181. Ironwood Maine
The private teen-prison Ironwood located in Maine was founded in 2006 with help from former employees who used to work for Turn-about Ranch in Escalante in Utah known for it tough approach throughout the world. Students from United Kingdom and Germany had been sent to Turn-about. In most cases the teenagers reversed to their old behaviors within months with one exception. The international known model Jemma Henley based her future career on the teachings learned in Utah.
Ironwood do use a level system where teenagers are placed at cabin without modern heating system. Maine can be very cold during the winter so for teenagers coming from as far away as Florida who is used to live in another climate it is close to abuse.
The family who is running the facility are very into horse breeding and is most likely using the operation of a troubled teen program to finance their expensive hobby.
In 2014 Ex-police chief who was working at the facility was arrested.
In 2018 a court took place where a student who had left Ironwood Maine was charged with planning a high-school shoot up at his old school which might had some part in his banishment to Ironwood Maine.
In 2021 questions were raised about the qualifications of the employees. On Reddit it was documented:
RED FLAG: Matthew Hendry, LCPC. Clinical Director, Therapist His counseling degree is from the University of Phoenix, a for-profit college known for its mostly poor quality of instruction. He was involved in the Troubled Teen Industry in Utah, serving as a clinical director there. He doesn’t name the school, so one must assume it’s a questionable place.
Nicole Thibodeau has an extreme left wing background. Form the web site,
I received my Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree with a certification in Applied Arts and Social Justice from the University of New England in Portland, Maine.
For two years, she worked at an organization that promotes quack cancer therapies, including Reiki, the Patrick Dempsey Center for Hope and Healing in Lewiston, ME.
Karen Hansen, LPC-C went to Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Lesley University is known for being easy to get into, where 75% of all applicants are admitted and will accept students with mediocre high school records. . It’s, known for poor quality education–its high rate of failure on professional licensure exams (teachers, mental health counsellors, social workers) From Lesley University’s website, “…our legacy of educating mental health practitioners with a curriculum grounded in social justice…” One of its nicknames is New Age U. The politics here are extreme left. If you are not into New Age Spirituality, don’t go here.
RED FLAG: KNOWN QUACK Katharine Davis, Naturopaths. ALL NATUROPATHS ARE QUACKS. DO NOT SEND YOUR TEEN TO A PLACE THAT EMPLOYS KNOWN QUACKS. They are NOT doctors. She is certified in Quantum Neurological Reset Therapy is a form of quackery. Here is a link to an article by Stephen Novella, MD, a Yale Medical School neurologist, on the Science Based Medicine Blog, thoroughly debunking this: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/quantum-neurology/
Kathy Harriman went to Houghton College, a tiny, fundamentalist, evangelical college in New York’s Southern Tier. There’s evidence that she holds fundamentalist Christian beliefs, given that she homeschooled all five children in an area where homeschooling is rare. She does not say what colleges her children eventually went to or graduated from. Her degree is in Elementary Education and German. She is not qualified to be a secondary school teacher in the State of Maine.
The State of Maine does not have a mechanism where interested members of the public can verify the licensure status of teachers. The State of Maine does not require that private school teachers be licensed. However, I expect that teachers at private schools have a current license, even if that license is from another state. I expect that teachers in private schools be licensable in the state they’re working in.
Ironwood does not sound like a fun place to be sent to for a teenager.
- Ironwood: New Facility in Maine (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora meassage board)
- Ironwood, Maine (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora meassage board)
- Ex-police chief accused of child sex assaults worked at Maine teen facility (The Forecaster)
- Man charged in plot to shoot up Vermont high school had recent ties to Maine (SunJournal)
- List of employees (HEAL-online)
- Ironwood in 2021 (Reddit Troubled Teen Support)
A parent wrote on Yelp:
I am a parent who sent his troubled son to Ironwood approximately 11 years ago. I write this as a warning to whomever might be considering sending their child to any juvenile Detention center based school. I sent my son as a “shock based” treatment. At that point I would have sold everything I have for his well being. I believe I had found it when I first saw the website of ironwood. I say this as I understand depth of despair. Seeing that well marketed website seemed to be the answer. I would advise anyone to seek out all other avenues before sending them to ironwood or any similar program. My son spoke of abuses and less than than therapeutic employees and practices during his tenure. Those were waived off by me as he returned. This was a natural as I believed what I needed to believe .. that it helped. i am not convinced at this point. My point here for all to read is simple. These programs are a pay to graduate kind of limited program, one size fits all if you will. My advice would be to not lose that child from the home no matter how hard the moment is. once trust is lost it will not return. This applies both to my family and my suspicions of these programs as I read further into them … JeffJeffrey F.