“It has a detrimental effect on a youth’s treatment, education, physical health and mental health,” Tom Masseau, executive director of Disability Rights Arkansas, explained to David Ramsey of the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network about “room confinement”, which is again being highlighted as an issue at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center (AJATC), which is the largest juvenile facility in the state overseen by the Division of Youth Services (DYS). DRA has continued to monitor AJATC throughout the change in management in 2016 from one private contractor to another. AJATC, as the name implies, is a treatment center, which is intended to provide rehabilitation and therapy; however, concerns about the treatment of youth in this facility have been a focus of DRA’s work for years.
To read the article about the concerns of DRA and other advocates of the youth at AJATC, click here: Kids in Isolation: Locked Away In Alexander
To read Part II of this series, click here: Kids in Isolation: Locked Away in Dermott