North Carolina sends kids to Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs) both in and out of state. The media coverage listed below reports on violations and abuse in NC PRTFs and out-of-state PRTFs where NC sends our kids.

“Out of Sight” investigation – April 2024

WUNC supervising editor for digital news Jason deBruyn’s three-part series “Out of Sight” digs into NC’s over-reliance on psychiatric residential treatment facilities where children with disabilities are sent for care.

How facilities meant to help kids with mood disorders are falling short in North Carolina

What it’s like to be in a youth mental health treatment facility: one woman shares her experience

NC’s ‘institutional bias’ favors mental health care in facilities, not communities

WUNC Due South podcast
In North Carolina, mental health resources for youth are limited. Here’s why

“Locked Away” investigation – October 2021

“Locked Away” is a USA Today Network series of 6 articles describing the findings of an investigation of PRTFs in NC and out-of-state where NC sends kids with mental health disabilities.

Punching, predators, neglect. Traumatized NC children suffer inside dismal psychiatric centers.

North Carolina ships abused, neglected kids to out-of-state facilities. Some are traumatized again.

“I miss my damn charmed life'” At risk for suicide, Ariel navigated chaos in youth centers.

Foster kids just needed a bed. Lacking one, North Carolina sent them to psychiatric lockup instead.

Psychiatric centers fail many children. North Carolina keeps spending gobs of money on them.

“They’re the boss of your child.” Why one NC teen’s parents want to keep her from a psych unit.

Some NC children suffer abuse at psychiatric centers Locked Away investigation finds: An interview with Fred Clasen-Kelly, the lead reporter for the “Locked Away” investigation.

Accounts of other personal experiences

In the wake of the ‘Locked Away’ investigation, several people came forward about their experiences with NC’s mental health care system.

Garner mental health facility ‘just terrifying’ says NC teen

“It’s a hotel,” not a clinical facility, ex-medical director says of Garner psych center.

Anderson (closed 2018 and reopened in 2021) 


Abuse allegations hit Union County psych center for teens | Charlotte Observer 

Canyon Hills Treatment Facility (remains open)  


Allegations of abuse strike NC psych center for kids | Charlotte Observer 

State threatens to shut Raeford children’s psychiatric facility amid abuse, neglect allegations – ABC11 Raleigh-Durham 

Eliada Homes (closed) 


‘Failing the children’: Former employee speaks out after allegations come to light – KTVZ 

State says kids at Asheville mental health center faced ‘imminent danger’ ( 

New Hope Treatment Facility – South Carolina 


Tape called strong evidence in boy’s death – Daily Press 

Piney Ridge – Arkansas 


Arkansas psychiatric site sanctioned over its care of youth ( 

Filthy conditions lead to reprimand for children’s treatment facility ( 

Arkansas DHS spends millions sending foster kids to troubled facility ( 

The big business of residential treatment, Piney Ridge investigation ( 


A CLOSER LOOK: Piney Ridge Treatment Center understaffed, sources say ( 

Piney Ridge CEO Resigns ( 


Arkansas Youth Treatment Center Allegations Investigated | 

Monitors report neglect, sex, dirt at kids facility in Northwest Arkansas ( 

Sex assault suit names behavioral health site in Arkansas ( 



DHS Confirms Investigation into Piney Ridge Treatment Center ( 

Newport News Mental Hospital – Virginia

A teenager’s pleas for help were ignored until she collapsed at a Newport News mental hospital and died, lawsuit says – Daily Press

Springbrook Autism Behavioral Services – South Carolina 



Strategic Behavioral Health

Garner, 2021 (closed)

Charlotte, 2018 (closed)

State halts admissions to psych center accused of abusing kids | Charlotte Observer 

Allegations of rape, abuse hit NC psychiatric center | Charlotte Observer (2021 update) 

Reports on PRTFs and other facilities nationwide

Fractured: The effectiveness of psychiatric residential treatment facilities – 6/20/2023 – Q & A with Paul Lanier, MSW, Ph.D, an associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Rollups: Private equity eyes youth treatment centers as a takeover target – 2/17/2022 – A new report highlights increased private equity investment in troubled teen, foster care and other behavioral services, alongside disturbing report of abuse and neglect.

Washington is shipping more disabled students out of state 2/15/2022 – Disability advocates accuse state lawmakers of shortchanging special education, splitting up families and costing taxpayers millions.

Federal Watchdogs Find Abuse at For-Profit Youth Residential Programs in 18 States – 11/2/2021

Desperation without Dignity – 10/2021 – A report on PRTFs and other youth residential facilities from the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN). View DRNC’s statement on this report.

A Profitable Death Trap: Sequel Youth Facilities Raked in Millions while Accused of Abusing Children – 12/2020 – A report by NBC

The Bad Place – 11/2020 – an investigative report on PRTFs

Breaking Code Silence – A website where survivors and activists raise awareness of the problems with facilities and programs like PRTFs.