14 YEAR OLD CHILD PLACED IN RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT
CENTER SECLUDED AND RESTRAINED IN HIS OWN BLOOD
Dateline: October 22, 2007...Billings, MT
Contact 1: Jarvis & Krieger, PC
Contact 2: Leejanice Toback, Esq.
Contact 3: Scott Jarvis, Esq.
Phone: (562) 597-7070
Fax: (562) 597-7772
E-Mail 1: firstname.lastname@example.org
E-Mail 2: Scott@jarvislawyers.com
Web Address: www.jarvislawyers.com
BILLINGS, MT - October 22, 2007 - Jeremy Ellis, a 14 year old Laguna
Beach special education student who is currently placed at Yellowstone
Boys and Girls Ranch, a therapeutic treatment center located in
Billings, Montana, claims the facility abused him. In a letter to his
attorney, Leejanice Toback, Jeremy described how doors were slammed
into his face and he has been put in seclusion or restraints, lying in
a puddle of his own blood.
In the letter, Jeremy described how a staff member slammed doors in
his face twice, causing his face to bleed and how he has regularly
been put in seclusion and/or restraints for over one (1) hour, denied
medical attention and given nothing to stop the bleeding. In
addition Jeremy reports how he has been punched and kicked by a
particular male staff member. He has told his mother that his
therapist regularly refers to him and other children as "morons."
Jeremy was referred to Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch by Orange
County Mental Health Services. Jeremy's attorney, Leejanice Toback,
originally requested a placement at Villa Santa Maria in New Mexico,
but Orange County Mental Health Services refused, stating that the
facility was not on their agency's approved list.
After receiving Jeremy's letter, Ms. Toback phoned Yellowstone's
C.E.O. Glenn McFarlane. He refused Ms. Toback's demand to report
the incident to the Montana Child Protective Services Agency. Mr.
McFarlane told Ms. Toback that Yellowstone would do its own
investigation. He stated that, "if we reported all these complaints,
we would spend all our time reporting incidents to Child Protective
Services." Dave Schwarm, the Quality Improvement Specialist from
Yellowstone confirmed to Ms. Toback that in the last month there were
at least three (3) child abuse allegations made. He stated that
according to his records, Jeremy is self abusing. When asked about
evidence to support that claim, he hung up.
Written requests to the facility to cease abuse of the child have gone
unheeded. As of 10/8/07, Yellowstone reported to Jeremy's mother that
he was again put in restraints, this time for touching his nose.
Jeremy's parents and his attorney are trying to relocate him to a safe
and secure treatment center, but they have been unsuccessful due to
the records generated by Yellowstone painting Jeremy as uncontrollable
and self injurious and the lack of cooperation by Orange County Heath
Care Agency, who are insisting that Jeremy be transferred to a
particular approved facility which has ten (10) locked seclusion rooms
for their one hundred twelve (112) residents.
"Parents place their special education children in these facilities
for the purpose of treatment and structure, not so that they can be
brutalized. We treat prisoners better than this", Ms. Toback stated.
"The full color brochures and videos that these places prepare don't
have pictures of kids secluded in stark rooms with no pictures, toys,
books or music or restrained by adults three times their size."
A recent Cornell University study found that over a ten (10) year
period there were forty-five (45) deaths of children and adolescents
in residential facilities due to the use of restraints.
Jeremy's family is considering all options, including legal action
against Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch.
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