Cheyenne Mesa was located in Colorado Springs. It is closed now. If you google the facility all links which pops up are about 15 year old Robert Thomas Pillsen-Rahier, who disappered from the facility in 1990.
What is very odd about this place is that his mother found blod in his underwear during a home visit and the phone calls were monitored so this poor boy was afraid of talking openly with his mother over the phone.
What was his fear about? Were other children affected by the same kind of fear of talking. Was he simply silenced and by who?
Whenever you have a treatment facility which does not allow patients privacy when they talk to family members there is a risk of possible abuse which could take place against the children who are held at such facilities.
It certainly could not have been a fun place to at if you were a teenager forced into treatment there.
- Missing Man: Robert Thomas Pillsen-Rahier – CO – 07/06/1990 (Project Jason)
- The missing: a mom’s pain, a cop’s burden (The Gazette)
- Colorado Springs boy disappears from youth treatment home (The Denver Post)
The Village School lost two employees after the police arrested them for their indecent relationship with students. The arrests removed a factor of stability at the facility and now reports of fights among students in the facility is reported. The students at this facility are court-ordered to be there and now there are no strategy about how to reward students. It causes turmoil.
It cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.
- Teacher pleads guilty to affair with ‘girlfriend’ student (The New York Post)
- olice: Village School teacher sexually assaulted female student (6 ABC news)
- Former Main Line teacher’s aide faces sex charges (Fox 29 News)
- School Aide Charged For Exposing Herself To Students (CBS news)
The Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta did not conduct a proper background check of their employees properly because they wanted to keep the costs of having employees low, so now the police are doing it for them. 3 times the police have arrested employees charging them with various crimes where the children became the victims.
It is safe to say that it cannot be fun to be at a facility where the police has to wait for crimes to happen before the employees can be ordered to act like the professionals they were supposed to be.
- Third arrest this year made at center to help troubled children (The Augusta Chronicle)
- Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta (UHS Behind Closed Doors)
- Warrants detail alleged sexual assault of two teens by mental health workers (WRDW 12 news)
The shortlived school located was near Provo in Utah. Near the end of it was owned by Second Nature Wilderness – today known as Evoke Therapy Programs. Former students stated:
Being a previous student at Willow creek myself, the news of the school closing is heart breaking. As previously mentioned by Liz, the school was once a place i enjoyed and felt comfortable living. Although i do not regret my time spent at Willow Creek, I am only refering to the friends and select staff I have befriended.
The school was once a place that would not only allow the students a general sort of freedom/privilege, while teaching us tools to help progress us in life, but we were treated as humans, as well.
Originally, it was regarded as a privilege to attend, even be considered to attend, Willow Creek. As time went on, and the school went downhill, I noticed as students were not as enthusiastic to be enrolled in such a great oppurtunity. Given that no teen would ever want to be sent to a boarding school and disconnected from friends/family(voluntarily), but there was something else that was causing this increasing downfall.
I might have my own addictive characteristics, but paranoid thoughts is not one on my roster. I had noticed the lack of consideration and respect from certain administration, as well even an subtle enforcement of a religous prison mentallity. It was completely and totally degrating and infuriating, and to make things worse my opinion has been shut down because all people see is another “troubled teen” whining about a little discipline.
I also tend to ramble sometimes(lol), so i am going to sign out here with the comment, “We have instincts and intuition for a reason, don’t be afraid to use it!”
P.S. There were plenty of staff that I hold dear for their service and care for me, and others, as a random “troubled-teen”.
I was a student at Willowcreek School for eighteen months and watched it go from a place where i could see myself receiving the help, care, support and tools that i, as an addict and “troubled teen” and a place where i enjoyed being to a place that was absolutly misreable and emotionally draining to live in. Priorities went straight down hill from the care and mentality of the students there to how much money there could be for administration to make. The girls dorm was once so over crowded that theraputic goals for any individual whatsoever had no potential of ever being met and only after I, along with two other girls, sat down with staff members, literally in tears from the overwhelming environment that was taking palce due to overcrowding on our residential wing. The failure of this school was the most predicatble thing that could have ever happened. i question how I, as a sixteen year old at the time, could have seen this happeneing and viewed every wrong move administration made, while those set up to run the building (who on paper had much better qualifications to do so) totally overlooked the downhill slide. It is a shame that The Willowcreek School ended up failing as misreably as it did. I met some amazing people there who truly changed my life. Sadly, nothing about the theraputic process that this school ended up enforcing changed my life, whatsoever. Rather the one on one conversations i had privatly with staff and students. The failure of this school is an embarrassment to the fact taht i ever once went there with pride.
The school was driven out of business by Greg Hudnall, who is also a bureaucrat from Provo City School district (The same guy who illegally had a teacher fired, for writing a book that Greg felt was “Anti-Mormon”).
After Second Nature’s Hostile takeover of the school, they put Greg in charge as the school director. It took him around 10 months to bankrupt the school.
He wasted roughly $300,000.00 in building “improvements”, to a building that the school did not even own. They painted the whole place about 4-5 times before they finally settled on the ugly brown color it was when they finally closed… He burned through untold amounts of cash elsewhere as well.
Not to mention the level of bureaucratic waste and inefficiency that he brought to the school, that I had theretofore thought unattainable for a non-government entity.
The owners sat with us in a meeting, and lied to our faces, promising to make good on all of their debts to employees, including any paid time off that they were owed, when the school closed. They also promised an extra week’s pay to the employees who would stay on until the doors closed–they even had the audacity to state that they were doing us a favor by not filing for bankruptcy (I guess their credit ratings were merely an afterthought), and by giving us a whopping 1-week notice to seek gainful employment, elsewhere.
Instead, on the last day of work, all employees were given a letter stating that if they came back to the school for any reason, they would be arrested for trespassing. No bonus payments were given, PTO was not paid out on. All phones were disconnected, and the website was promptly taken down.
The owners of Second Nature, and WCS are nothing more than a bunch of fly-by-night crooks.
While it was in business, the program was a joke. Boundaries were not held with certain students, due to fear that the students would complain to their parents, and that their parents would remove them from the program.
Special treatment was given by administration and therapists, for the “money kids”.
While most of the employees there had an interest in helping these kids, by the time the school closed, most of the employees had ‘checked out’, and were just showing up for work, since the program itself was unworkable.
I have not worked at Second Nature, but based on the behavior of the owners and administration who came to WCS from Second Nature, I would strongly advise parents to take placement at Second Nature into very deep consideration before making such a decision. I can’t imagine that Second Nature can be in much better shape, being that it has the same owners, administration, and priorities that they brought to WCS.
As I said before, most of the staff are interested in helping these kids, but the decision-makers only see you and your kids as a cash cow.
Parent week at WCS was always VERY different from business as usual…
It does not sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.
Wilderness Quest was first named Wilderness Conquest. They were founded in 1988 and complained in 1990 that their business was hurt due to the negative media coverage of all the deaths in the industry which was the result of the use of wilderness therapy as a concept. Wilderness therapy is just dangerous. Deaths have occured over the years in a constant number.
A newspaper article mentions that the zippers in the sleeping bags sometime did not work.
It could not have been fun to be there as a teenager when the equipment is not working freezing during the nights.
Datasheet about the program (Fornits Wiki)
Whitmore Academy in Nephi, Utah ended its operation with lawsuits combined with misdemeanor counts of child abuse and hazing.
The facility seems to have been converted into a bed and breakfast place. Hopefully the guests get better treatment than the girls received.
It could not have been fun to be there as a teenage girl.
- Whitmore Academy owner facing charges in 4th District Court (Nephi Times News)
- Ex-school owners OK $450,000 settlement (Deseret News)
Brentwood Academy which is a so-called Christian Academy in Tennessee is mentioned in a number of newspaper articles mentioning rape and failure to protect a six grader against other students. They are also mentioned having tried to settle the terrible acts by not involving the authorities but instead a private counselor in order to cover up what happen to hide their name from the press which normally would be known if the police from the very start had been allowed to investigate the matter.
It cannot be fun to be there as a teenager with all this secrecy.
- Sex abuse prevention experts: Brentwood Academy student policies may send troubling message (The Knoxville News Sentinel)
- Email: Detective told family in 2016 he would present Brentwood Academy case to prosecutor (The Tennessean)
- 12-year-old boy was repeatedly raped at Christian academy, lawsuit says (The Visalia Times Delta)
- How a private counseling service is entwined in the Brentwood Academy lawsuit (The Tennessean)
Highlands Youth Academy formerly known as Avon Park Youth Academy located in Avon Park, Florida became the center of local media coverage as the Sheriff condemned the conditions and management of the facility. A private security company G4S were responsible for the security at the facility and they did a poor job.
Among the incidents happening at the facility the last couple of years were riots, sexual misconduct, sexual and physical abuse by guards. The buildings were poorly maintained and there were lack of staff members talking the fact into consideration that there were lack of cameras and locks.
The responsible people are those who made the choice of selecting G4S for the job. G4S is a private company with no remorse if people suffer when they target profit before anything else. When you hire private operators you need to supervise every step just as close as if you ran the operations yourself. Private firms who outsource knows that. The public sector needs to learn.
Of course you have to place juveniles somewhere they were convicted of breaking the laws but the punishment should be metered by the courts and not by employees at the prisons. It could not have been fun to be serving time under the poor conditions G4S gave these children.
- Sheriff: Highlands Youth Academy is ‘unequivocal train wreck’ (Fox 13 News)
- Report: Highlands Youth Academy is a ‘disgrace’ (Greenville Onlne)
- Former youth academy staff members arrested for child abuse, neglect (WTSP news)
In an early post we wrote about Lincoln Hills School and now it seems that the problems have hit Copper Lake School for girls also.
It is welknown that many of the teenagers who are locked up in reality should have been offered treatment because they in reality are suffering from various mental issues. Suicide attempts are a cry for help and should not be met with punishment but hospitalization instead.
Big central institutions are a thing of the past. Specialized group homes which can make individual plans for the childrens return to the society as productive citizens are the path of the future.
Of course it is not fun to be placed in prison as a teenager but at these two prisons the punishment extend what the judges metered out in courts and that is not fair.
- Iowa girls were abused at Wisconsin facility after Iowa closed Toledo school, lawsuits say (The Desmoines Register)
- Girl gravely injured in suicide attempt at Copper Lake prison (JS Online)
- At Wisconsin Juvenile Prisons, Children Face a Nightmare of Solitary Confinement and Abuse (Solitary Watch)
- 4 months at Lincoln Hills: Nearly 500 incidents, 32 injuries to youth (Wisconsin State Journal)
The Northeast Parent and Child Society in Schenectady, New York has been the center of some media coverage recently. We are talking alleged illegal relationship between teacher and student, alleged violence against students. We are talking about the massive number of calls and responses by the police to the facility.
For vulnerable teenagers who are forced to be there in order to heal it cannot be fun to be placed in such an environment.
- Northeast Parent and Child Society School teacher’s aide accused of having relationship with 15-year-old student (News 10 news)
- Steep rise in police calls to Schenectady facility for troubled teens (Times Union)
- Northeast Parent & Child youth aide pleads guilty in sex charge (Times Union)
- Castleton man charged with rape, sex abuse (The Troy Record)