The tragic case of Justina Pelletier has been dragging on for 14 months, during which time she has been denied education, religious services and a clergy visit, and has had abysmal medical care while in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Pelletier, 15, has only been allowed one, one-hour supervised visit per week with her mom and dad and they have not been permitted to take photographs of their daughter. But following new legal pressure asserted by Liberty Counsel and intense media scrutiny, DCF permitted the most recent visitation to be unsupervised. The Rev. Pat Mahoney accompanied Lou and Linda Pelletier to visit their daughter.
Justina Pelletier is now speaking out and her words are being heard. She told her parents and Mahoney, “I feel like a prisoner.” She also asked, “Why can’t I go home with my parents?”
“To hear Justina say she feels like a prisoner and wants to return home with her parents is heartbreaking,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “DCF has abused its authority and hurt this family. DCF had no right to come between Justina and her parents. The parents love their daughter and were following expert medical advice in treating their daughter.
“Justina was doing well under the parents care. Now she is confined to a wheelchair. Justin loved going to school, but she has not seen her classmates or received any education in 14 months. This is a tragedy. Justina needs to be freed from her prison,” he added.
Another hearing is scheduled for Monday at the Juvenile Court.
“My goal is to get Justina home,” Staver concluded.