Alaska Government “Warehousing” Foster Children in Psychiatric Hospital


The Alaska Office of Children’s Services has been found guilty of warehousing foster children in a locked psychiatric hospital without justifiable reasons, according to the Alaska Dispatch News. The judge ruled that the state could not hold children in such conditions indefinitely.

“This is not to say North Star (psychiatric hospital) is ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ but a mental hospital is not a good place for kids,” the judge stated. “It can disempower and otherwise undermine a kid’s sense of self if they don’t really have a mental illness requiring them to be there.”

Judge: State can’t hold foster kids at mental hospital for indefinite stretches (Alaska Dispatch News, February 23, 2015)


  1. ““This is not to say North Star (psychiatric hospital) is ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ ”

    smfh, a modern day psych unit is way worse than anything from that movie. I’ve observed this for many years now. People will refer to that movie as if it were a horrible injustice but then turn around and act like things are better now. I don’t recall McMurphy ever being forcibly injected with neuroleptics in that movie, especially not time released ones before being sent home. Don’t recall him developing tardive dyskinesia, either. I don’t recall him being sedated to the point where he was unable to move and could hardly breathe, only to be dragged out of bed every morning by security who then lock his bedroom door for the day while he sleeps on the floor in the hallway. Just a lobotomy at the end, otherwise up to that point, I always thought that place was great. I remember watching that movie for the first time when I was like 14-15 and had just gotten out of a state mental hospital, I remember thinking “Wow, psych hospitals were so much better back then! Why wouldn’t my experience had been like that, I mean except for the lobotomy but still… they get to hang out, go outside, nobodies towering over them 24/7 with threats of QR and injection…”

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  2. Also, did the judge ever acknowledge how much these psych unit stays cost? Upwards of a thousand dollars a day — it’s billed as medical treatment!

    Another observation I’ve made many of times over the years, is that rarely ever do people consider the costs when stuff like this happens. 10,000 dollars a week is a scandalous amount of money for “warehousing” foster children. And then there’s the judges statement quoted at the end of this, as if only “normal” kids would be dis-empowered and undermined by being a psychiatric patient. As if somehow the judge doesn’t know that the only difference between them is a diagnosis that any psychiatrist can give to anybody with no way to verify or dispute the validity of, without disputing the validity of psychiatry itself. Give everyone of those kids a diagnosis, which is an easy thing to do, and all the sudden by this judges own declaration, those same kids would belong there.

    But the cost… is most appalling. Those kids are cash cows. There are people all over the country profiting off harming kids in this way. And nobody what is ever done about it, the people responsible always get to walk away with their profits.

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  3. Wow. Well, I guess the old good asylums are back whether we want hem or not. Who’s next? Bastard kids? Hysterical mums? Pesky wives? Slaves with illusions about their freedom are already locked.

    I somehow don’t feel we are making progress.

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