Petersburg, Florida, known today as the Drug
Free America Foundation
incorporated on April 22, 1976 but did not start
operating a treatment camp until September 1,
1976. After Straight lost its appeal for
falsely imprisoning Fred Collins and had to pay
him $220,000, mostly in punitive damages,
Straight officers became very alarmed that they
could be personally sued, so they made an
astonishing maneuver. On September 26,
1985 they changed the by-laws for Straight, Inc.
by changing its mission to one of educating
the public on the dangers of adolescent substance
abuse. The name was changed from Straight,
Inc. to Straight
Foundation, Inc. An
article was added that said foundation funds could
be used to hire attorneys to defend board members
in case they were sued. An article stated
that in the event a legal judgment was made
against a board member, then foundation
money could be used to pay the judgment!
created a brand new organization whose mission it would
be to treat adolescents from drug addiction just
like the old Straight, Inc. had done. This
brand new treatment organization was also
incorporated on September 26, 1985 and was named Straight,
Inc.!!! Through the years the old
Straight, Inc., now called Straight Foundation,
Inc., had managed to buy up
property--and had amassed some cash.
It now leased this property back to the new
Straight, Inc. and even made grants to penniless
Straight, Inc. to operate. Physically
the foundation and the national headquarters for
the drug rehab program ran out of the same
facility until April of 1993 when the headquarters
for Straight, Inc. transferred to Atlanta,
Georgia. On July 2 - 3 1993 Straight, Inc. formally
ceased to exist, but not Straight
Foundation, Inc.--the education arm.
In an effort to distance itself from the
name Straight which today is synonymous with
"child abuse", on
December 5, 1995 Straight Foundation, Inc. changed
its name once again to its current name--the Drug
Free America Foundation, Inc.
multiple state health investigations, warnings and
probations; civil suits including a $720,000
judgment for abusing former client Karen Norton;
and criminal investigations before finally
transferring its remaining clients to
Straight-Atlanta and closing. Was
investigated by FBI for fraud after closing but no
indictments ever isued. Was investigated by
state health department after closing for
allegations that Mel Sembler had interfered with a
state health team which had wanted to close
Straight-St Pete in 1989 for repeatedly
failing to comply with state health regulations.
state prosecutors produced a report of multiple
counts of violent criminal acts substantiated by
Straight counselors who had been granted immunity
for their testimony, and after several
former clients sued.
- Atlanta was founded in Marietta, Ga. in August
1981 as the second Straight expansion
program. In April 1993 Straight - St
Pete closed its flagship program in Saint
Petersburg, Florida and transferred its clients to
Straight - Atlanta. The national corporate
office was also transferred to Straight - Atlanta
. Straight - Atlanta (the last
Straight operating facility) closed on July 1 - 2,
1993. But on June 21, 1993, just 11
days before closing, Straight
official Kathleen M. Cone incorporated a
Straight-like program called Phoenix Institute for
Adolescents 4 � miles from Straight�s
||In 1987 the
state of Ohio took Straight to court to close it
down for criminal child abuse. The day the
trial was to start Straight voluntarily closed and
transferred its clients to Atlanta and Detroit.
In 1990 Kids Helping Kids of Hebron, Ky.--a
Straight-like program co-founded by former
Straight officer George Ross--changed its name and
moved into the old Straight facility in Milford,
Ohio where it operates today as Kids Helping Kids
under criminal investigation in Virginia when the
state health department decided not to renew its
license. Straight demanded a hearing before
a judge, but voluntarily closed the day
before the hearing and just "popped"
open three days later in Maryland taking its
clients with it..
officials just walked off the job leaving their
clients to fend for themselves when this Straight
closed in Maryland.
Headquarters in St Petersburg
broken for construction of the facility on
1-30-83. Actual operational start date not
Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia
August 14, 1992 Straight - Orlando officially
closed and on that very day Michael Scaletta, the
executive director of Straight - Orlando,
incorporated SAFE, Inc. taking Loretta Parrish,
Straight - Orlando's marketing director, and
Straight's clients with him. He leased his facility
from Straight. Today Ms. Parrish
is the owner and executive director of SAFE.
||On June 18,
1993, three days before Straight official
Kathleen M. Cone created a Straight-like program
named Phoenix Adolescent Institute in Marietta,
Ga. 4 � miles from the Straight facility in
Marietta, former Straight official Helen Gowanny,
helped found Pathway Family Center only 15
miles from the old Straight facility near Detroit.
closed when the state of Massachusetts pulled
Straight's foster care license.
former national clinical director, Dr. Miller
Newton, ran one of his KIDS programs in
Yorbi Linda. KIDS closed in 1989 under
criminal investigation and Straight moved into the
facility and took over KIDS' clients.
California closed Straight down for child abuse in
1990 and Straight transferred its clients to
Straight-Dallas. The failure of
Straight-Southern California probably stopped the
formation of Straight-Seattle.