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Survivor Accounts – Restraint

In the Diamond Ranch Academy Contract it clearly states that the employees intend to, within their own judgement of cause, restrain the child, as a...

In the Diamond Ranch Academy Contract it clearly states that the employees intend to, within their own judgement of cause, restrain the child, as a means of “discipline”. Diamond Ranch Academy takes no responsibility for the danger to health of the student in the use of these methods, and should a child be injured or in any case succumb to death, regardless of fault and responsibility, Diamond Ranch requires you to sign away your right to hold them accountable for their actions.

GUIDANCE AND DISCIPLINE: Sponsor authorizes Diamond Ranch Academy to guide and discipline

the Participant as deemed reasonably prudent by Diamond Ranch Academy, for the duration of the

Participant’s enrollment at Diamond Ranch Academy. Additionally, Sponsor authorizes Diamond Ranch

Academy to physically restrain the Participant should the Participant, in the judgment of Diamond Ranch

Academy, become a danger to self, others, or property…

The Sponsor hereby releases Diamond Ranch Academy, its officers, directors, employees or

agents from any liability for injury, illness, death, loss, costs, or other damage to the Participant during

participation or enrollment in the Diamond Ranch Academy Program.


These are the stories of survivors, children at the time of incident who were neither a danger to themselves or anyone else when they were physically restrained and intimidated into compliance with the threat of restraint. They were given no right to call for help, no medical attention for their injuries and no consideration of their rights as American citizens to be safe from harm under reasonable conditions. The use of face down and joint manipulation restraint has proven to be painful, traumatic and ineffective in controlling behavior. The fact that DRA uses, and reportedly misuses restraint as punishment and coercion is of grave concern for the safety of the children in the care.

I was a “student” at DRA for 17 months throughout 2004-2006. I witnessed a lot of unjust behavior from staff members and put up with a lot of verbal and mental abuse. Dont get me wrong, there were some awesome staff members who were there because they wanted to help teens and sooth them and make them happier and healthier, but most of them were fired for being “too nice” or easy on us… I was restrained twice during my time at the ranch. The most traumatic restraint was dont by Robby Dias. He was leading the “homeless” girls in some outdoor work and physical activities. We were all lined up and instructed to count off before we could proceed to our next location. I was depressed, tired, homesick and sick of being bullied around by all of the power hungry, money hungry, inconsiderate, thoughtless staff members that i tried to hold onto the little bit of self-worth, power, and dignity that I still had. I rebelled and refused to count off. Robby made the girls count off about 5 times to see if I would just consent and shout out my number…I never did. I was a 14 year old lost girl, confused as to why my parents who love me so dearly, would ever agree to send me to a place so horrible. Crying, I was dropped to the ground by Robby Dias, my face was slammed into the grass and dirt while he grabbed my arm and twisted it behind my back in a way that our bodies aren’t meant to be twisted. Not only was it extremely painful, it was belittling, embarrassing and unnecessary. I was not harming anyone, I’d been following all of the rules prior to this incident and I was not lashing about screaming and yelling or creating a scene. I just refused to say “5″.

– Greer

I was one of the teens that was being abused so badly, I had to escape. I made it almost a week until they caught me, and when I returned…I wished I would have died. They ruined my life. It is now 7 years later, and I still have flashbacks a few times a week.

– cjpat

Hi, im a former 8 month student at dra, i saw all of the horrors and mistreatment of students, was restrained at least 4 times, one of which was for a letter i had written collections of all the mistreatment to show my mom on my first visit. They found out and werent happy. Steve darveaux, grant, joe demke, and josh evans. Cant remember grants last name but those are the staff. Eye witness paul shneider, khalid rashid, JT lee.

– G. Anonymous

I saw the most f***ed up restraint one time. This kid, Christian who obviously had problems… like behavior problems needed a drink of water in unemployment and the staff wouldn’t let him. After politely asking to go get it for 30 minutes he walked out of the room to get a sip of water. The next thing I heard the loudest bang of him being slammed to the ground. The kid started screaming for help and the only thing that happened was more adults jumping on him. The screaming lasted about 5-10 minutes…

– Jawn

A staff member by the name of Bryant (I believe was his name) was called in, he threatened me told me that if I didn’t do as I was told it would be made much worse they would force me out of my clothes whether I liked it or not it was happening. I continued to refuse I had 4 staff slamming me to the ground by the end of it all trying to PULL MY CLOTHES OFF! As a 13 year old who had never been away from her mother for even a week, let alone something like this it will haunt me to this day! Eventually they quit fighting me and allowed me to change on my own in the closet. I’m not fully sure why they gave up the fight but they did thank goodness. I was then taken away and thrown into a dorm on my own with a staff watching me; I was woken up every hour and annoyed asked a million questions if I was going to hurt myself or others and I said no. The next morning I was woken up at 5 am forced to give the staff member my shoes as they took my laces from me due to being a suicide threat (ridiculous!) I spent a few days in homeless before I was given flip flops. I spent 28 DAYS in those things I’d go back to the dorm with bleeding feet crying because it hurt to bad to move my foot, the responses I would receive was not something anyone should be told “suck it up, quit being a crybaby, if you don’t stop crying i’m gonna give you a check, on and on” It was nightmarish. I spent 36 days total in homeless day after day of being restrained over literally anything and everything. The worst was a day I refused to take my vitamin. I was dragged outside of the girls big building had 6 staff shoving me to the ground twisting my wrist to the point I heard a loud pop and felt nothing but pain. I was screaming and crying from it my back was killing me, my wrist was unbearable pain, and I had a finger shoved behind my ear pressing so hard I was blacking out. I was told by Brigham that they would not stop until I stopped crying. I finally had managed to suck it up long enough to be let out of restraint. I immediately said I need to see the nurse, I just knew my wrist was broken (which was already starting to bruise severally). And as was common I was DENIED! You could plainly see it was broken! But I was refused and forced to do Calisthenics with my wrist being messed up. I would cry and continually receive checks, as well as continue being stuck on watch because “the constant crying meant I was a danger to myself and others”.

Paige S.

I was restrained for “running away”. I walked out of the dorm after only being at DRA for a couple hours, not knowing that it was going to be some huge thing. I saw two huge guys running at me, so I took the opportunity to sit down on a bench as a sign that I wasn’t trying to do anything. They tackled me off of the bench onto lava rocks, scraping me up a bit, and then bent my wrist back so far that I thought they were going to freaking break it.


My roommate was restrained numerous times for speaking out of turn, giving ” attitude” or crying. Another girl was restrained for not getting up and moving away from the door which they intended to lock to prevent her from running. She was crying to hard to get up so they picked her up and threw her into the middle of the floor. I saw a boy get his faced smashed into the turf and his arm twisted behind his back. I’m unsure why he was restrained.

…One girl said that she apologized in advance if she laughed, but it’s only because she was nervous. He said ” If anyone wants to laugh about one of my staff members being hurt, I tell you what, I am The PCS (positive control system) instructor, and I don’t care if you’re  a woman, I am not afraid to put my hands on you and it will be painful!” he went on to say that if it didn’t hurt, we wouldn’t be obedient.


I watched a girl get brutally assaulted by the staff. It traumatized me. Her screams were horrendous.

What reasons were these people restrained? (please describe actual events) – Back Talking was the biggest one.

My friend didn’t get out of bed so they dragged her down from the top bunk and broke her nose.


Where you aware of anyone being restrained and isolated from the group? – Myself and just about everybody in my program.  I met some bad kids there.  One time, one boy was forced out of class, being screamed all sorts of awful things, then tied down to a bed.  He kept screaming in anguish.  I felt for that kid, but out of fear, we couldn’t say or do anything.


When I got there I got restrained cause I did not take a vitamin they force everybody to have and while they had me face down in the rocks with blood running down my face, should, arms and legs they said it hurts them more than it hurts me. Bull crap.


my first day there as we were warming up for our 6:30 am calisthenics there was a “code red” which was a student running. A boy was trying to outrun a homeless staff on the boys campus. He was caught, restrained and even while he was barely moving, I guess he told the staff if they let go he would run again so the staff “Tucker” broke his wrist. Later that month, Tucker had to “leave” his DRA job.. I’m pretty sure the kids parents weren’t to happy.


I have seen a male physically restrain a girl while she screamed for him to get off her and started crying from the amount of force he applied to the restraint. I have seen friends restrained in urine while urinating due to lack of bathroom and being forced to drink a gallon of water daily.


And then there were the restraints. If you were out of line a staff could take you down and bend your wrist behind your back and apply pressure to “calm you down”. If you have never been in a bent wrist control hold basically it sucks. But then there were the kids that couldn’t help their actions. Mentally retarded kids aged 12, 13, and 14. I recount a student that was autistic. Very nice and caring kid. 13 years old. But couldn’t control his anger and energy. He has his outbursts and he was cranked just like anyone else. Except he got it way more than regular kids. He had a handicap. HE COULDN’T HELP IT. And yet he was still made to run and taken down when he thought he was not doing anything bad.


They use their power for control over us they know we can’t leave when we first get in so they use their power to push us around. As aggressive as they were I remember countless times they restrained girls for no reason one girl didn’t want to go to homeless and the staff cody grabbed her wrists and yelled at her then shoved her into the cart, so she hit him after, but it was provoked.

– DRA Survivor

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