Thursday, March 13, 2014

Logan River Academy: GTMO tactics as "residential treatment" - Anonymous investigates

"'The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.'
-Jimmy Carter

Logan River Academy, a private "residential treatment facility" and member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs or NATSAP (please note:  I don't see Joint Commission (JACHO), the Council on Accreditation (COA), and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), who accredit mental health programs and providers, noted in their literature), was founded, approximately 13 years ago, in the small college city of Logan City, Utah (population 126,442 as of 2010 census and home to Utah State University) ...

From their marketing website:

One of the Premier Residential Treatment Centers for Struggling Teens

Logan River Academy has a great deal of experience and success in helping boys and girls, ages 12-18, who are having difficulties in the home, community and school. We help students struggling with a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues including: autism spectrum disorders, adoption issues, anxiety, oppositional behavior, bipolar disorder, borderline issues, PTSD, substance abuse, depression, ADHD, impulse control, peer pressure, anger management, self-esteem, grief/loss issues, family relationships, communication, and academic struggles.

Adolescence is a period when individuals undergo intense moral, emotional, intellectual, and physical transformation. It is a particularly challenging phase because, as children change into adults, they begin to form a sense of individuality. These changes can cause emotional upheavals and confusion for the teenagers and their families alike.

That is why, as one of the leading schools for struggling teens, we are committed to helping teenagers cope with their feelings of fear, anger, and anxiety.

Balance Is Essential for Lasting Change

Logan River Academy is a residential treatment center that aims to help struggling teens sustain a healthy and balanced life. Our focus for the adolescents we serve is to see them happy and productive. We are aware that emotional and behavioral issues are difficult to deal with when combined with the pressures of daily life.

We are among the premier schools for struggling teens and we have successfully developed a program that helps teenagers who have gone astray get their life back on track. We do that by combining an environment that is conducive to positive change with a highly effective clinical and academic program.

A Safe Environment for Growth

Our program emphasizes a balance between a structured residential environment, therapy provided by licensed clinicians, and a fully accredited school with certified teachers. As a residential treatment center for struggling teens, we strongly believe a balanced approach with strength in these three areas is essential in achieving lasting change. We incorporate all three crucial elements into each student’s individualized treatment plan. In addition to our general residential treatment program we offer separate specialized programs for the following:
  • An Autism Spectrum Disorder Program 
  • A Separate Girls Program–The Country Home
  • Tavasi–A transitional living program for boys
Our adolescent residential treatment center and struggling teen boarding school is composed of concerned and highly skilled professionals who strive to create a nurturing environment at our campus. Each of us is dedicated to helping our students achieve stability and happiness by teaching them the skills essential to becoming a productive individual.

If you are looking for a treatment center or boarding school for a struggling teen that completely understands your needs, look no further than Logan River Academy. Give us a call at 1-866-755-8400 today.
Sounds like a wonderful, healing experience for troubled youth, right?

I am sure that is what Michael Joseph Carter's family thought before Michael was admitted to Logan River:

Sure, this is one experience...and as those of us, with any experience in dealing with "troubled youth" (acting out adolescents) know, some adolescents -especially those locked into their acting out and opposition - exaggerate and lie as they try to manipulate the system.  That could explain this away...well, at least until one hears or reads testimonials from parents, professionals and former "students," aka, "Survivors".....

From Shutdown Logan River...Testimonials and Commentary:
Logan River Academy Parents and other Adults:

P. J. Jobin - Fairfax, VA - 2013-11-01

"We actually chose to send our son to Logan River Academy, after paying an experienced Educational Consultant who highly recommended it... The decision was the worst we have ever made, as our intention was to HELP our son, NOT punish him. We very quickly learned that the living environment at LRA was negative and hateful. There were only a couple of staff members who seemed to care at all (one has since left); but the rest--especially the dorm staff--used their size (frustrated ex-athletes) and authority to intimidate and emotionally torture the boys who actually NEEDED understanding and emotional support more than anything else. --Plus, for a place that calls itself a "residential treatment center", there was very little actual therapy or 'treatment' at all. We pulled our son after only 5 months, the last 3 of which were spent primarily in "devo" (solitary). Unbelievably, when he/we told them he was leaving at the end of the month, they put him directly into "devo" because of what they labeled as "discharge attitude"! --Thankfully, he is now thriving at home, attending a small high school that treats students with respect and dignity--something Logan River Academy knows little about. --But he bears permanent emotional scars that I/we will not forgive LRA for."

Nathalie Polakoff - Los Angeles, CA - 2013-11-06

"My son was sent to that facility by Los Angeles Superior Court order. He told me he witnessed terrible things happening at Logan [River] Academy."

Roslynn Martin - Westborough, MA - 2013-11-19

"My cousin's son is there. He is not getting the care and help he truly needs."

Tania Dangtran - Sparks, NV - 2013-11-07

"Abuses to friend' son at this facility. Solitary confinement is cruel torture!"


J Christine Schneider - Los Angeles, CA - 2013-11-06

"I am a mother and a child psychiatrist. These practices are cruel and must be brought to light. There is no place for them in any institution."

Michele Miller - SLC, UT - 2014-03-13

Because Utah is a haven for greedy men who set up these prisons for adolescents where they are allowed to be abused mentally and physically and it's called therapy. NOTHING ABOUT WHAT GOES ON AT LOGAN RIVER AS DESCRIBED BY THE YOUNG MAN ON THE VIDEO IS THERAPEUTIC! These 'therapists' need to be investigated by DOPL and these schools, institutions, etc. need to be investigated often and randomly by the state to be sure that no abuses are occurring. Including abuses of power, which is what these people are doing. Every person involved in tormenting, torturing, physically assaulting or in all other ways subjecting these kids to emotional and physical abuse needs to be charged with those crimes. They also need to be reported to and excommunicated from the LDS church. These adults and students are the complete opposite of what someone who allegedly follows Christ. They are sadistic and obviously have huge anger issues of their own. Places like this need to be shut down now! Has this place been reported to the state for abuse? No parent has the right to pay people to abuse their child. I'm a therapist and have been for 32 years. What this young man is describing is like a POW camp and is as traumatic as one.

Jenny Powers - RN, BSN, BA-Psychology - 2013-11-20

"'The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.'
-Jimmy Carter

As a Psychiatric RN and member of this society, I firmly believe that Logan River Academy must not only be shut down, but must also be held accountable for the human rights abuses of the vulnerable youth who have suffered in its facility.

My heartfelt wishes for the healing and recovery of its survivors."

Troy Burnett - Kelseyville, CA - 2013-11-22

"This is important to me because I worked in human services for 25+ years, in a variety of positions, serving children and adults with a variety of labels. Institutions and group homes are not the answer, even under the best of circumstances. They are real-life Zimbardo studies without end."

Melody Dunn - Dale, TX - 2013-11-14

"I worked at a residential treatment facility for children for four years in in Texas and this place is ridiculous. Shut them down."

Eric Quintero - Sgt / USMC - Glenview, IL - 2013-11-14
"These are extreme human rights violations and the offenders should be tried with Crimes Against Humanity. These violations of moral decency are beyond reproach!
The cowardly "men" guilty of this mass child abuse operation lack all decent moral conviction and thus deserve every ounce of wrath the courts can muster against them."

April Morrow - Indianapolis, IN - 2013-11-02

"As an employee working in residential treatment I understand the challenges. However, children entrusted in our care deserve dignity and respect we would give our own kids. Keep the standard high."

Gregory Sacca - MSW, LCSW - Somerville, MA - 2013-10-06

"As a social worker who works with children who often have cognitive and emotional difficulties I find that this is certainly not a therapeutic environment for a youth in need of help.
Gregory Sacca, MSW, LCSW"

Minki Kleinman - Brooklyn, NY - 2013-11-04

"As a special educator I know there are better ways to teach children. NO CHILD should be hurt emotionally in the name of education, EVER."

John Parton - Culver City, CA - 2013-10-12

"I'm actually working on a documentary about the troubled teen industry, and shit like this makes me sick.These centers are almost totally unregulated, and abuse runs rampant. And I'm gonna sign damn near anything that advocates redress of these hellholes."

Benjamin Brown Esq. - Pleasantville, NY - 2013-10-15

"Really shocked to learn of these practices, and of the involvement of a major public school district in them... 'Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants...' I hope this Petition brings attention to the methods of LRA and similar institutions, so the public can decide if they should be allowed to continue."

Stephanie Mann - Alameda, CA - 2013-11-05

"Children learn behavior from adults. Adults... empower youth so they take full responsibility for their behavior. I wrote a book on this topic."

Survivors - former "students":

Max R.Date: October 7, 2013 at 11:19:09 PM EDT
Subject: Re: First Hand Survivor of LRA
I was admitted in to LRA on July 3rd 2012 and discharged on August 27th 2013. I am now in a boarding school. I was not court ordered but my parents hired transporters to remove me from my home by force. The transporters treated me well and drove me all the way from Houston, Texas to Logan, Utah. Upon entering LRA I was strip searched down to my boxers, and I was then ordered to use my fingers to outstretch all the waist band of my boxers outward to ensure there weren't any hidden contraband items. A staff named Darby Golden was extremely physically abusive when it came to PI's and would throw fists and slam kids heads onto the wooden floors, often causing blood and scarring. Please do not use my name if investigating this (Darby Golden quit soon before I discharged). I got along with a staff named Chandler Olsen, he was one of the few staff who actually cared about the well being of his students. Staff like Andrew Burris had zero regard for our well being and were emotionally abusive to the students they didn't like. I graduated the program by achieving the highest level..."

From a different individual, also named Max R.

"Also I want to call this place out for something horrible they did right before I was released. I will respectfully leave out all names. Around July of 2007 a 17 year old girl who had previously been released was readmitted. Apparently before she was readmitted she started talking to one of the staff members on myspace. They talked for months and when she was readmitted they decided to have sexual relations. I don't like to get in other people business, but the response from LRA was so disgusting I have to share it. Soon after it happened everyone at LRA found out. I guess the therapist and staff members wanted to keep it on the hush because we were told if we talked about it we would receive class IV for program corruption. It was terrible we couldn’t even tell our parents. The most appalling part of this whole ordeal though, was how they dealt with the staff member. Instead of firing him and risking the story leaking, they allowed him to continue working there under the promise that he wouldn't go on the girls floors. Not only is that really messed up, but it proves that they really don't care about anything, but their own asses."

Cristina L Mota - Velasco - 2013-11-12

"I was put on "devo" for over 6 months and i wasn’t able to talk to anyone. I claim that was not legal butthey keep telling me that as long as I eat and shower all was legal I was on depression and no one did anything to help me I cried all day long day and night I hated it I could talk to my parents and if I did they said it was bull shit just to manipulate them to get me out of there, they just put me on some meds devo was HELL !!!! just a little white room more than 6 months while my parents paid thousands and i couldn't do ANYTHING or they would RESTRAIN me the worst experience ever the saddest worthless meaningless I don’t wish anyone go through that I even developed a panic disorder in devo."

Troy Jobin - Fairfax, VA - 2013-11-01

"I went to this so called school/jail and I was put in a solitary confinement a.k.a development for over 3 months at a time. I'm now free from this school and feel amazing but I don't think any person in the world deserves to go that place. STOP LRA NOW!!!"

Grace McGrade - Los Angeles, CA - 2013-11-08

"I was a LRA from Oct 2011 to April 2013. I was emotionally traumatized. Let it be noted that the females at this facility suffer a different kind of shame and abuse. We were always given harsher punishments, had to abide by different and more limiting rules, and were never allowed to have conversations without staff present. I spent at least half of my time in DEVO."

Britton Danton

"LRA is an awful place.. I'll do whatever I can to save Michael from the bs and mental and physical torment that he's in for.. "

Lucas Conrad - Richmond, Virginia - 2013-11-11

"I was a student there. The things that I witnessed were damn near from a horror scene at times. The staff members (BYU students) would pick out autistic students and physically and psychologically fuck with them to the point where they would be in tears crying. I spent 7 months of my time in devo for trying to run from this pitiful excuse of a treatment facility."

Brian Collins - Austin, TX - 2013-10-23

"I was a victim of this program. I was mentally tortured and still have a scar that will never go away."

Allison Holleman - San Ramon, CA - 2013-10-22

"I've been there. It's awful. Over 10 years ago. 2002"

Vlad I. - San Jose, CA - 2013-10-06

"This program and place is a horrible excuse to destroy any chance of working on whatever you need to. I saw kids getting abused, injected, and neglected at this horrible place. worst year of my life."

Mary Elizabeth Grillo - Coalinga, CA - 2013-11-06

"Oh cool wish I had family that cared as much as you do. Any ? Ask me spent like 2 years in DEVO and 1 out

I was there 9/2/07-10/31/09"

Meredith Cohen - Spokane, WA - 2013-11-14

"I endured the abuses of this facility for 18 months the first time and 2 months the second time. Please save our youth who are trapped in this ugly system from long-term damage."

Evelyn S. - Newport Beach, CA - 2013-12-26

"Well I was sent by my IEP, which meant my stay at Logan River Academy was funded by them, the transportation was arranged by them, and they determined how long I was enrolled at LRA. Officially on paper, I had an IEP for diagnosed depression. My psychiatrist at the time was the one who recommended getting an IEP so schools would accommodate to my needs and make it easier for me to attend school, because he found the depression to be debilitating. And it was, I struggled with everyday life things, even attending class was extremely stressful for me. Although I think he was trying to help, I didn't know know that having an IEP would eventually allow them to send me to Logan River Academy. Yes, escort services are common for kids being sent to residential treatment facilities. I was woken up at about four in the morning with two strangers in my room. A female and a large male. Escort agencies purposely hire physically intimating males to scare the kids into compliance. They didn't tell me where I was going, just that I was going to Utah. I was only allowed to change. Maybe it was because I was exhausted, or maybe it was because I understood I didn't have a choice, but I didn't resist..."

 And these are just some of the testimonials .....

Our friendly freedom fighters from the Collective known as Anonymous investigate:

Logan River may be the posterchild for abuse claiming to be "mental health treatment" but it is not a "one off"...

From a briefing held in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., Capitol Hill, February 2009, "Abuse of Youth in Residential Placements: A Call to Action", sponsored by the Alliance for the Safe, Therapeutic, and Appropriate Use of Residential Treatment on (ASTART) and co-sponsored by the Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth (CAFETY), "Abuse of Youth in Residential Treatment"

........... Just a small part of the briefing.

In 2007, even the GAO did a full report on the abuses in these "Treatment Programs" as they reviewed multiple deaths and claims of abuse (that report can be found "here"...)

One can find more on conferences, testimony and action - or inaction -  by an ineffectual government "here"...

Some of the abuses found at many of these "Treatment Programs"  include:

•   Murder (homicide)
•   Enslavement
•   Deportation or forcible transfer
•   Imprisonment or severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law
•   Torture
•   Rape, forced pregnancy, forced abortions
•   Persecution against persons not of Christian faith, especially those of Jewish faith
•   Persecution of persons who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered
•   Enforced disappearance of persons
•   Other inhumane acts that intentionally cause great suffering, or serious injury to body, to mental or physical health
•   Psychological, emotional, and sexual trauma leading to suicide.

But we continue to send our youth to them...

One of the biggest issues is the privatization movement and the use of our courts to fill private, often religion based, facilities that receive government money but have few watchdogs...

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 repealed Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the federal cash assistance program, and replaced it with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a cash assistance program primarily operated by the individual states.  Prior to PRWORA, determination of which applicants qualified for federal benefits was performed by a public agency staff in civil service. (Title I, Section 104)  President George W. Bush’s “Charitable Choice” Faith-based initiative was intended to reduce the size of government, but not necessarily the amount spent.  His applied method shifted the responsibility for delivery of numerous social services from government agencies to newly-recognized, Faith-based organizations.

Privatization of social services by delegation to contractors and subcontractors for service provision raises due process and accountability issues. Social service programs involve provision of adequate food, adequate clothing, adequate shelter, and minimal preventive public health care.  Although the government has been viewed as the most obvious provider of these programs, faith-based programs have also frequently provided services to those in need including residential treatment.

The use of subcontractors or outsourcing has often been used to abdicate social and moral responsibility.  There are significant legal, political and economic advantages to the perpetrator of human rights abuses, of using subcontractors, because it ultimately helps obscure the relationship between the perpetrator and the actual act.  It is a politically valuable device, because even if abuses are exposed, it will frequently look as if someone else (the contractor) was responsible.  This ultimately makes it difficult to hold a violator legally accountable and to be able to apply appropriate sanctions.  Thus the very effective human rights tactic of public shaming, in these circumstances, often becomes ineffective.  Outsourcing to contractors permits the perpetrators to ignore the societal norms and to conceal the perpetrators breach of those norms.  In addition, it legally protects perpetrators from both legal prosecution and embarrassment.  Subcontracting to corporations providing services such as prisons, healthcare and the military are particularly problematic, as in these settings there is reduced transparency to the public and less scrutiny by law enforcement.  When operated as a for profit business, cost reductions can lead to inadequate care, lack of adequate programming and abuse.  Outsourcing allows the perpetrator to not just abdicate responsibility but also assists the aggressor in maintaining a respectable public persona in the public eye. This often amounts to abuse of state-sanctioned power and authority.  Often outsourcing is presented to the public as necessary to cut costs. The use of subcontractors makes it more difficult to determine who is responsible for abuses and these cases are very complex."

And so it goes - privatized, de-regulated and social services defunded...

Bringing it all back home to Logan River Academy....

On-going reports of extensive use of solitary confinement (aka, "Precaution" and "Development"), physical abuse and "faith based" indoctrination .... legitimized and funded by judicial systems, insurance companies and your friendly social services safety net...

Help us stop the abuse. #ShutdownLoganRiver

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