The controversial KIDS of El Paso County rehabilitation program bowed to a court order Thursday afternoon and closed. “We're telling parents they need to make alternate arrangements," KIDS spokeswoman *** said. The Texas attorney general ‘s office won a temporary restraining order to close KIDS. Judge *** of the 331st District Court in Austin issued the order and scheduled a hearing for Tuesday on whether to make the order permanent, said ***, spokesman for the attorney general's office. The staff of the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse recommended earlier this month that the state revoke KIDS' license. A report by the commission in February found abuse, neglect, and civil rights violations at the KIDS center at 6500 Boeing. The restraining order was not publicized until Thursday to make it easier to serve KIDS and put the order into effect, *** said, "We had some concern that if they knew we were trying to serve them, the various owners or managers would disappear and we'd have difficulties.” *** said KIDS officials spent Thursday afternoon "working with their attorney on the logistics of complying with the court order." ***, chairman of the KIDS board of directors, attributed the move to an overzealous effort by the attorney general's office and the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse to end the 2-year-old program. *** accused the commission of violating KIDS' right to a hearing before closing it down. "They're saying you're guilty, sucker and we don't want to hear from you," *** said. "The commission is harassing us. “ *** estimated the number of patients being treated by KIDS at close to 90. All live with host families while enrolled in the program, she said. The private center charges patients, mostly teenagers, about $700 a month for treatment of drug addiction, alcoholism, bulimia, and anorexia nervosa. KIDS officials have acknowledged that they run a tough program, but say it is necessary to cure the behavioral disorders the center seeks to treat. "It's not an abusive program, and we can prove that" *** said. He charged that KIDS' detractors "don’t want to know the truth or the facts.” *** said the program is under attack from officials whose job it is to help youths in trouble. "If they shut the program down and a kid goes out and overdoses on drugs and dies, did they save a life?" *** said the fate of KIDS patients "depends on who they are, how old they are and whether they have legal guardians in the area.” He added, "We just wouldn't throw someone out on the street who was unable to care for themselves."
The trouble with KIDS
Chronology of the controversy surrounding KIDS of El Paso County:
February 1986: KIDS opens at 6500 Boeing.
March 1987: A KIDS patient alleges that he was held against his will
May 1987: State begins an investigation of KIDS.
February 1988: The Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse issues a report
charging KIDS with physical abuse, neglect and civil rights violations,
June 3: State investigators recommend revocation of KIDS' operating license.
Tuesday: The state gets a temporary restraining order requiring KIDS to close.
Thursday: KIDS closes pending a June 21 court hearing,