Whisper Ridge Behavioral Health System was accused in February of human rights violations against their patients; in today’s Daily Progress Sarah Barry reports that they’ve avoided being shut down by paying $30k in fines and agreeing to change how they do things. The facility is in the business of treating minor teenagers for mental or drug problems, and its staffers are accused of sexually assaulting patients and human rights violations. They’re now required to maintain a 1:4 caregiver-to-patient ratio, which shouldn’t be too difficult with the 5-6 kids they’ve got in there now. Police are investigating the sexual assault allegations, with Capt. Chip Harding saying that “one investigator has been working on the case pretty much full-time since [February].”
Those of you playing along at home will remember that Whisper Ridge used to be named The Brown Schools of Virginia, when they racked up 107 state citations in just under two years, including human rights violations. Before that they were named The Millmont Center, and then they were caught with 50% of their staff consisting of utterly untrained temps and, again, sexual assault. Lest you think this is normal for such facilitations, the director of the state licensing agency described them as having “more violations than we have ever seen,” and that was back in 2002 before it got really bad.
I’m baffled as to why this place is permitted to remain open. I wonder what they’d have to do to get shut down. Beat a kid to death? Accidentally burn the place down and leave the kids in there to die? Kill, butcher and eat a puppy live on national television? With all of the competition in the local media market, somebody ought to go in there under cover, as a patient or an employee. That would be one hell of a story.