Copper Canyon Academy Survivor Survey – Cjp
Date of Submission: 1-7-13
Do you wish to grant further testimony to investigators? – Yes.
Age and year of admittance – 15. 2004
How long was your stay at Copper Canyon Academy? – Couldnt have been longer than three months. I was arrested and taken away for false reports of domestic violence on a woman staff member who was an awful person and had been seen using excessive force, picking on students and making fun of people. She had short blonde hair. Wanna say Bobbie or Barbie…
How long have you been back home? – 6 years
Did you graduate the program? – No
Before the program did you have a serious drug problem? Please describe severity – Daily marijuana, weekly alcohol. Had used meth cocaine ecstasy and painkillers several times. If there was any kind of drug being offered I was taking it.
Before the program were you admitted to any other residential treatment, for instance a mental hospital? – Yes several times to mental facilities for blackout rage and severe depression, along with visits to psychologists/psychiatrists
Before the program did you have a criminal record or spend time in Juvenile Hall? – No, I was arrested and taken to Julie from copper canyon.
Where you court ordered, or did your parents choose to send you to the program? – My mom begged me to come look at a boarding school and dropped me off and left. That still hurts to this day, I felt abandoned and since I was not allowed to speak to her I felt confused and hurt as of why she did this.
Did you consent to treatment at CCA? Did you sign a contract? – No.
Was there a medical admissions process? Please describe – No. I was given an intake and that is all.
Were your medical records considered before you were admitted into the program? – Perhaps, I’m not sure. I constantly complained of stomach pain and nothing was done. Upon leaving I had a physical and found out I had gastroenteritis (painful inflammation of the stomach and digestive system) and has severe peptic and esophageal ulcers that were so severe I still have problems.
Were you strip searched? How many times? – 2 that I can recall, I was heavily medicated much of the time and have blocked a lot out.
How much was your tuition? – Not at all. I had a .7 gpa
In your opinion were the teachers, good teachers? Did they have degrees and certifications? – I have never investigated this. I do remember there was no separation of children in different grades and we were all taught the same curriculum
Were your tests open book, multiple choice tests? Would you consider them easy to pass? – I honestly do not remember taking any tests
How many school credits did you earn in what period of time? – 0. 3 months.
Did you receive a diploma from CCA? – No.
Was a certified medical professional available to students at their request? – Only sometimes during the daytime.
Were proper check ups, dental cleaning, and medication observation appointments held regularly? – No. As stated I had peptic ulcers and severe painful inflammation and was told I was lying and to drink water.
If you got sick were you given adequate treatment and rest? – No. I never saw a doctor.
Were you ever refused medical care because staff said that you were “faking it”? – Several times.
Was a medical service offered for drug detox or drug rehabilitation? – No. I remember one girl vomiting violently detoxing from heroin and receiving no medical detox. I had also been using meth the weeks prior to my arrival and was never offered medical detox.
Was there any kind of “Drug Education” available for students who had used drugs in the past? – I was not included in any of that if it was available
What is the name of your case manager/ “Therapist”? Did they have degrees/ licenses? What were their qualifications before taking the job at CCA? – I was moved therapists several times while there in a short period of time and made no progress. I don’t even remember their names. I remember one was there briefly and want to say she had some geographical name Luke London or Paris,,. Could be wrong
Was group therapy considered to be of a confrontational nature? – Yes, while there two girls ran away and were sexually abused by a trucker. They were forced to tell us about it I front of everyone while crying hysterically and were not consoled. The staff had an attitude of they deserved it for running away and it seemed
Like more of a scare tactic for the rest of us to deter us from running away rather than anything healing or therapeutic for the girls,
Do you feel you were forced to confess to things you did not do in order to progress in the program? – Yes. Or told on and punished for things I did not do.
Were students encouraged to accept that they were alcoholics or drug addicts? Was this required to advance in the program? – Yes. I was told I had a problem with things I did not, so I told them I did not, they said I was using denial and when I said no I’m not they said see, denial problems.
Were students encouraged to follow a 12 step program in order to earn levels and graduate the program – I was not allowed to go because I was not on the right level
Were students encouraged to accept a “higher power” contingent to their recovery? – We prayed before meals
In your opinion, How was the food quality? Was it prepared properly? Were safety and health codes followed in the kitchen? – Yes
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? – Weeks. Never went hungry but cold beams rice and spinach are not exactly fulfilling the food pyramid…
Did you gain a lot of weight? Were you forced to eat more than you were able to eat? – Gained 30 plus. Had to finish all the food in your tray even if you were full. Was so we wouldn’t be wasteful
Were you ever punished for vomiting? – Not punished just denied medical attention
Please describe the “Work Hour” experience. How did you feel about this? -
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? – Upper levels did a “transition” period where they lived with staff.
Where you aware of anyone being restrained and/ or isolated from the group? – Yes. All at the same time I was on meal restriction (also had to eat alone) not allowed to watch movies or have social time (had to sit in the kitchen alone) put in a silence vest for 2 weeks (was told not to talk to anyone or look them in the eye) was also forced to putt my mattress out of my bed and sleep alone. I was extremely isolated. I remember no names. Very very depressing. Also on staff buddy.
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? – See above. Yes.
Please describe “Staff Buddy”, “The Desert Process” and the purpose of the yellow/ orange construction vests.- Staff buddy. Arms length at all times. Don’t know what the desert process is.. Never heard of that one.
(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? – I got one 5 minute phone call in 3 months. I was crying and telling my mom I was miserable and alone and please pull me in a different program. Was told the conversation was not going anywhere by stAff and phone was hung up
How long before you were able to speak to your parents on the phone? Were your phone calls monitored? – The one I got was terminated
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. Letters were read and if we said anything like that we were unhappy or suicidal or abused we were told not to manipulate and given work hours and dropped levels.
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? – The only reason ingot to leave is a had to act out to the point of police intervention. I did whatever I could to get out.
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? – I saw staff restrain a naked girl because she was not done with her shower in time. Upper levels had to watch me a lot, did see upper levels helping restrain someone with aforementioned blonde short haired woman.
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? – No I was on silence most of the time I was there and when I was a level 1 I was not allowed to acknowledge another level ones presence
Did you have to walk in line? How often? Were there consequences if you did not line up properly? – Meal restriction
Would you be given a consequence if you forgot something? (for instance, a pen or a book) -
Were your personal items inspected by other students? (upper levels?) without your consent or presence? – Yes. My drawers bed and journal were gone through by staff and upper levels.
(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? – Not sure. I never tried to advance. I
What kind of staff responsibilities were upper levels given? – Watching lower levels, constantly lying to staff about other things girls did not do so they could make their levels. Had to tell staff about things I had in private confidential conversations with them. Felt like I couldn’t trust anyone.
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 “held accountable” under a category that was vague enough to be given out for any number of things? – Yes.
Were you punished/ held back if you chose not to tattle or pass out citations, and opted to verbally warn students instead? – Yes, dropped levels for not being accountable
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? – Yes.
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? – Dropped to level one for using manipulation
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? -
Please describe your seminar experience. – No seminar, I was not allowed as punishment
What are your opinions of the owners/ Directors of CCA? -
Do you believe that the program acting within the means of “Tough Love” was appropriate treatment for you in your adolescence? – No, it completely destroyed all trust and I now have severe attachment disorder.
Do you believe that the staff and junior staff usually acted within the US standards for health, safety and well being of the students? -
Considering long term effects, do you think your experience at CCA has an effect on your life today? Positive or negative? – Negative. Abandonment issues p. attachment disorder. I’m a functioning member of society and successful but I feel very alone