Florida District V task force, chaired by J.B. Holley, District Mental Health Specialist wrote a report of their findings on January 11, 1978 from their November 1977 – January 1978 investigation of Straight Inc. in response to community concerns about the Straight, Inc. program.
Interview with ‘Client D’:
Program Dates: Prior to January 11, 1978.
Exited: He got kicked out of the program prior to completion.
Client D did not enter the Straight, Inc. program of his own free will. His mother told him they were going to counseling, not Straight Inc. He knew the rules but did not sign any paper or agreement to follow the rules.
There were no daily periods of recreation, but there were sporadic exercise periods. He said he was dragged by the hair when he wouldn’t run and scraped his knees; he fell over another kid and hit the side of his head.
When he told the staff he was ill they refused to take him to a doctor and showed no concern.
Food was withheld from him both in the program and at his foster home.
He was isolated the last day he was in the program for three to four hours in an intake room.
He felt the staff was not fair or consistent. He feels they are knowledgeable in drugs but not in psychology and they often threatened kids with Trenton (State Training School at Trenton). Staff were sometimes available for discussing problems.
He did not want help from Straight Inc and managed to get himself kicked out of the program. He felt that he was held against his will–his parents, the staff and other kids in the program forcibly detained him.
He ran away because he felt trapped and just didn’t want to stay. He also called the paper, but he did not divulge what he had talked to them about. He feels the general idea of a program is good, “but not what they are doing.”