Please welcome Teen Advocates USA to the blogroll. It is a “private not-for-profit children’s rights educational and public advocacy website” founded by Barbe Stampes, “a long-time critic of the privatized troubled teen industry.” I just spent half an hour combing through the site’s pages and archives, and found a lot of interesting material in there.
Stampes is particularly concerned with “behavior-modification” programs, a subject I hadn’t heard about until I read the State Department memo that was published as a result of a fact-finding mission she had gone on in Samoa in 1999. Typically for-profit facilities located in remote sites outside the reach of US law, the programs offer desperate American parents a curriculum that will turn their troubled, often drug-addicted teens around. What happens instead, without accountability or transparency or a framework for maintaining or enforcing human rights standards, sounds to me like a cross between a creepy cult and extraordinary rendition for kids. (Dark stuff, indeed.)
The site doesn’t function as a news feed, but it is current. It has a good archive of news clips, a lot of links to relevant human rights and advocacy sites, and helpful material on problem areas like juvenile boot camps and life without parole.
Check it out.