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When 15-year-old Madison Bell had a dispute with her boyfriend’s family, she never dreamed she’d become a prisoner of the system. But that’s exactly what ended up happening. Bell has since been released after the family was able to get a judges order, but even that was met with friction by the hospital that’s been the subject of frequent imprisonment accusations.
Once out, Bell’s grandmother, Renee Mauldin, told her granddaughter via CBS”s Dallas syndicate, “I’ll never let that happen again Maddie. I promise, never, never.”
The story has shaken up the community that claims this hospital commonly acts in an egregiously unjust manner. Between the efforts of CBS 11, Bell’s mother and grandmother, and an attorney, she was able to get free’d from the “prison environment.” But not unscathed, according to Madison, who showed marks on her arm she claims were the result of staff grabbing her.
Madison was on vacation with her boyfriend and his family as they returned back to her home in Oklahoma. A police officer contacted the grandmother claiming that Madison had been in a dispute with the boyfriend’s family. He claimed he couldn’t control her and would be bringing her to a hospital. The officer stated that she was not going to be arrested, however, “due to (her) actions,” she would need to go somewhere.
“I asked the officer on the phone if he could please just hold her, detain her,” Mauldin told the I-Team. Mauldin said she was more than three hours away and needed time to drive to get Madison. The officer said there was nothing to charge her with so he could not hold her. He told Mauldin that he would take Madison to Sundance Behavioral Hospital.
Bell arrived at Sundance in Garland to pick Bell up early Sunday morning. “This was worse than jail,” Amanda Mauldin said fighting tears.
Right now, you have to be asking yourself how a police officer can imprison a child in a hospital that’s not being charged with a crime? Apparently, Texas law allows these officers to turn these children into a for-profit hospital institution. Records show “no acute distress” and she was both “disheveled” and “cooperative.”Mauldin noted that Madison takes medications for a mood disorder, but she’s otherwise a perfect student, boasting a 4.2 GPA in school.
Mauldin begged the hospital to release her granddaughter. “They told me I had zero rights to my child because of how she was brought to this facility,” she said.
She ended up involving an attorney named Margaret Carrigan. She also made a call to CBS’s investigative team, and they took the story.
You can watch the full investigation here: (Note what the hospital charges her)
What’s terrifying is the thought that potentially, local police opt to take these children to this hospital over detaining them. Is it because the hospital makes a huge profit from incarcerating the children? This leads me to wonder what incentive the police have in taking the children to this hospital prison.
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The hospital benefits by forced occupancy then bills the parents thousands of dollars. This is a brutal scam.
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