Three more families have come forward to say their teens were physically and sexually abused by guards at the Thompson Academy in Pembroke Pines. They are just the latest accusations against the prison - already facing a lawsuit.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed an amended complaint on behalf of several additional children after uncovering more cases of alleged abuse at the state-funded for-profit Thompson Academy Juvenile prison in Broward County.
The 43-page amended complaint details shocking allegations of physical and sexual abuse. The complaint states that "Youth confined at Thompson Academy describe the facility as a frightening and violent place where they are subject to abusive and unconstitutional conditions."
Just this past weekend, parents of the alleged victims formed a community coalition called "Stop Abusing Our Kids." The coalition is aimed at protecting youth at Thompson Academy, which is owned by Youth Services International Inc. or YSI. YSI is also named in the complaint.
Members of "Stop Abusing Our Kids" gave chilling stories of their sons, who reportedly were beaten, terrorized, sexually abused, denied food, medical care and the right to speak to their attorneys.
According to the plaintiffs, YSI facilities are operated at a high cost to Florida taxpayers, who pay over $74 million for these institutions that are operated on behalf of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. Officials with the Southern Poverty Law Center say owners of these facilities are more concerned about profits than the childrens' safety.
The State is investigating the allegations. Both YSI and Thompson Academy have not commented.