September 22, 2021
Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
30 East Broad Street, 36th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3430
Dear Director Lori Criss,
First we want to thank the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for your leadership in striving to ensure all youth are placed in safe and supportive environments, as well as your commitment to investing in community services for youth through the OhioRISE program.
Many of the undersigned organizations contacted you back in December as it related to your diligent investigation into Sequel Pomegranate’s use of restraint and other safety concerns. We were pleased to learn that Sequel Youth and Family Services voluntarily relinquished their residential treatment facility license. Furthermore, most recently we are pleased to learn that Torii Behavioral Health, formerly Sequel Pomegranate, is voluntarily relinquishing its OhioMHAS license and certifications for the acute psychiatric facility effective October 8, 2021.
With the upcoming October 10, 2021 opportunity nearing for Sequel to reapply for their residential treatment facility license, we remain committed to raising public awareness about the harmful impact Sequel has had on Ohio’s youth and families, including survivors who stand behind this letter. Due to the well-documented abuse and neglect, including but not limited to restraint and seclusion, experienced by children and teenagers at Sequel Pomegranate, we believe Sequel should not be licensed to do business in Ohio or any other state.
Pomegranate survivors, along with representatives from our organizations, request a meeting with your office to discuss ways to prevent placement of youth in for-profit youth residential treatment facilities (in and out of state) and OhioMHAS’s ability to ensure that youth receive care in safe environments free from abuse and neglect.
Thank you for considering our meeting request and we hope to be in touch soon.
SEQUEL POMEGRANATE SURVIVORS
DeAnna Black (Bowman)
Alumni of Care Together Improving Outcomes Now (ACTION Ohio)
Black Lives Matter Cleveland Inc.
Children’s Law Center, Inc.
Disability Rights Ohio
Faith In Public Life
InterReligious Task Force on Central America
Juvenile Justice Coalition
National Association of Social Workers, Ohio Chapter
Ohio Student Association
Opportunities Peoples Justice Leaders
Overcoming Hurdles in Ohio Youth Advisory Board (OHIO YAB)
P.O.W Protect Our Women
River Valley Organizing
Stay Focused Movement
Showing Up for Racial Justice Ohio
The Freedom BLOC
Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio
Breaking Code Silence
Center for Children’s Law and Policy
National Juvenile Defender Center
National Juvenile Justice Network
The Sentencing Project
We Warned Them Campaign
Youth First Initiative