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DRA Survey – Michael B.

Diamond Ranch Academy Survivor Survey – Michael B. Date of Submission: 08-01-15 Do you wish to grant further testimony to investigators?...

Diamond Ranch Academy Survivor Survey – Michael B.

Date of Submission: 08-01-15

Do you wish to grant further testimony to investigators? – No.

Age and year of admittance – 18, admitted in 2013 returned (forced) in 2014

How long was your stay at D.R.A.? – A total of almost 19 month

How long have you been back home? – 6 months in a span of 2 years

Did you graduate from DRA? – Yes, the program the first stay, highschool the second

Before the program did you have a serious drug problem? Please describe severity – No

Before the program were you admitted to any other residential treatment, for instance a mental hospital? – Yes, Cross Creek residential treatment center

Before the program did you have a criminal record or spend time in Juvenile Hall? – No

Where you court ordered, or did your parents choose to send you to DRA? – Parents chose to transfer me after Cross Creek was shut down by legal notice issues

Did you consent to treatment at DRA? Did you sign a contract? – No, I was informed that I was going to DRA 15 before I left Cross Creek

Was there a medical admissions process? Please describe – Yes, they drug test you, test your eye sight and check your vitals

Were your medical records considered before you were admitted into DRA? – No

Were you strip searched? How many times? – Yes, every time I returned from a visit (4 times total)

How much was your tuition? Close to 100,000 dollars

Considering how much your tuition cost, Do you think you were given an adequate education at DRA.? – Some what

In your opinion were the teachers, good teachers? Did they have degrees and certifications? – No teachers displayed certification in their subjects

Were your tests open book, multiple choice tests? Would you consider them easy to pass? – Multiple choice, yes they were easy

How many school credits did you earn in what period of time? – 18.4 credits

Did you receive a diploma from DRA? – Yes

Was a certified medical professional available to students at their request? – No

Were proper check ups, dental cleaning, and medication observation appointments held regularly? – No

If you got sick were you given adequate treatment and rest? – No

Were you ever refused medical care because staff said that you were “faking it”? – Yes, multiple times

Was a medical service offered for drug detox or drug rehabilitation? – No

Was there any kind of “Drug Education” available for students who had used drugs in the past? – Very little

What is the name of your case manager/ “Therapist”? Did they have degrees/ licenses? What were their qualifications before taking the job at DRA? – Brent Holmes, yes he had degrees in criminal psychology

Was group therapy considered to be of a confrontational nature? – No

Do you feel you were forced to confess to things you did not do in order to progress in the program? – Yes

Were students encouraged to accept that they were alcoholics or drug addicts? Was this required to advance in the program? – Yes

Were students encouraged to follow a 12 step program in order to earn levels and graduate the program – Yes

Were students encouraged to accept a “higher power” contingent to their recovery? – Yes

In your opinion, How was the food quality? Was it prepared properly? Were safety and health codes followed in the kitchen? – Poor, no it was not prepared properly

Did you ever go hungry? Were you given proper portions? Was food ever withheld as a punishment? – Yes, no proper portions, yes food was withheld

Did you gain a lot of weight? Were you forced to eat more than you were able to eat? – No, I lost weight at DRA

Were you ever punished for vomiting? – No

Please describe the “homeless” (Observation & Assessment) experience. How did you feel about this? – They separated the students, denied contact, and made them follow strict rules and restrictions if they didn’t they would restrain the student

Were upper levels or any level students asked to babysit the staff’s children, or taken to the staff’s house for any extended period of time? – No

Where you aware of anyone being restrained and isolated from the group? – Yes

What reasons were these people restrained? (please describe actual events) – For saying f*** and refusing to do chores

Where stress positions utilized? Were there more time in isolation given if the student would move, cry or speak? – Yes, multiple pressure points and the twisting of the wrist at unnatural angles

(Please describe the rules and structure that would pertain to a level 1 student.)

Was contact with your parents limited? Where your letters (to and from) intercepted? Were your letters opened, read, crossed out or cut? – Yes contact was restricted

How long before you were able to speak to your parents on the phone? Were your phone calls monitored? – 20 days

If you felt you were being abused, was there anyway you could get to a phone and have a private conversation with your parents, child services or an officer of the law? – No

If you wanted to leave were you discouraged to tell your parents how you felt? Were you afraid that you would be punished if you were to describe any incidents of abuse to your parents? – Yes

Were there other students (upper levels) assigned to watch over you? What was their role? Did they give you consequences/ “hold you accountable”? Were they instructed to restrain you or monitor the isolation area, bathrooms and showers? – Yes

Did you have to raise your hand and wait to ask permission from staff (or upper levels) to speak, stand, eat, go to the bathroom and do other normal activities? – Yes

How often were you allowed to speak freely? Were you not allowed to speak with others in your group? – About twice a day for about an hour

Did you have to walk in line? How often? Were there consequences if you did not line up properly? – Yes, Every time we changed locations in the building

Would you be given a consequence if you forgot something? (for instance, a pen or a book) – Yes

Were your personal items inspected by other students? (upper levels?) without your consent or presence? – Yes

(Please describe the rules and structure that would pertain to an “upper level” student.)

What were the requirements in order to progress in the level system? Was approval from the other upper levels required? – They had complete freedom and were allowed to do what they want when they wanted.

What kind of staff responsibilities were upper levels given? – Almost all staff responsibilities

Were upper levels required to give out consequences, citations or to hold lower levels accountable for minor rule violations? – Yes

Were the rules upper levels enforced specific to the rule book or were the definitions of those rules assumed? Could rules easily be made up or given under a category that was vague enough to be given out for any number of things? – Assumed, yes they could easily be made up

Were you punished/ held back if you chose not to pass out citations, and opted to verbally warn students instead? – Yes

Did an upper level have to power to influence a child being taken to the isolation room? Were upper levels instructed to watch or participate in restraints? – No

Were upper levels required to give visiting parents a glowing testimonial of their experience in the program, or make testimonial videos or letters? Were pre-written scripts required to be read during the filming of promotional videos? – Yes

What would happen if an upper level student mentioned anything bad about the program in front of a parent? Were students afraid of punishment if they told the truth? – They would be restrained and dropped in levels

How easily could an upper level get dropped (start the program over)? What infractions would make an upper level drop and what level did they usually go back to? – Easily, for saying “No” to a staff

What are your opinions of the owners/ Directors of D.R.A? – Never met them

Do you believe that the program acting within the means of “Tough Love” was appropriate treatment for you in your adolescence? – No

Do you believe that the staff and junior staff usually acted within the US standards for health, safety and well being of the students? – No

Considering long term effects, do you think your experience at DRA has an effect on your life today? Positive or negative?Yes, it depends, I am a high school graduate


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