It’s always cause for celebration when a place that institutionalizes children is forced to close. The residential treatment portion of Hawthorne-Cedar Knolls, an institution in Westchester County, north of New York City, is scheduled to shut down. But don’t celebrate too much. A new federal law actually makes it easier to keep such institutions going, and set up new ones. The shutdown of the residential treatment portion of Hawthorne-Cedar Knolls won’t happen because the agency that runs it, the Jewish Board Family and Children’s Services, had a crisis of conscience. It will happen because the pressure from upset neighbors and state regulators became too much. What was upsetting them? Oh, just the usual: violence and sex trafficking. Unfortunately, the new “Family First Act” comes complete with a “presents for pimps” loophole, that will encourage more tragedies like the one at Hawthorne-Cedar Knolls.

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