . But by no means should they be treated like animals .

perroviejo160
perroviejo160

Ok so what happened or will happen to the dirty pig who punched the girl?

Halley Fitzsimmons
Halley Fitzsimmons

Isn't this article education enough?? This article is 7 pages worth of wrong doing by citrus, so what are you talking about Miguelina bloise??

Heather Rogerson
Heather Rogerson

" shot up with drugs " absolutely!!!!! There is no other way to control an agitated delusional psychotic person about to harm themselves or others. Try reporting from the medical stand point. These aren't sane high school kids they are very sick and dangerous

Heather Rogerson
Heather Rogerson

I can't speak for this facility but ive worked mental health. I lasted a month. One guy killed a nurse strangled 3 sleeping patients. They bite throw feces at you, sharpen tooth brushes stab staff...... All controlled by DCF restraints discouraged. I agree restraints were once abused and can actually escalate rage agitation, when a patient is delusional they have " super strength " at what point do we care as much for the life and safety of the staff ? When a person strongly agrees you are the anti Christ about to sacrifice them, they won't hesitate to kill you. Very scary environment I refuse to work until staff safety is ensured.

gjpnaples
gjpnaples

Having worked I several adolescent psych facilities I am very familiar with the threat and use of "booty juice" All of the mental health facilities use either Haldol or Geodon to subdue patients. Occasionally it is justified but, more often than not it is used indiscretely to make things easier on the staff. These meds are dangerous and should ONLY be used under the DIRECT supervision of a physician. We use them in the ER but only in extreme circumstances and the patient is carefully observed and monitored.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..............otherwise THROW-AWAY kids are kids whose parents deliberately have them to qualify for government assistance and taxpayer funded support like food stamps and free government cheese and obamaphones and section 8 housing reduced rent programs and even disability if the kid himself qualifies

the kids are abandonded or disgarded by the parents who have no intention of raising the kid who is THROWN-AWAY since the parents are typically abusing drugs and cannot work and are unemployable - so the free ride is to feed an addiction not a kid

however these THROW-AWAYs are typically NOT wards of the state or in guardianships because the goverment support would GO elsewhere instead of the parents - which is why you see drugged out mothers pleading the courts for custody despite such abuse and hiding that mothers real financial intentions and why there are typically MULITPLE siblings from different fathers to MAXIMIZE the yield in ripping off and scamming the public programs of taxpayer funds

the kids in this article of course may be THROW-AWAYs but not necessarily - dealing with mental deficiencies and incapacity for the poor alone does not indicate the parental participation which is the main factor in the definition of the label THROW-AWAY kid

Tracey Jones
Tracey Jones

Who got the money? Citrus Health Network in Hialeah?

Miami New Times
Miami New Times

Eddie, if you're on your phone you need to download to Pocket app.

Eddie Feliz
Eddie Feliz

Where on my Android is this mystical button called Pocket, that you speak of Miami New Times???

Miami New Times
Miami New Times

Merlina, there is a button up top called Pocket, it's a great service that does exactly that.

Jerry Gonzalez
Jerry Gonzalez

So the low income uneducated watch the kids while the 200 to 400k a year doctors play golf?

Merlina Francis
Merlina Francis

Instead of like FB needs a bookmark button so you would loose things you wanna read later. I suspect people like stuff so they would loose it in a tremendous amount of feed

sodapop1987
sodapop1987

So sad indeed. I hope this place fire all the employees and do an extensive interview for new employees. Gets sued for misusing the "booty juice" its messed up that these kids have to go through more trauma.

Alex Anico
Alex Anico

^Naomi. people are liking the article....on that note, MNT may occasionally write up lame stories about Bieber farting in a motel jacuzzi but when they do an investigative report, watch the fuck out. They play no kind of games...like

Naomi Lauren Ross
Naomi Lauren Ross

Why would anyone "Like" this? It's disturbing, and really sad. I hope it doesn't mean you actually approve what this facility has done to people.

Jimbo99
Jimbo99

@frankd4 Yep, proof that life is created in society without little regard for how they will be taken care of until they are self sufficient adults. The way I figure it, those thatd haven't had children wind up picking up the tab on these children. Some of the cowards that had them figured they would use the children as human shields to make up for the lack o their income earning potential. It creates an industry that gets fabulously wealthy off doing as little as possible to actually take care of the children. Some of these folks do the same with their pets, get a cuddly and cute one and then eventually realize they have to be accountable & responsible for raising their poor choices. Sterilization is one solution, but that's no better than what this article exposes. It's deemed inhumane, so they hope free contraceptives under Obamacare resolves as much as possible ? What they don't realize is that the underlying social ills aren't related to a bad situation that went bad because of a recession. It's that these folks breed for a government program that rewards that, then there's prostitution and diseases & unwanted pregnancies. There is no solution to any of it.

lamorta
lamorta

@frankd4 these are kids worthy of love and proper care, no matter who their parents are. if you read the article you would have noticed that some of them were orphans,

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@Jimbo99 @frankd4  


because there is PROFIT in it for some there will be no real change


otherwise it is not the kids fault when they have shitty parents


problems for these people perpetuates because for the most part the kids are or become as needy as the parent were hence the continual breeding of the criminal uncivilized prospects that exist


and yes our current judicial industrial complex is fixed to PROFIT as judges pensions and LEOs boat payments from overtime and construction workers building jails and courthouses is continual ALL vitally depend on the constant flow of funds into these efforts


these 52 kids are certainly on their way to entering and staying in custody at one place or another - they simply are NOT self-sufficient nor will they be anytime soon

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@lamorta @frankd4  


i absolutely agree.......after all it's NOT the kids fault they are either mentally financially or parentaly deficient in our society


sometimes even loving parents however do not have the ability to handle infirmed and difficult kids who need professional help


during WWII kids of all ages were relocated from LONDON and other cities into the suburbs to live with surrogate guardians until the bombing ended and the outcomes were mixed indicating environment while very important is not the only factor

 
Loading...