NEWS ALERT: DRO Applauds Action Taken to Shut Down Sequel Pomegranate
December 14, 2020
Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) commends the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) requiring Sequel Pomegranate to immediately relinquish its operating license. Furthermore, the treatment facility cannot submit for a new application for a minimum of at least 10 months. Sequel Pomegranate operated a 74-bed Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) and 20-bed Acute Psychiatric Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Following reports of abuse in 2019, DRO conducted a nine-month investigation and uncovered serious and systemic cases of abuse and neglect. Both the RTF and Acute Psychiatric Hospital are licensed by OhioMHAS.
“DRO has been aware of the systemic failures at Sequel Pomegranate for some time. It’s why we worked hard to ensure the children were removed from the facility,” said Kerstin Sjoberg, Executive Director of Disability Rights Ohio. “And while we are relieved this work has led the state to revoke the facility’s Columbus license, more work needs to be done since Sequel Pomegranate operates facilities across the country and issues have been uncovered elsewhere.”
DRO released the results of their investigation in late June of this year, and by early September the last remaining residents had been removed from the facility. Many of the youth in the facility at that time were in state custody, without family to speak out on their behalf. While this license forfeiture for Sequel’s Residential Treatment Facility in Columbus is a positive step, their acute care facility will be reopening in just a few weeks. We will remain focused on our protection and advocacy role for youth in these facilities. We believe all young people in Ohio deserve better.