ADAP says children inside Sequel psychiatric facilities are being abused

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A public letter from ADAP claims children at Alabama Sequel TSI facilities are being physically, mentally, and emotionally abused.

The Alabama Disabilities and Advocacy Program (ADAP), along with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and Children’s Rights (CR), asked the heads of state agencies to revoke Sequel’s license and to relocate the children in the facilities.

The ADAP is Alabama’s federally funded Protection and Advocacy system, authorized under federal law to protect and promote the safety and rights of Alabamians with disabilities, including children with mental illness.

The public letter reports that they “have grave concerns about the immediate safety and welfare of children placed at four Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs): Sequel Owens Cross Roads, Sequel Courtland, Sequel Tuskegee, and Sequel Montgomery.”

Sequel Youth and Family Services is a Behavioral Health Organization that operates treatment programs.

The ADAP says they conducted interviews with almost 100 children at the facilities, leading the organization to believe they are “violent and chaotic places where youth are physically and emotionally abused by staff and peers.”

The Courtland facility was highlighted, and ADAP said boys at the facility told their staff that they don’t feel safe, Sequel staff members taunt them, and the facility feels “sad and broken down.”

Photos in the report that were taken inside the Courtland facility show poor living conditions from a concrete bed slab and dirty floors, to blood on a window and feces on a bedroom floor.

On Sequel’s website, they say they are passionate about positive change and they say the best care possible is Sequel care.

WHNT News 19 reached out to Sequel for comment on the public letter and on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Sequel Youth & Family Services sent the following statement:

“A corrective action plan is being prepared to immediately address the issues outlined in this report. We are committed to working with ADAP and all regulatory and licensing agencies to correct any deficiencies and concerns. Additionally, we will implement the necessary changes to ensure the living conditions, culture, and programmatic environment at Courtland better facilitate a trauma-informed, therapeutic approach to the behavioral health, emotional, and physical challenges experienced by the youth we serve.
The ADAP report for our Courtland facility does not reflect our organizational commitment to equip those we serve with the clinical and therapeutic services, as well as the tools, motivations, life skills, and education necessary to lead successful lives and reach their full potential. We must and will do better.”

You can read the full letter here.

You can read the full monitoring report here.

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