I saw an amazing interview this morning with Paris Hilton. If she were ever to be famous for anything, it definitely should be for her current cause… Ending abuse at youth facilities. She’s working with lawmakers in Washington DC to end the vicious conditions that contribute to a lifetime of trauma, and for some, even death. So far, she’s helped champion changes in seven states. I assure you, if you ever want to know how awful the conditions can be in those youth facilities, ask those kids that grew up in them that are now in adult prisons. It’s a pipeline of trauma and turmoil.

I know several people here who grew up in youth facilities, whether they be group homes or more punitive settings like juvenile prisons, and have deep battle scars of growing up there. Those scars are on their bodies and on their minds, crippling their way of living successfully. Don’t take my word for it, do a little research on your own about how these tax funded facilities (or even privately funded ones) have a history of imposed trauma. Publications like Prison Legal News or Criminal Legal News showcase the wins of class action lawsuits as a routine. Washington state has paid out millions to adults who were sexually tortured in youth facilities as kids. It happens. And many of those kids become very damaged adult prisoners.

I will be forward in saying that I don’t know all the statistical data involved in successes versus abuses for youth facilities. I’m sure some kids found a lifeline in them and that all facilities aren’t the same. But therein lies the problem… like Paris Hilton, we have to, as a society, bring the bad ones to light and end the tyranny that happens behind closed doors and when parents aren’t looking. We have to make them all work harder at providing to their mission of stepping in to guide youth. For more information about her crusade, check out her own story of abuse-turned-activism at the Washington Post website.

by Rory Andes

End the practice of funding abusive youth facilities. Help hold them accountable…

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Rory Andes 367649
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272