Children Held in U.S. Detention Poisoned with Psychotropic Drugs
Imprisoning children who don't pose a serious risk to the public is illegal and immoral. Forcibly poisoning those children with harmful drugs is also illegal and immoral. Yet, this is exactly what is happening in the United States.
According to a lawsuit filed in April, children sent to at least one detention facility were forced to take psychotropic drugs orally or by injection without consent.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of several children held in the center.
According to the suit, the children at the Shiloh Treatment Center in Manvel, Texas, have been forced to take drugs such as Clonazepam, Divalproex, Benztropine and Duloxetine, drugs used variously for depression, seizures and even Parkinson’s disease. Many of these drugs are widely known to cause suicidal and homicidal behavior.
They were given the drugs allegedly to control the kids' behavior that results from the extreme trauma of being kidnapped and imprisoned away from their parents.
In all cases the medications were given to the children without their parents’ approval. In many cases, the children also had no idea what they were being given; some apparently had been told they were being given vitamins.
Some were forced to take the medication. One of the children whose statements were included in the lawsuit said they had been injected by force. “One or two staff hold my arms, and the nurse gives me an injection,” the child reported.
The amount of medication given was also beyond belief. According to reports, one child had been given as many as nine pills in the morning and seven in the evening, again with no knowledge of what they were taking.
As backup for the allegations, memos have been uncovered which provided details of what happens at the centers. One notes that the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) “routinely administers children psychotropic drugs without lawful authorization.” The memo goes on to say that, “When youth object to taking such medications, ORR compels them. ORR neither requires nor asks for a parent’s consent before medicating a child, nor does it seek lawful authority to consent in parents’ stead. Instead, ORR or facility staff sign “consent” forms anointing themselves with ‘authority’ to administer psychotropic drugs to confined children.”
Besides the obvious that this disregards even the most basic of human rights considerations and “common decency”, what is being done in the Shiloh center is a violation of Texas state law, federal law and international law and treaties. The same facility was also subject to a demand to shut it down in 2014, when the Houston Chronicle reported on “physical violence, unreasonable and excessive use of physical restraints, administering emergency medications without notice to governmental authorities, and several deaths of minor children while in custody” there.
This is especially heinous when one realizes why many families brought these children with them across the U.s.-mexico border. Many are coming from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking legitimate asylum in the U.S. for fear for their lives because of government repression, gang violence, and corruption at home. Even worse is that often U.S. actions in support of virtual dictatorships in those regions were responsible in part for the growth of governments hostile to these families. So it is no wonder the families involved had run from those countries north and to the United States to find a better life ahead.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of the children is an important one deserving of solid answers as to what is really happening with them. If the allegations are true, white collar fines should not be enough. Those in charge as well as those employed who were, like those tried at Nuremberg, “just following orders” should be prosecuted to the fullest and put away for as long as possible.
Trump supporters need to take a long look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves if they are the kind of persons that really condone the imprisonment and poisoning of children. They also need to realize that they may some day be held accountable for the crimes of their commander-inchief.