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A Florida Senator Challenges The Drugging Of Juvenile Offenders

A Florida Senator is taking on the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice over its practice of prescribing, or rather over-prescribing, powerful psychiatric drugs to kids.

The news report, as found in TheLedger.com, bears the heading, Senator Wants Answers From Department of Juvenile Justice’s Use of Drugs.

Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs, scolded agency officials earlier this week after they responded to questions about DJJ’s policies on medicating children without mentioning the agency’s internal investigation into the practice.

What is the problem here? Maybe those juveniles are disturbed?

But Storms said the drugs have lasting consequences. “Aside from the effects on the human body, any child who’s ever been on any psychotropic drug is not eligible for the military,” Storms said.

Yikes, huh? This is worse than the government’s former “don’t ask don’t tell” policy towards gays in the military, and some people would say it has something to do with “stigma”. Not being inclined to give much credence to invisible marks of disgrace, I’m more inclined to think it has something to do with prejudice and oppression..

She also noted that DJJ’s 34 percent medication rate was much higher than the 14.8 percent rate of use of medication reported by another agency, the Department of Children and Families.

If it sounds like the DJJ is using psychiatric drugs to punish minors, such is probably the case. One thing that is for certain is that the number of kids prescribed psychiatric drugs in the DJJ should not be more than double the number of kids prescribed drugs under the DCF. This statistic looks, smells, and tastes like foul play. It’s a figure that shouts over-diagnosis and over-drugging.

I’d say Florida is fortunate to have a senator like Senator Storms. You don’t know how many other senators in other states would just sweep a matter like this under the rug.

2 Responses

  1. I have no doubt that my State is one that would sweep it under the rug. The fraud, corruption and just plain stupidity is astounding. One example: this State seals the records of Sexually Aggressive Youth, which allows them to join the Military. I know of one—a Sexual Predator who has bragged about how he is now trained to sneak up on people and how to silently kill with his bare hands, and how to avoid detection. Thanks to the training of the US Marines—to the credit of the US Marines, they booted him shortly after training as unfit for duty. It is unfortunate to say the very least that this state’s policy does not protect the public from known predators.

    • I’m not one for promoting the labeling of adolescents, and I’m not one for excluding adolescents, once they’ve been labeled, from serving in the military.

      The subject here was the off-label over-drugging of adolescents in the juvenile justice system. There is way too much of that going on.

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