U.S. Justice Dept. finds Alaska unnecessarily segregates children with behavioral disabilities in institutions

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The Department of Justice has found reasonable cause to believe the State of Alaska violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide community-based services to children with behavioral health disabilities, relying instead on segregated, institutional settings — specifically, psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric residential treatment facilities.

The finding concludes of the department’s investigation into whether Alaska subjects children with behavioral health disabilities to unnecessary institutionalization in violation of Title II of the ADA.

“Each year, hundreds of children, including Alaska Native children in significant number, are isolated in institutional settings often far from their communities,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. 

“Most of these children could remain in family homes if provided appropriate community-based services. We look forward to working with Alaska to bring the State into compliance with federal law and prevent the unnecessary institutionalization of children,” Clarke said.

Children who are segregated in psychiatric residential treatment facilities commonly stay there longer than six months, and some of them are sent to states as distant as Texas and Missouri, thousands of miles from their families.

The department’s investigation found that Alaska’s system of care is heavily reliant on institutions and that key community-based services and supports needed to serve children with behavioral health disabilities in family homes, such as home-based family treatment, crisis services and therapeutic treatment home services, are often unavailable. As a result, many children with behavioral health disabilities, including a substantial number of Alaska Native children, are forced to endure unnecessary and unduly long admissions to psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric residential treatment facilities both within Alaska and in states across the country. 

The Alaska Department of Law is reviewing the findings.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Hahaha. Triple the funding to every off road community in the state. With democrat run house and senate controlling the budget. They’re taking the entire pfd and starting an income tax.

    • Perhaps better than paying all one’s PFD for mental health services the state refuses to provide at the level needed because, checks notes, we want a bare bones budget and are unwilling to consider taxes.

      • So how much do you intend to earn off of this transfer of wealth scheme, Maureen?

        And why is it that when I search your name online I find you’ve been bleating about the PFD for better than a decade while stumbling to pose as if you’re somehow or another morally better than the rest of us who regard you as a wannabe middleman in a serial grifting operation wherein you’re actually trying to throw shame around in support of serial reckless spending?

        ‘https://www.adn.com/voices/article/pfd-checks-arent-worth-price-we-pay/2010/01/24

        What’s wrong with you, Maureen?

      • You derive your income from the mentally deficient and any opinion you share is not only suspect but self serving. I would expect self serving and egocentric remarks from the homosexuals on the Anchorage Assembly but had not suspected something of that sort from the general populace.

        It might be altruistic to say that the future of Alaska depends on the generosity of its current inhabitants and the right thing to do would be to discontinue the PFD program. Conversely it is immoral to assume that it should be spent on whatever profession you lurk within and worse yet that you believe yourself to be the arbiter of the level of care needed. Reconsider your shameful perspective, Maureen.

    • Well then by all means, tell those Russian Ogliarchs, hiding in Alaska, that their assets will be seized. There. Fixed it for you. Your welcome.

  2. It’s definitely a money game! It’s really sad! Anybody that has dealt with the state and federal systems know this! They all have their claws and want a piece of the money!

  3. this has been going on for many years. I know one person who was told Alaska has ZERO Psychiatrists now so we must send your child to Texas for tourrets syndrome, they made 4, 000 a day and tried every drug on the child until he had no body fat left.

  4. That’s the reason why Frank Murkowski reversed the Statute of Limitations on Rape in 2003. Besides institutionalization of these poor kids, they get raped, and/or have to be security so no one gets hurt. Back in the 70s in API children’s unit was nicknamed the dungeon because of staff raping the children on graveyard. Weird time to get Male Aid calls over the intercom. Sounds like the kids fought back. That’s why Frank flipped out. WTF. He was done fooling around. Wonder where that one is that reported all this to Frank. Oh Lisa… sounds like reparations are due…

    • Suffering from the grifters (Sarah Palin,ect) that used the institutionalization against that one. Catholic Social Services is just as guilty as the Catholic Church. Gave them free reign to “spin that one out” with many domestic terrorism tactics. Unfortunately, they backfired, and humanity took notice, and said here hold my beer. Awe good times. Now, I suspect they will be shrieking about something else. And soon. That’s going to backfire biggly. Maybe we can get a fireworks show from DOJ by or on New Years! 🎉

  5. I would agree. after I
    being curious had opportunity to hide and look down and into api’s outdoor yard when
    i heard a basketball bouncing. I knew the kid would be “native” and i was correct further he didn’t look like he needed to be there. Most of these youth its their
    families needing psychriatric, biblical counseling, even attend
    New Life workshops without losing their children, because healing being done by the parent, aunt, uncle, even grandparent is critical for a child to watch for their own healing, so he
    can see he’s not
    at fault for his family’s behavioral problems.

  6. Affirming to my thinking in the greater U S of A- i’m correct! And that increases my confidence that other states do have better psycologists and behavioral health counselors who take the
    field of psycology very seriously to be useful in their clients lives to recognize Alaska is sick from our families to our state or city government officials and employees
    here our psycologists and behavioral health counselors they either are
    atheists, don’t do enough reading, or greedy- just “working” for a paycheck.

  7. I’m not sure what this article is implying, but any native village I was ever in, the village and School district serviced the disadvantaged children. And Gamble, on a gravel bar so soft it’s difficult to walk on at times and there are no trucks, the district provided a UTV to transport a wheelchair bound student. That student had their own especially trained aid and provided both learning and physical therapy at the school. Another school I was at provided transportation round trip for a disabled child. I was the driver. Perhaps only Anchorage students are left holding the bag.

    • These are all cases with more physical disability rather than psychological. There were times when psychologically Disturbed students after tearing up a classroom and throwing things, we’re sent home. That didn’t help the situation looking at the big picture but it did help the classroom.

      • Doesn’t this seem like the disabled person should either move to where better care is more reasonably available or that the native corporation should step in? That’s what they’re there for isn’t it? The betterment of the shareholder?

  8. They get sent away because the families can’t control them. If the families wanted the psychiatric members to remain in the home, they would remain in the home. We don’t have enough mental health professionals to provide services to all cities, towns, villages, and other communites. I imagine there is a money laundering scheme hidden in here somewhere.

  9. FASD kids. Interesting case, as institutional care is the very most expensive care. Dunno how it got this bad, though, though if Kristen Clarke is involved, I would take whatever Do(In)J is claiming with an enormous grain of salt. Clarke has demonstrated very clearly that she is a bad actor with an agenda. Perhaps she is getting bored going after Catholic and Christian pro-lifers. Cheers –

  10. Goodbye native communities, families and people. The democraric land “acknowledgement” is I believe merely a recitation of conquest- your loss with more to come. Natives stop voting for democrat captors. Thanks ever so much.

  11. This is not a ‘one size fits all’ . Very often, an inpatient setting is best for treatment and recovery. Most often such programs do involve the family or caregivers. Often, the family dynamic is contributing to the issues a child is suffering with and being away from that dynamic is necessary for successful treatment. This ‘finding’ does not appear to consider individual situations, toxic family settings, or past trauma that could make treatment difficult. This should be a state issue not a federal issue. Justice department overreach.

  12. This is no time for Haha as there are class action suits that most are costly in many ways. This is not good for kids, families, the state nor general public. Need good solutions and people to work together to solve problems this affects people of all political afflictions.

  13. Wonder if Harvard educated Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke will buy a parka and fly up to Kipnuk, Sleetmute, and Little Diomede to show us dumb Alaskans how to build children’s mental health facility?

    Then, I wonder if she will put an ad on monster.com and find us a few dozen psychiatrists willing to relocate to Rural Alaska to staff it.

    Finally, the AAG can organize an annual bake sale to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars its going to take to pay for it.

    I suppose Ms. Clarke could do the above and accomplish something. Or, she could just write a report, threaten a lawsuit and coerce the State into signing a consent decree that whines about the problem but does nothing to fix it.

    I wonder which option the Civil Rights Division will choose?

  14. In other hot news: Alaska finds that the US Justice department is a largely corrupt organization that routinely tramples the rights of citizens, engages in political hatchet jobs and actively works to hide criminal activity conducted by employees.

  15. ALASKA has geographical malaise that weighs heavily on every family unit. We are marooned from freedom to travel the King’s Highway over the continent that is in the still intact and unrevoked Jamestown Charter after which was immediately submitted Lee’s Declaration of Independence which included the Bill of Rights. What are bills? In your house? They are things to what? Pay? Or take. The right to freely travel the King’s Highways baring arms to protect ourselves from wild beasts, and highwaymen and scoundrels was our first right, with our worldly goods, seeking adventure and or pursuing happiness as we pleased. It weighs heavily on Alaskan psyche that we may not be atonement with our United States at the perpleasure of one or two Canadian personalities currently addled with communist dreams of foreign extremists the likes of which are intolerable with Americas.

  16. “…….Most of these children could remain in family homes if provided appropriate community-based services……….”
    I have deep suspicions with a system that wants to define “behavioral disability”, but can’t muster the courage to identify sexual dymorphism as a disorder. I’m pretty confident that a simple lack of behavioral discipline has become a “disability” in this screwed up society. If people can’t behave properly among others, they need to be segregated. While it would be best if people could be segregated into helpful environments, I’ve gotten tired enough of the insanity to not care anymore. Just put them away if you can’t agree to help them.

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