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.


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