Apparently, the State of Texas is still trying to figure out what to do with those 400+ kids rounded up at the YFZ Ranch. I don't really know enough about the case to comment on whether these kids were victims or not, though from reading this the evidence looks thin.
Here is my concern. About 15 years ago I sat on a jury in Dallas. The particular case was a child abuse case, with the state alleging a dad had sexually assaulted his daughter. The whole case took about 3 days to present and it took the jury about 2 hours to find the guy innocent, and it took that long only because of one holdout.
The reason we found him innocent so quickly is because it became clear that the state had employed Janet Reno tactics (the Miami method, I think it was called) to put pressure on the child over a period of 6 months to break her out of her position that her dad had done nothing. (By the way, is anyone else flabbergasted that Janet Reno, of all people, is on the board of the Innocence Project?).
Anyway, the dad was first arrested when the teenage babysitter told police that the daughter was behaving oddly and it seemed just like a story she had seen on Oprah. Note, the babysitter did not witness any abuse nor did the girl mention any abuse to her. She just was acting up one night. At trial, the babysitter said her dream was to have this case propel her to an Oprah appearance of her own (I kid you not).
On that evidence alone, the state threw the dad in jail and starting a 6 month brainwashing and programming process aimed at getting the girl to say her dad abused her. They used a series of negative reinforcements whenever the girl said dad was innocent and offered positive reinforcements if she would say dad had said X or Y. Eventually, the little girl broke and told the state what they wanted to hear, but quickly recanted and held to the original story of her dad's innocent, all the way through the trial.
So, as quickly as we could, we set the dad free (the last jury holdout, interestingly, was a big Oprah fan). No one ever compensated for states abuse of the dad, and perhaps even worse, the states psychological abuse of his daughter. I know nothing of what became of them, but I hope they are all OK. I guess its lucky he did not get convicted, because while the Innocence project has freed a lot of people in Dallas, it sure is not going to work on this type of case with Janet Reno on its board.
Coming back to the YFZ case, I am worried that the state seems to be wanting to hold the kids for as long as possible, presumably to apply these methods to start getting kids to adopt the stories of abuse prosecutors want to hear. In some ways, the YFZ case is even more dangerous from a prosecutorial abuse standpoint. That is because there are a large number of people who think that strong religious beliefs of any type are, well, weird, and therefore are quicker to believe that other weird behavior may also be present.