Diamond Ranch Academy Survivor Survey – Kayla S.
Date of Submission: 10-26-14
Do you wish to grant further testimony to investigators? – Yes.
Age and year of admittance – 15 years old when admitted
2012 year when admitted.
How long was your stay at D.R.A.? – 2 weeks short of 2 years
How long have you been back home? – 10 months
Did you graduate from DRA? – Kinda…
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? – No
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 send me
Did you consent to treatment at DRA? Did you sign a contract? – No
Was there a medical admissions process? Please describe – Yes
Were your medical records considered before you were admitted into DRA? – No
Were you strip searched? How many times? – Yes… Too many times to keep track of or remember.
How much was your tuition? $10,000 for 8 months.
Considering how much your tuition cost, Do you think you were given an adequate education at DRA.? – No
In your opinion were the teachers, good teachers? Did they have degrees and certifications? – Yes
Were your tests open book, multiple choice tests? Would you consider them easy to pass? – No and sometimes
How many school credits did you earn in what period of time? – 18 credits.
Did you receive a diploma from DRA? – No
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.
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? – Yes
What is the name of your case manager/ “Therapist”? Did they have degrees/ licenses? What were their qualifications before taking the job at DRA? – Rebecca Phillips, yes, I don’t know…
Was group therapy considered to be of a confrontational nature? – Yes
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. And no… Codes were not followed
Did you ever go hungry? Were you given proper portions? Was food ever withheld as a punishment? – Yes, no and no
Did you gain a lot of weight? Were you forced to eat more than you were able to eat? – I lost a lot of weight. And yes I was forced to eat when I felt I could not or did not feel good…
Were you ever punished for vomiting? – Yes
Please describe the “homeless” (Observation & Assessment) experience. How did you feel about this? – It was cruel and unusual punishment.
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) – Refusals, fights, “faking” an illness, walking away from a situation.
Where stress positions utilized? Were there more time in isolation given if the student would move, cry or speak? – Yes
(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 to ALL!
How long before you were able to speak to your parents on the phone? Were your phone calls monitored? – 1 month at least.
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 and no.
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? – Not very often! It was rare
Did you have to walk in line? How often? Were there consequences if you did not line up properly? – Yes. Almost always.
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? – Yes and it was a very long process
What kind of staff responsibilities were upper levels given? – Citations, holding “lower levels” accountable.
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 and yes
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? – Yes and 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? – YES! We were always afraid of that!
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? – A lot. It was very easy to get dropped.
What are your opinions of the owners/ Directors of D.R.A? – Arrogant ass holes.
Do you believe that the program acting within the means of “Tough Love” was appropriate treatment for you in your adolescence? – No… Abuse is a better term to describe it.
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?Negative…. I have PTSD from DRA.