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Posts Tagged "youth"

Was Rampant Sexual Abuse Cause Of Closure Of Florida Contractor’s Youth Prison?

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Child Sexual Abuse

Was Rampant Sexual Abuse Cause Of Closure Of Florida Contractor’s Youth Prison?

The State of Georgia has decided to shut down a juvenile jail run by a Florida private prison contractor amid allegations of rampant sexual misconduct by the jail’s staff, according to Huffington Post reporting. Although Georgia claims the youth prison is being shut down in order to cut costs, a federal Bureau of Justice Statistics report indicated that he Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center, outside of Atlanta, had the highest rate of child sexual victimization of any facility surveyed. As a Florida child sexual abuse attorney, the most troubling part of this story is the involvement of a Florida contractor who also happens to run multiple, similar juvenile justice facilities in Florida.  The contractor, a company called Youth Services International, apparently has a long history of running troubled facilities.  According to interviews with former employees and former monitors, Youth Services International facilities are often the site of abusive behavior and squalid conditions. As a Florida taxpayer, I have to wonder how a company like this continues to receive taxpayer funds to essentially make troubled kids more troubled.  According to the reporting, Youth Services International is very connected politically, so this may offer some explanation.  Nevertheless, it sounds like somebody needs to be concerned about the welfare of these kids and whether profits are being placed before people. If you have any questions about a potential Florida child sexual abuse claim, call Winter Park personal injury lawyers Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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Background Check Is Only Part Of The Story In Alleged Orlando Youth Coach Sex Abuse Case

Posted by on Apr 4, 2013 in Child Sexual Abuse

Background Check Is Only Part Of The Story In Alleged Orlando Youth Coach Sex Abuse Case

Like many Central Floridians, I’ve been following the media coverage surrounding the arrest last week of Jeffrey McWhorter on charges of lewd conduct toward children.  Mr. McWhorter is the 54-year old man who has apparently volunteered as a football and basketball coach over the past 32 years.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, Mr. McWhorter has worked for the City of Orlando for at least the past seven years. Mr. McWhorter is in trouble because seven boys have come forward with allegations that he sexually abused them, performed sex acts in front of them, or propositioned them to perform sexual acts on him. The aspect of the case the interested me as a Florida child sexual abuse attorney was the City of Orlando’s response to the allegations. After finding out about the circumstances of Mr. McWhorter’s arrest, the City spokesperson’s first statement was that the City had performed a thorough background check on Mr. McWhorter, was aware that he had a history of a felony drug conviction several years ago, but felt he was fine to serve as a role model for young boys. While reasonable people might disagree about whether an allegedly reformed convicted felon should be cleared to coach young boys, focusing on the background check obscures what might be the source of the most culpability for these acts of sexual abuse. A competent background check is only a part of what an institution like a youth sports league or child mentoring organization must do to keep kids safe. Institutions and organization also owe children a duty to closely and properly supervise and monitor the relationships between adults and children. This includes making sure that children are not placed in positions where they can be sexually abused, or forced to witness sexual acts by adults. In other words, an organization like a City or church cannot perform a background check on an individual and then let its guard down. Children deserve their constant vigilance. It will be interesting to see what the City did to supervise Mr. McWhorter with these kids. If you have any questions concerning a Florida child sexual abuse case, call Winter Park attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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