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584. Magnolia Academy

Magnolia Academy in Tennessee was a for-profit group home located in Columbia, Tennessee. Sixty girls escaped from the facility in the period from 2011 to 2014.

In fact the entire firm – ResCare – running the facility seems to have difficulties. A wilderness program was shut down by the authorities years earlier.

For a long time all the involvement the authorties did was to bring the girls back. None seemed to ask why the girls ran or they would be better served if the courts gave them community service tasks they could do after school instead of probation and a stay at these low-security group homes where they would interact with girls exchanging what they learned about crime. Acts should result in consequences not in learning courses in crime which too often is the case when you lock minors up.

While it sounded that the girls saw their stay at these facilities as an adventure in the long run it could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.


577. Hanna Boys Center

The Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma, California has been around for many years. Recently it was in the news after the former clinical director was charged with 15 counts of of oral copulation of two minors by coercion or duress.

Earlier an executive director resigned after news concerning his action in the past before he came to the facility become public.

It doesn’t sound like a place oversight of the employees are tight.

It cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.


576. New Visions Group Home

The New Visions Group Home located in Clovis, New Mexico lost its license after the authorities investigated the facility. They found improper care of the teenagers held at the facility.

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


571. The Hebron Home

The Hebron Home (Børnehjemmet Hebron) was the center of a massive investigation conducted by the Danish state in 1907. Motivated by her strict religious upbringing the female headmaster held the children in the children home under control with her iron fist supplemented by use of isolation rooms. Sometimes the children were even starved. In the end the investigation resulted in her being forced to resign.

Backed by religious people she was appointed to teach at local religious school until she was fired for being too strict there also. She died in 1922.

Sources (In Danish only)

567. Waterfall Canyon Academy

Waterfall Canyon Academy is located in Ogden in Utah. In the media the facility is known for runaways and explicit photos connected to an employee.

While it create some kind of safe environment for adults suffering from various illnesses like Autismn it does not sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.


551. Sunshine Boys Hostel

Sunshine Boys Hostel – founded in 1959 – was housing boys who were ‘not normally acceptable in the hostels conducted by voluntary organizations, who have no interested parents or other relatives, and who require something more than the usual help and supervision, as regards employment and leisure’.

It sounded very beutiful. However David Whitcroft who also was employed at Geelong College was sentenced for five counts of sexual penetration with a 14-year-old ward of the state at the hostel.

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


537. Blue Hills Academy

The facility was located near Humholt in Arizona and was believed to be for boys only.

The facility was started by former employees from Copper Canyon Academy – now Sedona Sky Academy. It was not a business who lived for long. A message board mentions that it inherited some of the problems, Copper Canyon Academy suffered from in the start.

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


535. Spring Meadows Center

Runaways, employee serving alcohol to teenagers below 16 and having the wrong kind of relationship with them is the recipe for things turning bad.

It is safe to assume that the teenagers find that it is not a fun place to be as a teenager.


532. Buckeye Ranch

Buckeye Ranch which is located around Columbus in Ohio. In 2017 the facility came in the news due to a traffic accident which took place after a teenager who ran away from the facility was followed by employees and was hit by a car.

Further investigation revealed that there had been an incident in 2013 where employees were accused of violence against one of the teenagers at the group homes.

Feedbacks from employees on glasdoor and indeed are mixed and speak of employees not being trained so they can talk situations down and avoid being exposed from violence from the children setting up a situation where it is easy to state that it cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.


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.