6. Diamond Ranch Academy in Utah – United States
At Diamond Ranch Academy you will enter Red camp if you are a boy or Yellow Camp if you are girl. There you will stay until you are broken and ready to participate in the life this boarding school out in the desert in Utah can offer you. During that time you will be forced to wear clothes in bright colors so you are easy to spot if you try to run away.
It is located very remote and a boy died there in 2009 far from any hospital. In 2012 a petition was made to keep a girl out from the boarding school.
The school was started in Idaho but was forced out of this state due to stricter regulations.
Manuel restraints of teenagers are not uncommon. The school run a number of blogs where the teenagers are made to smile so the school looks like any other boarding school.
Various former students has written the following statements about their stay:
Diamond Ranch Academy was one of the worst experiences of my life. I was sent there at 16, and within my first week the girls in my dorm poured water in my shoes and urinated in the bath if they knew it was my turn to clean it. On my first phone call to my mom when I tried to tell her what was happening my therapist hung up the phone and told me I couldn’t tell her stuff that happened here. I couldn’t even tell her when a boy died on the other campus. Later on I made the best friends of my life, but if anything I made more connections for drugs there then I had before. I did not graduate the program after 18 months, but I earned a GED and my mom pulled me. My first week there was a homeless staff restraining a boy student and broke his wrist. I watched staff pick on autistic kids in homeless, and restrain a diabetic girl while she was having a high blood sugar rush. I watched a girl have a seizure and everyone thought she was lying. After she came back from the hospital they tried making her do calisthenics with the rest of us (later that day) after the doctors told them to let her rest. I made friends with some of the staff who truly cared but you must keep in mind the staff that are watching your kids in their dorms at night are college students themselves aged 18+ and that was the hardest part. look up the Stanford Prison Experiment and you will understand why they should have staffed people who were majoring in helping dysfunctional youth and not college kids. there is a very high relapse rate after graduating. Many of my friends came back to DRA months later for their free month you get when you graduate. I have a great relationship with my mom because I worked for it AFTER leaving. While there you are allowed to talk to your child every other week for 45 minutes. My mother and I didn’t get anything worked out until I came home and we had infinite time to talk. If your child has en eating disorder, addiction to drugs, or a serious problem this isn’t the place to send them. Please hear me out, I loved the friends I made and the staff that really did care, and I loved the basketball team because it made me feel like a normal person again, but the program Diamond Ranch Academy is a place I will never send my own kids or recommend for anyone because of how many people I watched get worse. My friend Hannah Cook committed suicide after a year of being home. another boy Glen Parrish just overdosed on drugs/alcohol. There was another girl I think her name was Brandi G, that committed suicide as well. Diamond Ranch Academy does not truly have the tools to fix your relationship with your children, you do.
DRA graduate wrote:
Parents who feel like your kids are in danger of making choices in their lives that will take them down the wrong path, such as hanging out with bad friends, doing drugs, playing too much xbox, skipping school, being disobediant being violent or aggresive… this is not the place for you. i saw kids here during my 11 months that had done just about anything you could imagine to be sent away by there parents. this place charges you an arm and a leg to legally break your kids for you. they are ground into nothing through psychological torture disguised as therapy, and mad to feel hopeless through the physical restraining and isolation. your kids will forever resent you for this, and will feel as though you have abandend them. this is not a place to help you strengthen your bonds with your children, how could it be when you spend all your time apart. before sending your kid here try doing a little more research. you cannot believe any reviews you read by the owners, because they live for your money and will lie and manipulate to your face with a smile to get it. look around and see what graduates like me have to say about the place and you will realize this is not the place for you. i understand that times must be tough for you to be considering this, but if my parents had tied to talk to me, or spend some quality time with me, asked me about my problems, we would still be a family now
This Place Is Not What It Seems to Be! This place is by far the worst place to ever consider sending your kids for help! It is Hell, and it is so different than what these pictures show. Please, if you care about your child and really want to get them help, DO NOT SEND THEM TO DIAMOND RANCH ACADEMY. There are so many places and different treatment options that don’t require you to sign over gaurdianship to them, and are far more and caring for your child. The staff here are not trained to handle kids with mental or emotional problems and therefor only make it worse for the child. Nobody knows what the kids there go through unless you have been there and been in the program. All this program does is brainwash the kids, and they go along with after awhile because they are desperate to get out of there. They fake their way through the program just to graduate and go home. This place is run by the owner’s kids, and their friends, most of whom are barely in their early 20’s. They do not care for the kids. I was cursed at, called a “Loser who will never amount to anything”, I’ve been called “Stupid” and was told that I had not only ruined my life, but my step-sister’s too.. all these horrible horrible things were said to me by the owner’s son Ricky. DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD HERE!!!!!
Update November 2013
We have learned that a boy died at the facility. He had been on suicide watch but was put off the watch and managed to hang himself in the shower without the employees noticing his actions. For more information read this blog-entry about the tragedy:
DIAMOND RANCH ACADEMY – CONFIRMATION – ANOTHER CHILD’S LIFE IS LOST – “SUICIDE COMPLETION” (Jillie’s Take! – blog)
A former teacher was sentenced to 32 years prison for child porn. He downloaded while he still was employed at the facility: Former teacher sentenced to 22 years for federal child porn charge (AZ Central)
A lawsuit was filed against the facility: Sexual Assaults at Diamond Ranch Academy (JVW Law)