STATE HOUSE, PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Harvard scholar and DCYF reform activist Nicholas Alahverdian unleashed a fierce warning to the people of Rhode Island today after discovering that more children in the care of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families have been killed or nearly killed since Governor Gina Raimondo and Speaker Nicholas Mattiello have risen to power in state government.
The report is released by the Office of Nicholas Alahverdian in conjunction with a video detailing the failures of Raimondo and Mattiello which can be viewed below.
“What we have found,” said Nicholas Alahverdian, “Through diving into everything from Providence Journal archives to FOIA requests, is that children in DCYF care are more at risk than ever. This is an election year and I take no ignominy in stating the obvious: Gina Raimondo and Nicholas Mattiello have not — through executive order or legislation — done anything to substantively curve this dangerous trend of dead or nearly-dead DCYF kids.”
“Gina Raimondo and Nicholas Mattiello have blood on their hands,” Nicholas Alahverdian continued. “One of the last times a child died in state care was the case of Thomas Wright, under the administration of former Governor Donald Carcieri. Coincidentally, I had the same social worker as little T.J. Wright — and while he was being killed in Woonsocket, I was being tortured and raped in Florida — all in the month of October 2004. Poor Patricia Chabot was so overburdened with a high rate of cases that she had one kid being tortured and raped and another ending up dead — all in one month. This practice continues unabated to this day under the Raimondo administration — except it is literally and exactly 1,450% worse.”
As the 2018 election draws near, it is important to highlight the records of the incumbents. “We have had over 30 deaths or near-deaths in the past 3 and a half years,” said Nicholas Alahverdian. “Gina Raimondo, in her ubiquitous blasé tone, has dismissed DCYF issues as ‘longstanding.’ While these issues are longstanding, these dead kids are 8 and 9 years old. They are not given a fair chance at life.”
Turning to the situation of Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, Alahverdian was considerably infuriated: “Over 50% of the House Chamber supported an omnibus bill and individual bills to overhaul DCYF. Not one bill — bills which were introduced year after year — made it out of committee. Not one. Nicholas Mattiello’s legal counsel and members of the Joint Committee on Legislative Services worked to actively inhibit any legislation that would improve or overhaul DCYF. Vicariously, Nicholas Mattiello is jointly responsible for the deaths and abuse suffered by children in DCYF care.”
The study, conducted by Nicholas Alahverdian and his team of researchers, found that within the past three gubernatorial administrations, there has been a stark increase in DCYF child deaths since Raimondo became Governor. “In 2008, DCYF investigated reports of the death of a child in their care. In 2003, we saw the tragic death of T.J. Wright. Within a five year timespan, we had two investigations of DCYF-related deaths,” said Alahverdian. In the Chafee administration from 2011 to 2015, there were no child deaths. Yet under Gina Raimondo, we as a state have to take a seat and say to ourselves ‘within 4 years there have been over 30 deaths or near-deaths’”
“It’s unconscionable,” said Alahverdian. “We have dead Rhode Island kids while Raimondo mingles in glitzy ballrooms raising funds for her campaign — policies which, by practice, include the disregard of DCYF-related killings.”
Nicholas Alahverdian, a former legislative aide for the Rhode Island House of Representatives hired at the age of 14, has been fighting for DCYF reform since 2002. Alahverdian suffered torture, abuse, and negligence in the infamous night-to-night program at the same time he worked for the state government.
When legislators and the media began to act and report on the abuse Alahverdian was suffering, he was prevented from attending school and was exiled by Family Court Chief Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah and Governor Donald L. Carcieri to two abusive facilities — Manatee Palms in Florida and Boys Town Residential Treatment Center in Nebraska — which were later closed by their own states for torture, abuse, and neglect. Throughout that period of time, Alahverdian was allowed to contact no one at all — lawyers, the courts, DCYF social workers, or the police. Nicholas Alahverdian was not allowed to attend school, he was overmedicated beyond recognition, and he was targeted by state officials as a publicity threat due to extensive media coverage about the torture he suffered.
Alahverdian later sued his abusers in federal court in Rhode Island, led an attempted state and federal legislative blitz to attempt to enhance DCYF policies and practices, and studied comparative literature at Harvard University.
In regards to the election on November 6th, Nicholas Alahverdian had this to say: “Let it be known from this day forth that if Rhode Island re-elects Gina Raimondo and Nicholas Mattiello, they are enabling a system that will continue to literally beat the life out of children, prevent them from going to school, and inhibit them from reaching their full potential.”
When asked about whom he supported for the gubernatorial race, Nicholas Alahverdian said “At first I would have said ‘anyone but Gina.’ But when Allan Fung boldly stood in front of the DCYF headquarters earlier in the week, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Now, Fung needs to amp up the pressure. He needs to release detailed plans and regulatory reforms that will keep kids safe.”
Surely Nicholas Alahverdian isn’t the only one who feels this way in Rhode Island. On the Tara Granahan Show on WPRO yesterday people called in with furious tones about the DCYF. Calling into a talk show may provide dialogue, but it is up to Allan Fung to provide the action. “Thousands of people will be watching Allan Fung,” said Nicholas Alahverdian. “Including everyone from the federal government who just last week issued a report slamming DCYF for its continued chaos to policy analysts and governmental relations specialists like myself who will hold Fung accountable to everything he says.”
Reflecting after a long week of DCYF coverage, Nicholas Alahverdian concluded with, “Rhode Island once held me in a Dickensian grip as a child, sending me to places that were not fit for kids. I was even exiled and held as a political prisoner in two states hundreds of miles from home. No more. Now we fight. We offer our minds, our hearts, and our souls to reform bad systemic practices, but it’s time for lifetime bureaucrats and self-serving oligarchs like Gina Raimondo and Nicholas Mattiello to get out and stay out.”