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A Civil Lawsuit is Filed Against an Alabama Treatment Facility

— February 1, 2022

An Alabama teen claims to have been abused at Sequel Tuskegee.

Sequel Tuskegee is an Alabama treatment facility in Macon County that takes in male adolescents ages 12 to 18 to receive mental health treatment after being adjudicated by the court.  Now the facility, along with other defendants, is facing a civil lawsuit brought by nineteen-year-old Tevin Pike in which he indicates that he was “abused and treated with negligent care during his stay there in 2018.”  He was 15 at the time.  In total, the civil suit alleges seven counts of outrageous conduct, wantonness, abuse and negligence..

The state’s Department of Youth Services contracts with the Alabama treatment facility.  Boys are placed there by court adjunction for a maximum of 120 days.  There is a separate unit within the same center for patients requiring “intensive care treatment.”

According to Pike’s lawsuit, he stayed at Sequel Tuskegee for two months and experienced “physical abuse and emotional trauma instead of the necessary mental health treatment he needed.”  He also alleges that staff would “lock residents in empty seg rooms without access to food, water or a bathroom for periods of time as a form of punishment.”

A Civil Lawsuit is Filed Against an Alabama Treatment Facility
Photo by Luis Dalvan from Pexels

Overall, Pike’s suit details a “culture of violence.”  Residents would brawl with each other, and staff members and the staff would not intervene or properly handle the situation.  The violence would be allowed, and the means of punishment would be to be sent to a ‘seg room.’

“During Tevin’s time at Sequel Tuskegee, he was choked, beaten, punched, slapped and slammed to the ground by both Sequel Tuskegee employees and other residents,” the lawsuit states. “Staff would pick him up by the throat until he passed out.”

Birmingham attorneys Tommy James and Jeremy Knowles, of Tommy James Law and Morris Haynes law firm respectively, are representing Pike in the lawsuit.  James said, “My client was assaulted by employees and other residents numerous times while at Sequel Tuskegee.  It is disgusting when our most vulnerable children are placed in these facilities and then treated worse than animals.”

He added, “He was 15-years-old.  At the time of his admission, in his unit, all the other children there were 18 or 19.  He feared every night to go to sleep because he was beaten on many of those nights by staff and some of the residents in his unit.  The staff didn’t break up the fights.  They would sometimes even encourage the fights.  Some of the staff and other residents would literally hold him up against the wall and choke him till he passed out.”

Three Sequel employees in Michigan were charged in the 2020 death of 16-year-old Cornelius Frederick after he was restrained by staff.  After that incident, California, Maryland, Oregon and Washington announced they would all stop placing kids in programs run by Sequel.

“A culture of violence and abuse pervades throughout Sequel facilities across the country.  The level of abuse is staggering and very disturbing. My client lived in a house of horrors,” James said.

Sequel TSI of Alabama, Sequel TSI of Tuskegee, Sequel Youth and Family Services and Sequel TSI Holdings are all listed as defendants as is the executive director of Sequel TSI of Alabama.


Lawsuit details ‘culture of violence’ at Sequel Tuskegee mental health facility

Lawsuit claims teen abused, neglected in Tuskegee youth psychiatric facility

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