Two years after an investigative report uncovered allegations of shocking abuse occurring at a juvenile detention center once known as “the Harvard of reform schools,” Glen Mills sexual abuse lawsuits are still being filed.
Survivors of the horrific acts of violence committed at Glen Mills School have the right to hold accountable the staff members who harmed them and the school that let it happen—but they need to act fast, before it’s too late.
The Abuse Allegations Against Glen Mills School
Glen Mills School is accused of allowing hundreds of students to suffer abuse at the hands of its staff over more than 40 years. Generations of young men were beaten, choked, hit, raped, and otherwise physically and sexually assaulted in the walls of the residential reform school.
Glen Mills Abuse Investigation and Lawsuit Timeline
- 1976—The earliest known instance of sexual abuse occurred at Glen Mills School.
- 1996—Florida officials visiting Glen Mills as part of the research for establishing a school in Florida spoke to a student sent there from Miami—who let slip that Glen Mills students were being abused, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
- 1997—When a pair of Glen Mills students from Chicago reported being abused at the School, they were removed from the institution, according to the Inquirer.
- 2000—Police responded to allegations of abuse at Glen Mills, but staff tried to keep officers from speaking with the child, an inspection summary later published by the Philadelphia Inquirer revealed.
- 2017—Subsequent investigations would identify numerous allegations of abuse occurring in 2017, including reports of students being pushed through windows, attacked by groups of staff members, and sustaining broken jaws. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that staff who attempted to stop the abuse faced retaliation.
- August 2018—A physical assault on a Glen Mills student, perpetrated by two counselors, was captured on surveillance video.
- September 2018—The counselors caught on camera abusing a student in August were criminally charged, NBC Philadelphia reported.
- February 2019—An investigative report by the Philadelphia Inquirer detailed the extensive, decades-long abuse alleged to have gone on in Glen Mills School.
- March 2019—On the heels of the Inquirer article and a government investigation, an emergency removal order issued by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf removed all students from Glen Mills School. The first sexual abuse lawsuit against Glen Mills School was also filed, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- April 2019—The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services stripped Glen Mills School of its operating licenses, citing “documented instances of abuse against former students” and “gross incompetence, negligence, and misconduct in operating the facility.”
- June 2020—In a 100-page report, the Pennsylvania Auditor General concluded that Glen Mills School “failed to protect students.”
Who Can File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Glen Mills School?
Experienced sexual abuse attorneys in our network are accepting new claims on behalf of individuals harmed at Glen Mills school. Victims of either physical or sexual abuse may have the right to bring a claim.
Legal deadlines called statutes of limitations may affect whether or not an individual can still pursue a claim. Because these deadlines depend on the facts specific to your claim—such as when you were abused and how old you were at the time—you should speak to an attorney directly to determine if you still have time to file a lawsuit. It won’t cost you anything to have a lawyer evaluate your case and work with you to figure out how to proceed.
Factors That Shouldn’t Keep You From Pursuing a Claim
There are also some factors that shouldn’t get in the way of pursuing your claim:
- Leaving Pennsylvania: You can sue Glen Mills School even if you no longer reside in PA.
- Attending Glen Mills from another state: Many former Glen Mills students were sent to the reform center from other states. You can sue even if you never resided in Pennsylvania other than as a resident of Glen Mills.
- Having a criminal record: As a reform school, Glen Mills was supposed to help minors who had gotten in trouble with the law to turn their lives around. Just because you made some mistakes as a child doesn’t mean you deserved, in any way, the harm you suffered.
- Keeping the abuse quiet: Sexual abuse of a minor is never the victim’s fault, but—for a variety of reasons—survivors of childhood sexual assault often fear coming forward. Some students of Glen Mills School reported being threatened, and even parents of students have alleged that staff members at the institution pressured them not to report the abuse.
- The cost of hiring an attorney: Legal representation for victims of sexual abuse at Glen Mills is available on a no-win, no-fee basis. The consultation is free, and you’ll pay nothing unless and until your lawyer succeeds in getting you compensation.
Take Action Now, Before the Deadline to File a Glen Mills Case Passes
Moving forward with a lawsuit can give you so much:
- The closure of knowing that justice has been done
- Peace of mind that your abuser—and the institution that employed them—won’t hurt anyone else
- Compensation to afford counseling and psychological treatment for the trauma you have been through
The time to pursue a sexual abuse lawsuit against Glen Mills won’t last forever.