Mental Health Facility’s Medieval Approach to Care Leads to Death, Rapes and More

According to the Bradenton Herald: Mount Dora Police were called to investigate the death of a young boy that occurred at the Carlton Palms Educational Center only to uncover horrors on a medieval scale. The boy who sparked the investigation was a young man named William James Lamson.

The Untimely, Tragic Death of a Young Man Who Couldn’t Stand Up for Himself

Lamson was diagnosed early in life with a very severe form of Autism Spectrum Disorder which caused him to obsessively self-harm (usually by uncontrollably hitting himself in the head) and was placed in the Carlton Palms Educational Center for care. The 26-year-old Lamson was found dead and the authorities were led to believe it was due to head trauma from one of his self-harm incidents. However, in reality, the young man had died from asphyxiation.

Caring on the Outside, A Medieval Torture Chamber Behind Closed Doors

The Carlton Palms Educational Center in Mount Dora, Florida, looked like the kind of place that could be trusted to take care of people with extended needs. Mental health disorders can be extremely taxing for the sufferer and for their family, and these kinds of places are supposed to be there to provide help and relief. On the outside, Carlton Palms Educational Center looked like one of those places: well-manicured lawns, attractive landscaping, well-lit, peaceful common areas and an attentive staff. However, this couldn’t have been further from the truth. In reality, the Carlton Palms Educational Center was a medieval torture chamber, filled to the brim with abuses and abusers. After the death and investigation of Lamson, many other reports of horrid abuses came in regarding the Educational Center. According to a 17-page administrative complaint filed by the APD (Agency for Peoples with Disabilities), there were several troubling events including:
  • Rapes
  • Scaldings from boiling water
  • Patients being dragged across the floor
  • Patients being under and over medicated
  • Caretakers strapping ill patients down rather than providing medical care
  • Caretakers taunting, ridiculing, and humiliating residents and patients
  • Patients being whipped with the belts of caretakers (to the point of removing flesh in one instance)
  • Patients being restrained as punishment (illegal in Florida)

“They are raised chairs; almost like on a pedestal in the middle of the community room. When a person is restrained, they would put them in the restraint chair while all the residents watch,” – Matthew Dietz, Attorney