"New Horizon, which operated a residential community in North Carolina for children in need of full-time care, had an ongoing list of state violations, including" failure to recruit required medical staff, "" CNN reported on the findings of the Standing Subcommittee on Investigation Senate. "Less than a year after government officials revoked the facility's operating license, HHS New Horizon awarded a grant to unaccompanied children in a new state facility."
V.isionQuest should already have been on the radar. In 2017, the company lost a contract with the City of Philadelphia after it was discovered that employees at a Philadelphia facility had physically abused children on their watch. "Employees there had suffocated, beaten and injured children and promised to make their lives hell receive from The Philadelphia Inquirer, ”Reveal reported last year.
VisionQuest's plans to open a facility in California earlier this year met protests from community members, including Tony Cardenas. "At that moment, little or no information was made available to the community," he wrote to HHS Sec at the time. Alex Azar and the illegally appointed Acting Secretary of State for Homeland Security, Chad Wolf. "This is unacceptable." Los Angeles City Council then replied by unanimous passing a temporary measure that blocks nNew private prisons in town.
But apparently all of this has been overlooked or simply ignored by the administration. Because of this track record, companies are now struggling to open facilities elsewhere. "This means that taxpayers have paid for facilities that never open," said the senators. The report said that while the contracts are now broken, over $ 30 million has already been paid out to the companies. "The department is now trying to reclaim those funds, but that depends on the fellows' appeals and what results they get, ”CNN continued.
The report said that HHS has raised its concerns, including "Disclosure of licensing issues and allegations of abuse required. “Wasn't that necessary before? Dear Sir. "Our bipartisan report found that the Refugee Resettlement Bureau was not exercising adequate oversight," said Republican Committee member Rob Portman, "wasting millions of dollars in taxpayers' money on organizations that could not obtain government licenses to open the proposed homes. " . ”