Teen Reach under the influence by preacher Bobby Torres became the center of an investigation by the Department of Economic Security after word reached the authorities of use of corporal punishment.
In the end the investigation shut the program down.
Corporal punishment is no fun and it is safe to say that it wasn’t fun to be there as a teenager.
- Troubled teens program probed (The Cincinnati Enquirer)
- Faith-based Teen Ranch on probation after probe (Casa Grande Dispatch)
- Teen Reach founder fires back at state (The Arizona Republic – World Corporal Punishment Research)
- Teen Reach loses to DES (East Valley Tribune)
- Teen Reach Survivers (Reddit r/Troubled Teens)
- A Place called “Teen Reach” in Scottsdale AZ. Any other people make it through?? (Reddit r/Troubled Teens)
Late 2015 this group home and foster agency became the attention of an investigation by the local Department of Human Services.
Among the points of interests the authorities looked into were:
- No regular bedtime checks
- failure to intervene in sexual contact between the children
- very little criminal background checks of employees
It doesn’t sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.
Troubled foster home faces license revocation (Statesman Journal)
Aspiro Wilderness program with an office in Spring City, Utah. They allow teenagers to be transported to them in handcuffs when the transport firm decide in favor of it.
While the program is more adventure based than most wilderness programs they still isolate the teenagers and keep them from getting access to legal assistance.
A former participant Joel B. wrote on Yelp:
Woah! This is something you can review? Well, get ready for this shit.
My parents are sadists so they decided to send me here. If you LIKE living in the woods for 8 weeks at a time and carrying a 30 lb. backpack for 10 miles a day, then you will fucking LOVE this place. If you’re a city dweller like me who isn’t into that, stay FAR FAR away. Parents reading this, PLEASE don’t send your kid here. Just let them stay at home like normal human beings. Cuz once your here….there probz gnna get sent to a boarding school and then the rest of their teenage years are wasted. If even 1 person listens to this, this review was worthwile.
A brother to former participant Eric B. wrote:
My brother was sent there and he was underfed (lost 20+ lbs) and they had such little supplies that he had to wipe his ass with his own underwear at times because they didn’t have toilet paper. The organization lied to my parents and promised to give him more food, but it never happened. He slept in negative temperatures with shitty sleeping equipment and the program physiologically altered the kids minds and changed their paradigm making them feel different and far from the normal teenager. NEVER PLACE A KID IN THIS PROGRAM. Misleading marketing to profit for themselves, absolutely ridiculous how they’re still in existence.
It doesn’t sound like a fun place to be as a a teenager.
Aspen Ranch was located just west of Loa. Teenagers who arrived there could end up in the basement in orange jump suit just as prisoners but there were often only guilty of taking too much time up from their parents other activities. The program opened in 1995 and closed in 2011.
Aspen Ranch closed when too many teenagers became adult and were able to tell what went on in the many programs Aspen Education Group ran. In her book Sheila Joy writes how new students were scared with the threat of rape by older students.
Various statements found on the Internet speak of a daily life which makes it safe to state that it could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.
- Aspen Ranch School Completed Story (HEAL-online)
- Factsheet about the facility (Anti-Troubled Teen Industry Activism & Survivor Support)
- My Name Is Joy: Proof That It’s Never Too Late To Change (by Sheila Joy, ISBN-10: 1438970773)
It has been revealed that a former employee at Aspen Ranch has been convicted based on his relationship with a minor. While the case which resulted in the sentencing of the former employee was not related to Aspen Ranch, it is not known at the present time whether other victims might be around who have been detained at Aspen Ranch.
- Former high school teacher guilty in sex with student (The Orange County Register)
Aspen Achievement Academy was a so-called wilderness therapy program operating from an office in Loa, Utah. Professional youth transporters took teenagers to the program in handcuffs and legirons if neccesary from all over the United States with the parents permission.
They were known in the public when the third version of the UK-based reality show “Brat Camp” was filmed there.
Locally the authorities were concerned what would happen if teenagers who ran from the program might run into tourists. The escapes – some involving use of violence – could have turned out badly.
It didn’t seem like a fun place to be as a teenager.
Founded by the very same people who founded Copper Canyon Academy before it was sold to Aspen Education Group, this facility focus on teenage boys.
A former student wrote:
I had a 2 month stay at ARA (May-June 2015) and it was the absolute worst period of my life. I was pulled from the program by my parents because I was being discriminated upon for my sexuality, not by students, but surprisingly by STAFF.
Please note that the majority of the staff at ARA are Mormon (nothing is wrong with that) but they push their beliefs on the students.
In my 2 month stay, I observed horrific things.
– staff broke a kid’s wrist while restraining him (when the kid was NOT fighting against the restraint)
The issue was put down-low and no staff were fired or suspended for any time.
Ranch staff aggressively hitting, kicking, elbowing horses when the horses were of no harm. Horses are never cleaned, brushed, washed, etc.
-Staff cussing at students.
I was personally called a dumb-ass several times by staff at the ranch. I also heard terrible vulgar words being thrown at students in the house by house staff.
– When ARA was being visited, the staff forced all of us students to pretend to be happy and go out and do activities around the house to make the program look good.
-I was told by many staff of ARA that my sexuality was wrong and I should not be who I am. I was laughed at, joked about, and yelled at by staff.
-Staff teaching about natural psychedelic plants around the house which resulted in an epidemic of several students taking the plants and getting high off of them to a very dangerous extent. The natural psychedelic plant was poisonous to the liver.
-Staff taking belongings from students and hiding them away and never giving them back such as shoes, clothing, books, etc.
-All food is from the freezer (completely unhealthy)
-Staff yelling at students harshly which creates a negative vibe around the house
All students at ARA are miserable. When I was there, the only thing that got us all through the program was each other. The staff were terrible to us so we ONLY had each other.
ARA was a horrible and awful experience for me. After being transported out of ARA, I was put in a treatment program in Puerto Rico called Surfhouse, where I am doing great and have created a better relationships my family and friends and my life is headed in the right direction.
Don’t make a mistake and send your child to ARA. Your family and your son deserve much better.
Best wishes to all of you on your journey.
It doesn’t sound like a fun place to be as a teenager. It seems that some of the critical issues at Copper Canyon Academy is close and similar with the points of criticism at Ashcreek.
It seems that the facility closed in 2021.
At the Carlisle Boarding School in Pennsylvania some teenagers died from various illnesses but also from sheer depression.
Now the families will try to get the bodies back home so they can get graves relatives can visit.
When a place is so bad that you can die from sheer depression it is safe to say that it cannot have been fun to be there as a teenager.
Some of the remains of children who died at the school were returned back to the place where they came from.
- Tribe Seeks to Have Remains Children who Died at Carlisle Boarding School Returned to Wind River Indian Reservation (Native News Online)
- Rosebud Sioux tribe welcomes home remains of 9 children who died at Pennsylvania boarding school (Argus Leader)
- Carlisle Indian School Project (Website)
- Tribe claims remains of kids who died at assimilation school (ABC News)