Archive | March 2017

531. Storm Ridge Ranch

Storm Ridge Ranch was founded in 1986. In 2005 an article posted on Bellaonline told the story about how children were handcuffed at the facility. In the meantime they have expanded and now runs two facilities in Marysvale and Monroe. Girls and boys are separated.

The article mentioned:

It bills itself as a “working ranch for boys” and has a policy detailing a “treatment plan” that deals with “bio-psycho-social” growth. Their boys, they say, are ones who have behavioral problems. These problems range from drugs to academic problems and are blamed on the “seeming decline in strong family values and social conflicts. The boys are strictly monitored all waking hours with frequent bed checks during the night. For all intents and purposes it is a youth detention center. Rough treatments and constraints are the norm in taking unwilling boys to the ranch.

The humiliation of being handcuffed or being forced to strip down to your underwear is appalling. Being taken away from your home by force, with the knowledge that struggling may bring rougher treatment, can be compared to Gestapo tactics. Having “supervisors” watch your every move with no communication with the outside world until you “prove yourself worthy” is indeed the same as being imprisoned.

Unless the behavior problem is severe, (drugs, violence), I am hesitant to recommend a tough love boot camp. Here’s why. James was not a behavior problem. His “problem” was that he was dyslexic and had never been diagnosed. His mother was told that he was lazy and had no interest in school. She took it as a sign of rebellion when he became angry and refused to do schoolwork. He was angry because he had difficulty reading. Other methods should have been used before having him taken in what is essentially a commando raid.

Additionally the facility was investigted for invoicing Medicaid for services not provided. The state got some of the money back.

Finally former students have made testimonies which makes it safe to state that it cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.


530. Sorensen’s Ranch School

Sorensen’s Ranch School started as a summer camp in 1959 but was transformed into a self-proclaimed treatment center over the years using a level system with 5 levels.

Former residents speak on various forms of punishment and manual restraints by the employees.

A former resident wrote on Fornits:

I read this other persons (Alumni) letter and felt obligated to write my fair warnings as well. I wanted to cry while reading the other alum’s words. The sad thing is the types of things the person described in their report happened allot and to so many kids. I realized I have repressed a lot of shit inside over the years and have not wanted to think about those big abusive Mormons. Judgmental, Prejudiced, Cruel, but at the same time they truly believe in their cult and think they are doing the right things to help. At my low, I also helped steal a car and try and break out, 2 attempts, I also marched through the wilderness program in Idaho with a bunch of fucking heroin addicts from around the country, some big black guy from Compton broke my nose… I had religion stuffed down my throat, forced to do allot of shit… But what was bad was the night time… we hurt people.. for the first 6 month’s I got beat down a bit, I was 14, some kids were 19 even one 20 year old (court ordered). So with the time you stop getting beat and you start beating others. Fuck it right, it was sink or swim. I remember being strip searched, repeatedly, they (Staff) were always looking for contraband. We did have some good weed on occasion… They would call it “restraining” us… if you sat quietly and refused to follow an order the staff would slam you on the ground and whoop your ass…. this happened often and I couldn’t figure out what good it did. I am aware of sexual abuse.. there was allot of bad shit going on… but like I said the Mormon Cult truly believes they are saving us poor little bastards. Too any of my friends who happen to run into this letter, sorry for any bad memories.. I turned out well, hope you made it out ok the same… And there were definitely some good “counselors”, There were also some devious fuckers… I love my kids way to much to send them to a place like that…

The facility is also mentioned in the book “Numbskull” by Thomas Cody Mullenaux (ISBN-10: 1615790314)

It doesn’t sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.


529. Northwest Children’s Home Inc

This facility located in Lewiston, Idaho has been allowed to remain open after an investigation showed that that the children housed in the facility had been exposed to risk of both physical and sexual assaults.

Closing the facility down and start over would be the ideal solution. However then there are the question of jobs. The facility is a large employer in the area.

So what counted in the mind of the authorties? Jobs or the safety of the children? Only the future will show if the authorities really have the safety of the children in mind.

It could not have been fun to be placed at this facility.


528. Q-Courage wilderness trip year 2000

In year 2000 the municipality of Odense paid DKK 700,000 for sending a number of at-risk teenager to a wilderness camp in Sweden. The activities resulted in conviction of 4 teenagers after a riot caused by violent behaviors of the counselors. No employee were charged as the police faced difficulties investigating the incident which took place on foreign territory.

The Swedish police didn’t investigate the actions of the employees either making Sweden a fine dumping place for Danish authorities who wants to keep their problems at arms length.

However due to the medias critical coverage of the actions of the employees the municipality of Odense discontinued their relationships with Q-Courage hoping to quiet the scandal and misuse of taxpayers money down.

It could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.

Sources (in Danish)

527. Havenwood Academy

The small facility seems to take in only teenage girls. We found this testimony:

This place ruined my life. It did nothing for my family or I.

They tried to keep me after I was 18, luckily they didn’t. I never had any problems there, followed the rules, my program, etc. Management was horrible, poorly run and planned. I gained 15 pounds living there because we ate terrible food and say on our asses all day. We rarely did any activities such as go to the gym or go rock climbing. RARELY. I was there for 8 months and went climbing maybe 4 times. I had to pee in a bathtub a lot because our toilets would clog and we (the girls) would tell staff, program director, and anyone who would listen and it wouldn’t be fixed for days. This place will not fix your daughter. You will hurt her, your relationship with her, among other things.

Please for the love of god don’t send your child here. Be a better parent. See a counselor. Don’t ruin and steal a year of your kids life because you think you know what’s best for them. This isn’t it. For some it may be, for most it’s not.


2021 update

In an article in Salt Lake Tribune it was revealed that the Department of Human Services in Utah had given the facility a Corrective Action Plan (CAP), which basically is an order to stop certain methods because they are illegal.

On two occasions employees had zip-tied residents and in one case even placed them in a water-filled horse’s trough. The facility are not allowed to zip-tie and that type of punishment is also illegal in Utah according to the authorities.

526. Virgen de la Asunción home

The Virgen de la Asunción home caught fire in 2017 creating a national tragedy when it became clear that 35 persons died in the fire – mostly juvenile and children.

But articles related to the fire also showed trouble long before the fire took place. Too many children confined to the facility compared with lack of supervision and background checks of employees had resulted in abuse. Despite the tragedy there is little hope of improvement because it seems that the political system lacks interest in the well-being of the children.

It could not have been fun to be there as a child.


525. Skyline Journey

Skyline Journey was a wilderness program in Utah, which became known in the media after a 14 year old boy died in the program. While the employees and the program were prosecuted nothing was learned from this tragic death as teenagers continued to die in wilderness programs.

It could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.


524. Silverado Academy

Silverado Academy located near Panguitch, Utah was a program which was only open for 5 years. In the start it was only for boys, but also made a campus for girls later.

The management of the facility was poor from the vary start. No background check were made of employees. In 2008 an employee was arrested for identity theft. Shortly before the closure the police arrested an employee for sex abuse against the teenagers.

It could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.


523. Redcliff Ascent Wilderness Program

Redcliff Ascent Wilderness Program was founded in 1993. Over the years a number of teenagers have tried to escape the program some of them by defending themselves against the employees when they ran off. Some of them got better conditions in local detention centers, some of them were returned to the wilderness program.

The teenagers are not allowed tents but sleep in the open regardless of the conditions. It cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.


522. Red Rock Ranch Academy

Red Rock Ranch Academy was located outside St. George in Utah. They used an outdoor type program to break down teenagers. During one of the hikes a 16 year old girl fell and died as result of the fall.

The program closed not so long after. It was a program focused on punishments like forcing teenagers to sit i a chair all day.

It could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.