Grantee’s investigation of youth facilities in Idaho uncovers more wrongdoing, prompting increased oversight

Erick Doxey

As part of InvestigateWest’s ongoing investigation into the billion-dollar “troubled teen,” industry, supported by the Fund, the nonprofit newsroom published new in-depth pieces that analyzed problems at youth facilities across Idaho. The reporting detailed how Idaho officials rescued one girl but then sent her to a state-licensed facility where she was preyed upon again. The series has described an environment where girls were abused, neglected and put in danger by untrained and overburdened staff at Cornerstone Cottage, one of the facilities reporter Wilson Criscione investigated. Criscione also looked into the lack of penalties for treatment programs and the firing of whistleblowers. Idaho lawmakers, who in recent years had tried to ease regulations of youth-treatment homes, have begun to reverse course in response to InvestigateWest’s reporting.