Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Corrupt System Corrupts Absolutely.

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has mishandled the Jane Doe case from the very beginning. Jane Doe father is in prison, her mother is a drug addict, and the DCF took her away from her mother (the only right thing that DCF did) and put her in the care of her grandmother.  Mother Jones reported,
The state became involved in Jane Doe's life when she was five, according to her affidavit, because her father was incarcerated and her mom was using crack and heroin. She was born a boy; after she was placed in the care of her extended family, she said, one relative caught her playing with dolls and bashed her head into the wall. She said another relative raped her at age eight, as did others as she grew older. Doe would only allow herself to look like a girl in secret. Around age 11, a relative caught her in the bathroom wearing her dress and lipstick and slapped her, shouting, "You are a boy! What the fuck is wrong with you?"

The state became involved in Jane Doe's life when she was five, according to her affidavit, because her father was incarcerated and her mom was using crack and heroin. She was born a boy; after she was placed in the care of her extended family, she said, one relative caught her playing with dolls and bashed her head into the wall. She said another relative raped her at age eight, as did others as she grew older. Doe would only allow herself to look like a girl in secret. Around age 11, a relative caught her in the bathroom wearing her dress and lipstick and slapped her, shouting, "You are a boy! What the fuck is wrong with you?"
She was sent to a juvenile facility in Massachusetts for an assault that she committed and while she was there her lawyer said that,
…the most recent incident was sparked when a male staffer at the Massachusetts facility put Doe in a bear hug restraint from behind. "This is a girl who has been sexually abused," Romano says. "She is inclined to interpret actions with that view."
DCF mishandled the case since the beginning they have no policies for transgender children in their custody and they do not have a way to treat children who are trauma victims of sexual assaults. They woefully understaffed, their budget has increased over the years as their case load dropped but those children who are still in the system are the more complex cases. They need more personal care with staff that is trained in dealing with children with trauma and PTSD.

The other day Jane Doe walked away from a treatment facility, her first taste of freedom in years. The Hartford Courant reported that,
The transgender teenager whose transfer to an adult prison made national news slipped away Tuesday from a therapy program at Hartford's Institute of Living after being transported there from a secure youth facility by the Department of Children and Families.

She was found in good health several hours later, by a Hartford patrol officer, near 517 Park St. She was taken into custody, and detectives with the Special Investigation Division were speaking with her, said Deputy Police Chief Brian J. Foley. She will be turned back over to DCF.

"She was just walking down the street and she was very compliant with officers," Foley said.
The Courant goes on to say,
"It's unfortunate but not surprising,'' said Child Advocate Sarah Eagan, who is reviewing assaults and the use of restraints and seclusion at Pueblo and CJTS. "This is what kids who are traumatized do."

Now that she has been found, the hope is to "continue to engage her in the treatment programs that can help her heal from the many traumas she has experienced," Kleeblatt said.
So what is DCF going to do now? Are they going to punish her some more? Will they make a bad situation worse?

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