Center for Discovery has been around for some time. Right now they are mostly known as being the new sponsor of the Dr. Phil show where teenagers are sent after Aspen Education Group has financial challenges.
Recently a girl confined to the center after one of the shows escaped december 1. She was secured from the streets of L.A. after a week in a poor state. Hopefully she will taken home to recover.
Among the reviews found on the Internet, we could see these two:
Our son was leaving the hospital and needed additional treatment for severe depression and we did not know where to turn. The recommendation was to find placement in a residential treatment center for 3 to 9 months. We were overwhelmed by the immediacy and urgency of the situation, trying to research programs in and out of state, and battling with the insurance company. Unfortunately, we chose the Center for Discovery in Whittier because it was closeby so we could visit, our insurance partially covered the cost, and the 30 days would buy us time to find a longer term program if needed. To this day my son still has flashbacks of the horrible treatment he received by the staff at this facility, and his father and I will forever regret sending him there. He was abused by an older teen while supposedly under “24 hour staff supervision” and a police report was supposedly filed. Staff at this facility showed the adolescent residents a complete lack of empathy, often abusing power and control, and telling the teens they should lie to their parents in family session and say that they’re getting better or elso they would be sent away to 2-year long programs. For the exhorbitant fees they charge, you’d think that they would not only most imnportantly have decent staff, but also a decent facility. The pathetic little basketball hoop in the parking lot was bent. Luckily, after this horrible place, our son went to the Anasazi Program in Arizona, which was truly a healing place, and he still talks about his good memories of Anasazi. If you need to send your teen into a therapeutic recovery program, it can be heartwrenching. I recommend avoiding Center for Discovery and the physical, emotional and financial pain it will cause you and your family.
Our experience completely mirrors Elissa’s. Avoid sending your child to Center for Discovery at all cost. They do more harm than good. Our daughter was also being treated for severe depression. She was too much work so they sent her away and basically told us “good luck” don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
It doesn’t sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.
The school was open for 3 decades. In 1989 it ran into problems with licensing. It was purchased by Aspen Education Group owned by Romney and one of the sponsors of the Dr. Phil show
A student writes:
My Neil Schwartz Abuse
I broke a window thinking it would get me kicked out. It took Neil a half an hour to show up from his house mean while the staff had me sit down which I did until he showed up. When he arrived I was grabbed by my caller and drug down the fifty foot cement path at knee height by Neil Schwartz. By the time I got to the other building my pants and collar were completely shredded with bloody knees and elbows. Neil through me up the stairs into the other building where knowone else was. He jumped onto of me with his knee in my chest so I could not breath while restrain my arm and put his other hand over my face and pressed down then squeezed as hard as he could while screaming “Don’t be a pussy John, stop crying” for no less than 10 minutes. I was crying begging him to stop the whole time. After Neil stopped he told me if I mentioned it to anyone he would call the police on me for breaking the window and it would happen again. By this point I was terrified of him. I walked away with a swollen bloody lip, …scrapped knees, a severe limp, shredded clothes, and emotional scars and nightmares that I still suffer from. The next home visit I told my parents and they didn’t believe me. That night I slit both my wrists and took a bottle of sleeping pills. I woke up in the hospital the next day. Neil Schwartz is really a sick monster and I will never forgive him for what he did to me. -John
Another student states:
I’ve been sent to many terible places by my parents. Ascent and the Cedars academy were the two worst…
since all the abuse is over and I remain a survivor with intolerable trauma from the emotional and physical abuse from both places and Ascent was shut down, I must fight to raise hell for other places like it.
That is why we must tell the Cedars Academy to shut itself down before we the people take a stand!
contact the cedars and show your discontent so no more kids suffer emotional and physical abuse like I did. The founder of the school (Neal Swartz) threatened to smash my head back into a tree because I called him “f—ing fascist scum.” the headmistress (Mary Pauer)waved a knife in my face and tried to supress my left wing ideaology. The staff stood by and let my 18 year old room mate beat me up each day for my political views. (keep in mind I was like 13 and small for my age, an easy target for a coward like him and his accomplices amoungst the staff.) I am 18 now and this horible school is still up and running. We must stop this madness one placement at a time.
Tell that fascist school that censors left wing literature and abuses kids and punishes kids for making attempts at ending their lives (instead of helping them through it) to f—ing close down or we’ll continue to give them hell.
and tell the wankers Petey Earle sent you!!!
It does not sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.
It has been used by Dr. Phil and it is located in Colorado. It does not sound very nice if you are there as a person. It is in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do like ordinary teenagers do.
One mother managed to secure $40,000 from the school for the time her son spent there.
Something was very wrong and that is why the school are listed on the webpage of HEAL-online, which is a human rights organization in the United States.
It does not sound like a nice place for a teenager.
- Staff list (The HEAL-online human rights organization)
- Peninsula attorney faces disbarment for mishandling $157,600, officials say (San Mateo County News)
- Factsheet (Fornits Wiki)
- My Experience At Mountain Homes Youth Ranch (Survivor testimony)
Copper Canyon Academy is a girls only private prison in Arizona. It has been used as entertainment in several episodes of Dr. Phil where girls have been locked up for doing what is both legal and normal in other countries.
It is not odd that there have several cases where some of the girls have escaped. In one case the police had to be called due to knife episode.
They have horses but the girls are isolated far away from family and peers.
The facility is now named Sedona Sky Academy. It was sold to Aspen Education Group but the founder purchased it back and renamed the facility due to the bad press coverage it had gained on various message boards and news.
- Teen at school for troubled girls allegedly threatens staff, Associated Press, The Arizona Star, November 26, 2007
- Copper Canyon Academy (Fornits Wiki)