Copper Canyon Academy Survivor Survey – Anonymous
Date of Submission: 01-01-05
Do you wish to grant further testimony to investigators? – No.
Age and year of admittance – 14 years old, 2005
How long was your stay at Copper Canyon Academy? – 4 months
How long have you been back home? – Many years
Did you graduate the program? – No
Before the program did you have a serious drug problem? Please describe severity – No, not at all.
Before the program were you admitted to any other residential treatment, for instance a mental hospital? – Yes.
Before the program did you have a criminal record or spend time in Juvenile Hall? – Yes.
Where you court ordered, or did your parents choose to send you to the program? – My parents sent me against my will.
Did you consent to treatment at CCA? Did you sign a contract? – Absolutely not.
Was there a medical admissions process? Please describe – No.
Were your medical records considered before you were admitted into the program.? – No.
Were you strip searched? How many times? – Yes, at least twice.
How much was your tuition? – I wouldn’t even consider it an education. The academics are pathetic.
In your opinion were the teachers, good teachers? Did they have degrees and certifications? – N/A
Were your tests open book, multiple choice tests? Would you consider them easy to pass? -
How many school credits did you earn in what period of time? -
Did you receive a diploma from CCA? – No
Was a certified medical professional available to students at their request? – No, I was denied medical attention on numbers occasions.
Were proper check ups, dental cleaning, and medication observation appointments held regularly? – No and your parents were informed that CCA would take care of it, but they don’t.
If you got sick were you given adequate treatment and rest? – ‘No rest for the sick’
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? – No.
What is the name of your case manager/ “Therapist”? Did they have degrees/ licenses? What were their qualifications before taking the job at CCA? – He was a retired veteran. Thats all I know. There were no licenses posted anywhere.
Was group therapy considered to be of a confrontational nature? – Yes, it was not a nurturing or safe environment.
Do you feel you were forced to confess to things you did not do in order to progress in the program? – The whole time I confessed to things in attempt to progress in the program.
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, for those who qualified.
Were students encouraged to accept a “higher power” contingent to their recovery? – No it was frowned upon.
In your opinion, How was the food quality? Was it prepared properly? Were safety and health codes followed in the kitchen? – No, the children were in charge of cleaning, preparing and serving the food.
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? -
Did you gain a lot of weight? Were you forced to eat more than you were able to eat? – I was so malnourished upon my return from CCA. It took months of detoxing to eat normal healthy food without my body rejecting it.
Were you ever punished for vomiting? – Yes. It is your responsibility to vomit in the bathroom. If you don’t make it there in time, expect to me in trouble.
Please describe the “Work Hour” experience. How did you feel about this? – The work hour experience is too emotional for me to go into detail about.. It is not a place I would like to think about.
I hope that you can understand.
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? – Yes.
Where you aware of anyone being restrained and/ or isolated from the group? – Yes.
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? – Yes, you are not able to be passive towards anyone including staff.
Please describe “Staff Buddy”, “The Desert Process” and the purpose of the yellow/ orange construction vests.-
(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, my letters were opened, read and edited.
How long before you were able to speak to your parents on the phone? Were your phone calls monitored? – I had no phone calls. I was denied those privileges
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, i tried to hide letters in between pieces of paper so that the staff wouldn’t notice. But it failed and i was punished.
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? – My parents were misguided.
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. They make you sleep on the floor, in the center of the room.
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, don’t even dare to not ask permission.
How often were you allowed to speak freely? Were you not allowed to speak with others in your group? – NO WAY ARE YOU ALLOWED TO SPEAK FREELY
Did you have to walk in line? How often? Were there consequences if you did not line up properly? – Yes
Would you be given a consequence if you forgot something? (for instance, a pen or a book) – Work Hours! Lots of them
Were your personal items inspected by other students? (upper levels?) without your consent or presence? – Yes. All of my belongings.
Do you believe that the staff and junior staff usually acted within the US standards for health, safety and well being of the students? – Absolutely not
Considering long term effects, do you think your experience at CCA has an effect on your life today? Positive or negative? – I suffer daily from flashbacks of my experience at CCA. I haven’t been able to return to the state since. CCA did nothing but hinder my emotional growth.