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Survivor Survey – Anonymous 4

Copper Canyon Academy Survivor Survey – Anon

Date of Submission: 9/10/12

 

Do you wish to grant further testimony to investigators? – Yes.

 

Age and year of admittance – Age:14 2008-2009

 

How long was your stay at Copper Canyon Academy? – 11 months

 

How long have you been back home? – 4 years

 

Did you graduate the program? – Yes

 

Before the program did you have a serious drug problem? Please describe severity – Yes. Addiction to Coke and heroin.

 

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? – One citation underage sex

 

Where you court ordered, or did your parents choose to send you to the program? – My parents chose to send me

 

Did you consent to treatment at CCA? Did you sign a contract? – No

 

Was there a medical admissions process? Please describe – Probably

 

Were your medical records considered before you were admitted into D.R.A.? – Not that I know of

 

Were you strip searched? How many times? – No

 

How much was your tuition? – Yes

 

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? – Some test were difficult. Math was difficult but we could use notes

 

How many school credits did you earn in what period of time? – Sixty five for the eleven months

 

Did you receive a diploma from CCA? – 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? – Yes

 

If you got sick were you given adequate treatment and rest? – Sometimes. Most of the time they told us to drink water

 

Were you ever refused medical care because staff said that you were “faking it”? – I wasn’t but someone else was even though she was having seizures

 

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! Anyone who had drug abuse had to go

 

What is the name of your case manager/ “Therapist”? Did they have degrees/ licenses? What were their qualifications before taking the job at CCA? – Rod Adams. Not sure of qualifications but he was great!

 

Was group therapy considered to be of a confrontational nature? – Sometimes

 

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? – It was kind of an unsaid requirement. Therapist thought that you’d make progress if you said that.

 

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

 

Were students encouraged to accept a “higher power” contingent to their recovery? – No

 

In your opinion, How was the food quality? Was it prepared properly? Were safety and health codes followed in the kitchen? – Yes. It wasn’t always amazing and sometimes it made me constipated but it’s better than my moms cooking

 

Did you ever go hungry? Were you given proper portions? Was food ever withheld as a punishment? Please describe “Non-Compliant” meals. How many days in a row were you on “Non-Compliant” meals? – Never

 

Did you gain a lot of weight? Were you forced to eat more than you were able to eat? – Yes and sometimes because if you didn’t finish most of your food and you refused to eat it you’d get either a work hour or non compliant meals

 

Were you ever punished for vomiting? – No but some other girl was

 

Please describe the “Work Hour” experience. How did you feel about this? – I dot know what this is

 

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? – Never to babysit. But when I was on level three and four I lived in a staff members house with five other girls for transition

 

Where you aware of anyone being restrained and/ or isolated from the group? – Retrained And isolated

 

What reasons were these people restrained/ isolated/ made to sit in stress positions? (please describe actual events) Where stress positions utilized? Were there more time in isolation given if the student would move, cry or speak? – Restraints from running which lead to staff buddy which I guess you could say is isolation because they couldn’t talk or sit next to anyone who wasn’t staff. They had to be within arms length of staff at all times

 

Please describe “Staff Buddy”, “The Desert Process” and the purpose of the yellow/ orange construction vests.- Staff buddy is when you have to be within arms lenth of a staff at all times. You cant talk to anyone other than staff and level fours. I don’t know what the desert process is. The yellow jackets were to draw attention to the student in case they ran

 

(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. You only talked to your parents with your therapist. Emails were sometimes read and notes were taken on you if there was somethig bad in th letter

 

How long before you were able to speak to your parents on the phone? Were your phone calls monitored? – A month. Five minutes on christmas

 

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 and yes. However on level four I told them I wanted to leave but I never got in trouble but I think that’s because my letter was never read by a staff member because they trusted me.

 

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? – Upper levels watched you while you went to your room an had to go to the room with you when you went to the bathroom. We were told to hold people accountable. I know this is bad but the only way to move up was to throw other people under the bus. To point out what others were doing wrong so people could think you were doing good.

 

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? – Never to raise your hand. But you had to get permission for everything. If you were a lower level and an upper level couldnt take you somewerw you had to wait

 

How often were you allowed to speak freely? Were you not allowed to speak with others in your group? – Hardly ever. If you ever said something offensive to any one really you’d get in trouble

 

Did you have to walk in line? How often? Were there consequences if you did not line up properly? – All the time! We got work hours or we were late for fiber or breakfast

 

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

 

Were your personal items inspected by other students? (upper levels?) without your consent or presence? – I used to help staff do inventory of new students belongings.

 

(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? – Approval from staff and students were required. Not so much students. But you got more freedoms like walking to class alone or to your room alone. You had to do level work and do well in the house

 

What kind of staff responsibilities were upper levels given? – Watch some students, help inventory students property

 

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

 

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 “held accountable” under a category that was vague enough to be given out for any number of things? – Rules could easily be made up

 

Were you punished/ held back if you chose not to tattle or pass out citations, and opted to verbally warn students instead? – Yes. It would be considered not taking your job as an upper level seriously

 

Did an upper level have to power to influence a child put onto “staff buddy” or into any isolation process? 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? – Yes. Probably level drop

 

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? – They would just be demoted a level unless on serious cases. Things like cutting, relapsing, stealing

 

Please describe your seminar experience. – Seminars were the best part! I did all three and my parents attended one. A third party did it and the seminars were more helpful than anything

 

What are your opinions of the owners/ Directors of CCA? – I love them and they are great

 

Do you believe that the program acting within the means of “Tough Love” was appropriate treatment for you in your adolescence? – Yes! I followed the rules so the treatment wash bad for me. I got work hours and was dropped twice but it’s ok, it was fair

 

Do you believe that the staff and junior staff usually acted within the US standards for health, safety and well being of the students? – Not always

 

Considering long term effects, do you think your experience at DRA has an effect on your life today? Positive or negative? – Positive