Three groups homes owned by Behavioral Support Systems (BSS) in the Orlando, Florida, area have been shut down due to accusations of violent and graphic abuse against the residents. The graphic video, recorded at American Living Incorporated, an Autistic center located in Orange County, Florida, instigated an investigation into BSS's practices and staff behaviors. The graphic nature of the video coerced quick action by investigators, leading to the closing of the three locations that are owned by Behavioral Support Systems. As a result, all employees that work for BSS are under investigation in relation to the abuse, as well as for failing to report the abuse to the proper authorities.
The Orlando Sun Times reported on the incident of abuse against the autistic residents of American Living Incorporated, reporting that the video showed a 22-year-old autistic woman sitting on a couch, defenseless against the attack and mocking ridicule of her assailants.
Warning: The video contains graphic content that may not be suitable for all individuals
The CEO of Behavioral Support Systems, Peter Pearley, stated that he had no idea such atrocious attacks were taking place within his facilities and that despite his shock, he expects to move past the horrific behaviors and make his clients feel safe in their environment, rather than afraid for their lives.
"When you're faced with something like that, you go, 'Oh, my God,' but then you have to say, 'How do you deal with this?"WFTV shared that Pearley was so shocked by the video that his first step in correcting the issue was to shut down all three group homes that were suspected of abusive behaviors, allowing a clean slate when they open back up again in the future. In addition to closing down the group homes, nearly half of the employees that worked in the three locations were fired on the spot.
"We have to make sure we are acting at all times and doing the right thing. It simply comes down to that."In addition to the closures and firings, the woman that owns the individual business that are overseen by BSS, Doris Duan Young, has stepped down from managing the facilities. Instead, the companies will be overseen by a board of directors, psychiatrists, an attorney, and a financial adviser. The goal is to run the business in a similar manner to a public company until everything is resolved.
As the investigation continues, criminal charges against some of the former employees will be decided.
[Photo Courtesy: WFTV]