Monday, May 10, 2010

Karl Johanson's reply to a local article in a SUWS runaway case

Karl Johanson wrote in response to this article:

Runaways located after 14-hour search, By Richelle Bailey, The Mcdowell News, May 09, 2010

I am happy that they were found safe.

But I am concerned because knowing the type of wilderness program they were detained in, they were not provided with legal representation as they would have if they had committed a crime.

Most of the so-called clients or detainees, which are a better term, are either tricked by their parents to such program or simply pulled out of their bed at night by private youth transport firms and transported to the wilderness camps in handcuffs and shackles on the orders of their parents.

How come that criminals are better protected that an ordinary teenagers, who may only have problems as little as an ordinary depression or being picky at the dinner table?

What kind of society are we, when we send a message to our kids that you have to commit a crime in order to secure legal protection for you?

As I stated above I volunteer for a NGO where we track records of possible abuse and deaths among minors in treatment. Every year we must acknowledge that we once again can observe how teenagers lost their lives in a treatment aimed to "treat" them. Every year we also most acknowledge that some cannot live on with the memories of the so-called treatment and choose to end their lives prematurely.

When will it stop? We hope that 2010 will be the turning point, but as this story show, it will most likely not happen.

My heart goes out for these girls. May they one day be able to return to their families safe and hopefully without so many scars from the "treatment".

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