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Teen with mental health problems to stay in maximum-security lockup

Tuesday, July 31, 2001

By Mackenzie Carpenter, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Patty Domain, a 17-year-old girl with mental health problems who has been in a maximum-security lockup for teen-age girls since November, will remain there for the next four months and receive regular counseling, her mother said.

At a hearing yesterday, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Kathleen Mulligan ordered the Danville Center for Adolescent Females in Montour County to keep Domain and provide her with weekly therapy sessions, said Domain's mother, Sylvia Forshey, 41, of Troy Hill.

Forshey contends that Danville Center officials provided counseling sessions only five times in the last eight months for her daughter, who was sent to the jail after being rejected by privately run residential treatment programs because of her aggressive, occasionally suicidal behavior and her pattern of running away from other facilities. Domain's sole recorded delinquency is for simple assault, a misdemeanor.

"If [Danville Center officials] want to keep her, that's fine as long as they get her the help she needs. I just hope they keep their promise," said Forshey, who had initially sought the release of her daughter, who turns 18 Saturday, so she could care for her and enroll Domain in a mental health program.

Domain's case was detailed Sunday, following a four-part series in the Post-Gazette July 15-18 that described how mentally ill teens throughout the nation are often trapped in the juvenile justice system because there are not enough therapy programs to treat them.

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