I am quite concerned after reading the May 26 article, “Retaking Control” about what’s taking place at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney. I have carefully read comments from former YRTC employee Kelly Murr and Todd Reckling, director of the Division of Children and Family Services with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
I’ve also read the startling statistics about the rise in assaults. Obviously the EQUIP program instituted by HHS isn’t working. Reckling said, “Employees verbally guide and direct youths on how to handle situations, and the youth are asked to correct their behavior by thinking of the consequences and the other person.”
As a former teacher, I’m wondering what happens if the youth in question refuses to listen. Does the staff have any way to get him under control? I’m thinking they don’t, just because of the huge rise in the number of assaults.
Youths need to have boundaries. They need to know what the expectations are. It doesn’t sound as if the staff is allowed to do that.
These young men are a product of what happens when they come from families where no boundaries or expectations are set. How can they be helped when they go to YRTC and are not taught these things?
Has anyone from HHS gone into YRTC unannounced and checked to see what’s going on? If not, how does Reckling know that things there are going well? I have always thought that the purpose of YRTC is to rehabilitate. After reading the Hub’s report, I seriously doubt it.