However the case is not won yet.
We must once again urge people to sign a petition:
Judge Dawn Amacker of the St. Tammany Parish of Louisiana, Family Court: SaveVictoria (Change.org)
The facility they have introduced now is Copper Canyon Academy.
Let us look at what a former employee wrote about her workplace. Among the points of interests she mentions are:
- Verbal and/or written communication between the client and family members is prohibited, restricted or monitored.
Yes, communication was restricted, especially at the lower levels of the program.
- The program houses clients in foster homes or host homes instead of allowing them to reside with their parents.
Yes, the girls were required to live with host families once they reached the upper levels of the program.
- The client is denied access to a telephone. I never saw a girl talking on the phone with family or friends, so I assumed it wasn't allowed. Maybe there were rare cases, or maybe it was allowed once the girls went on to live with host families, but I'm not certain.
- Clients are restrained or otherwise physically prevented from leaving the facility. The girls were locked into the building at night. When I worked there, 2 different girls ran away and were caught (forced to return). I wasn't present when they were caught, so I don't know how much force was used.
- The program inflicts physical punishments on clients such as exercising, running, food restrictions, and cleaning. I saw a couple of instances where the staff told the girls to run laps on the track as a punishment for being too noisy at mealtime. And cleaning was the typical punishment for just about any kind of misbehavior. They referred to them as "work hours", and staff handed them out very easily. In order for a girl to see movies on the weekend, she had to have no "work hours" at all during the previous week. The same was true for being able to rise up a level.
- Reading materials are prohibited or restricted. The school had to approve anything that a girl asked to read.
- The facility does not have a clearly visible sign outside the building stating the name of the program. Yes, true. I always wondered why this was the case.
- Clients must submit “chain of commands” or any other such requests for basic needs such as clothes, shoes, personal items and medical care.
The present management may have changed a few rules but basically it is the same facility as back then.
Victoria's interest is not served by removing her from her mother where she lives right now. Especially it is not served by shipping her off to a facility like this. Instead the court can order counseling and guidance at her home. It would be cheaper for the taxpayers and better for Victoria.