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Logan River Academy is a residential treatment facility in Utah, a state where there is comparable lack of oversight and relevant legislation to safe guard vulnerable students in residential programs (1.) We believe in the merit of scientifically tested and accepted residential treatment programs, but do not believe the program at LRA is either. LRA's residential program is not properly accredited (2,) they belong to NATSAP, a non-accrediting voluntary membership organization which gives the appearance of accreditation/licensure, but that does not enforce any professional and/or ethical standards on its member programs (3.)

Our own research into these programs has turned up very scary things. The policies in place at Logan River Academy, detailed below, are not only cruel, they are ineffective and, in our opinion, fraudulent. Their harsh discipline policies have the end effect of cheaply warehousing kids while they accept $7,500 - $8,900 per child per month from naive parents and courts. We understand they pay many of their staff, who have direct supervision of special needs kids, close to minimum wage.

Although there were meetings on Capitol Hill, and The House of Representatives even passed a bill (4,) clearly stating the problem, it remains (5):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2KzAUB7sgE&list=UUu7v65ausH6Q9XMlxETjTBA

The Government Accountability Office has done a report as well:
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08146t.pdf

Many students in this program spend most of their days sitting straight forward, not allowed to move, look at another student, or make any noise; think detention but much longer and more strict. The program calls it “DEVO” (6) and they hand it out for any and all infractions; for example, one student was punished with a significant amount (hours) of “DEVO” time for returning to his room with a moist towelette from the dining area to clean his glasses, thinking it was permitted. They called it contraband and gave him excessive “DEVO,” time. This is just one example. We have first hand accounts of students receiving up to 2000 “DEVO,” hours for a single infraction and students spending over 100 consecutive days in “DEVO.”

“DEVO,” is short for “development.” A true and tragic irony given the consequences of its imposition on children.

There is another level of “DEVO,” that is much worse. It is called “Precaution.” Some students report allegations of being stripped naked for it. I fear that it is so they cannot strangle themselves with their clothing (7) (8.) If true this strategy may also mean they are improperly attempting to care for suicide risks without the proper facilities and personnel. Other students report spending every waking moment in “DEVO,” on “Precaution,” completely isolated from peers for up to 30 days on end (8.) During this time they don't attend class, they don't develop socially, they are forced to sit still and quiet. According to the American Academy of Chlid & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) (9.:)

“The potential psychiatric consequences of prolonged solitary confinement are well recognized and include depression, anxiety and psychosis. Due to their developmental vulnerability, juvenile offenders are at particular risk of such adverse reactions. Furthermore, the majority of suicides in juvenile correctional facilities occur when the individual is isolated or in solitary confinement.

Solitary confinement should be distinguished from brief interventions such as "time out," which may be used as a component of a behavioral treatment program in facilities serving children and/or adolescents, or seclusion, which is a short term emergency procedure, the use of which is governed by federal, state and local laws and subject to regulations developed by the Joint Commission, CARF and supported by the National Commission of Correctional Healthcare (NCHHC), the American Correctional Association (ACA) and other accrediting entities.

The Joint Commission states that seclusion should only be used for the least amount of time possible for the immediate physical protection of an individual, in situations where less restrictive interventions have proven ineffective. The Joint Commission specifically prohibits the use of seclusion "as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or staff retaliation." A lack of resources should never be a rationale for solitary confinement.”

I am unable to find any scientific literature regarding the benefits and success rate of “DEVO.” In fact, I am unable to find any scientific literature or studies about it at all (10.) In my opinion, it is pseudoscience at best and torture at worst. We know that one student who was just removed from the program had been placed in solitary confinement at least twice.

The National Institutes of Health have established guidelines for effective child discipline (11.) They are:
“To be effective, discipline needs to be:
    given by an adult with an affective bond to the child;
    consistent, close to the behaviour needing change;
    perceived as ‘fair’ by the child;
    developmentally and temperamentally appropriate; and
    self-enhancing, ie, ultimately leading to self-discipline.”

Also according to AACAP (12:)

“Be sure that the residential program has a method of maintaining safe behaviors, promoting positive behaviors, and preventing aggression. Make sure that punishments and verbal intimidations are prohibited.”

Hours and hours of timeout lasting long after an infraction, doled out by complete strangers who are often perceived as sadistic fails to meet a single one of these standards. Further, the Child Welfare League of America says of timeout (13,) “Sometimes children need time to calm down and collect themselves. (Adults do to!) Used sparingly, with consistency and repetition, it must be viewed as teaching the child, not punishing.”

Certainly hours and hours of what I'll call “enhanced” detention is not “sparingly,” and must be considered “punishing."

The United States Surgeon General has also weighed in on the matter (14:)

“In behavioral token programs, youths are rewarded for conforming to rules, exhibiting prosocial behavior, and not exhibiting antisocial or violent behavior. Like some other residential approaches, behavioral token programs can have positive effects on targeted behaviors while youths are institutionalized. However, when this strategy is used alone, any such effects disappear when youths leave the program.”

In addition to this, no truly independent entity is able to monitor the students' progress and wellbeing, or more importantly the lack thereof. You see, while the students are made to suffer for minor infractions, the administration of the facility do not hold themselves accountable for their own poor and dangerous results. As noted in their state accreditation report they have a very high staff turnover rate and do not provide student performance data or curriculum maps (15.)

Please tell the parents of the children at LRA that they have made the wrong choice for their children and to remove them from the program before any more emotional damage is inflicted on them. Please tell the Los Angeles Unifed School District (and all other public districts) to immediately remove any students from Logan River Academy and to cease sending students there. Please tell Logan River Academy to stop using their “DEVO” techniques, that they are dangerous, unnecessary and counterproductive to nurturing intact adults. In many cases the families of these kids have been tricked by, in my opinion, snake oil salesman to sending/keeping their children to/in these programs against their will. These kids, and please remember: they are kids - are innocent despite their behavioral problems, and have been left with no other advocates.

References:
(1) http://www.deseretnews.com/article/991002/Boarding-schools-go-unchecked-in-Utah.html?pg=all
(2) http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0185-residential-treatment-programs-teens
(3) http://natsap.org/natsap-members/how-to-become-a-member/
(4) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr3126
(5) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2KzAUB7sgE&list=UUu7v65ausH6Q9XMlxETjTBA
(6) http://wiki.fornits.com/index.php?title=Logan_River_Academy
(7) http://www.fornits.com/phpbb/index.php?topic=16654.0
(8) http://www.fornits.com/phpbb/index.php?topic=16654.15
(9) http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Policy_Statements/2012/Solitary_Confinement_of_Juvenile_Offenders.aspx
(10) https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=DEVO+boundary+behavior&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
(11) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2719514/
(12) http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Residential_Treatment_Programs_97.aspx
(13) https://web.archive.org/web/20131217183753/http://www.cwla.org/positiveparenting/tipsdiscipline.htm
(14) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44295/#A13025
(15) http://www.schools.utah.gov/CURR/accred/Reports/DOCS/Logan-River-VT-report-2009.aspx

To:
Logan River Academy
Larry Carter, Owner - Logan River Academy
Lori Connin, Owner - Logan River Academy
Mark Petersen, Owner - Logan River Academy
Mont Criddle, LMFT, Residential Director - Logan River Academy
Shannon Kegerries, CMHC - Logan River Academy
Maureen McDonald, Clinical Services & Academic Coordinator - Logan River Academy
Mike Bodrero, Adventure Learning Coordinator - Logan River Academy
Heather Capson, Admissions - Logan River Academy
Kirk Farmer, Director of Academics - Logan River Academy
Liz Severe, Registered Nurse - Logan River Academy
Jeff Smith, Owner - Logan River Academy
Omid Gohari, niche.com
Kat Eden - (650) 366-3380 Ext. 2218, Director, Marketing Communications - Education.com
Ray Renati, Logan River Academy Parent - 650-245-9026
Debra Duardo - 213-241-3840, Executive Director - Student Health & Human Services, LA Unified School District
Sharyn Howell - 213-241-6701, Executive Director - Special Education, LA Unified School District
Terri Barach, Therapist Intern - Outreach Children - 800-492-2731 or 714-547-1163
Dan Barach
Annette Bohling, J.D. Chief Accreditation Officer - AdvancED

To Terri & Dan Barach,
Apologize publicly to your son, an innocent child, whom you confined against his will in a cruel manner for nearly a year with neither due process nor a real medical need. Start doing someting about Logan River.

Logan River Academy,
Stop using your "development"/"Precaution"/isolation techniques, they are dangerous, unnecessary and counterproductive to nurturing intact adults.

Annette Bohling & AdvancED,
Perform a fully independant investigation of Logan River Academy and their policies, requiring them abide by NIH, FTC, Surgeon General, and AACAP guidelines to maintain accredidation - so they don't harm their clients.

Debra Duardo, Sharyn Howell & LA USD,
Immediately remove all LA USD students from Logan River Academy and cease sending students there on IEPs.

Ray Renati,
Pull your child from Logan River Academy now.

Omid Gohari & Kat Eden,
Delist Logan River Academy as psychologytoday.com, autismspeaks.org, privateschoolreview.com, merchantcircle.com, highschoolcube.com, and others already have.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Please click here to sign this petition on change.org


TweetStorm scheduled for 2014-03-16 @ 6PM Pacific/9PM Eastern/1AM GMT (3/17)


This is an edited storm package:

The original storm package can be found here: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s101ei
We have edited it to ensure only one tweet at a given twitter account & removed a Tweet that would promote for Dr. Phil, a man without a valid medical license who is known to have sent teens to abusive insitutions. He is currently the subject of a lawsuit regarding this: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865595153/Family-sues-Dr-Phil-Utah-treatment-center.html?pg=all

Countdown URL:

http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20140316T21&p0=43&msg=%23FreeJustina+TweetStorm+Mar.+16th+9PM+Eastern

The Plan:

If you choose to participate, please copy/paste one tweet from below per 5 minutes at the appointed time.

PLEASE NOTE: Re-tweets do NOT trend the hashtags - in order to trend the hashtags, we MUST copy/paste. Also, tweets with more than 3 hashtags DO NOT HELP the tags trend.

If you send more than 116 Tweets in an hour or 1000 in a day your account will end up in "TwitterJail:"
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Twitter%20Jail

The storm goes on as long as people are tweeting. If you send all the tweets, Twitter won't let you send exact duplicates for a while, but you can change as little as a single character and send a 'new' Tweet.


About Justina Pelletier and #FreeJustina

Justina Pelletier, a 15-year-old who was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease at Tufts Medical Center, has been taken from her family by the State of Massachusetts. On Feb 10,2013 her parents took her to the Boston Children's Hospital for the flu, where a team of doctors decided she did not have the disease previously diagnosed but instead has a mental illness called Somatoform Disorder. This diagnosis basically means it's all in her head.

The hospital has accused her parents of child abuse and has kept her in a locked psych ward for almost a year, not providing her with the proper treatment for her condition. During her stay she was denied medical care for Mitochondrial Disease, denied an education, denied her Freedom of Religion and given a one hour supervised visit with her family each week. A judge placed a gag order on the parties involved and has ordered Justina to foster care. The father, Lou Pelletier, has spoken out about this outrageous case and was threatened to be charged with contempt.

Judge Joseph Johnston has removed the gag order and all contempt charges Mr. Pelletier was facing and ordered Justina back to the care of Tufts Medical Center. However things are not always what they seem. Few efforts have been made to return Justina back to her home state of Connecticut and her family. Every attempt to rectify this situation by local Representatives has been stopped all while Justina has remained under DCF care for 13 months and counting.

This Monday March 17th Judge Joseph Johnston is expected to make a final custody ruling regarding Justina. We the People want to make our voices heard. Please join us as as we say #FreeJustina.

More information is available here:
Justice For Justina: http://www.justiceforjustina.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/freejustina/
Boston Children's Hospital Guidelines of care? http://postimg.org/image/putaa33y7/5aaa54e9/

Petitions:
http://grassfire.com/2014/02/justina/
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/order-justice-department-investigate-civil-rights-violations-justina-pelletier-case/7s77z28f

Contact Info:
MA Governor Deval Patrick @massGovernor (617)725-4005
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy. @GovMalloyOffice (860)566-4840
Supreme Judicial Court's Public Information Office (617)557-1114
Department of Children and Families Central Office (617)748-2000
or email the Commissioner at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
CT Department of Children and Families @CTDCF (800) 842-2288
Boston Children's Hospital Patient Relations @BostonChildrens (617)355-7673
Alec Loftus @akloftus Comms Director to the Secretary of Health 7 Human Services in MA.

 

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|______| \ \ /\ / / _ \/ _ \ __/ __|______|
       | |\ V  V /  __/  __/ |_\__ \      
       \_/ \_/\_/ \___|\___|\__|___/  

“Bottom line is, my daughter’s life is now at stake.” -Lou Pelletier
You can help! http://tinyurl.com/qyrucgc #FreeJustina

Justina Pelletier Speaks Out: “I Feel Like a Prisoner” http://tinyurl.com/n4qe34z #FreeJustina

@MassGovernor As a #CivilRights attorney and as Governor you know the rights she has been denied. #FreeJustina

@RepDavidLinsky #JudgeJosephJohnston returned her care to Tufts. You killed resolution sending her home. Why? #FreeJustina

Call DCF is in full swing! Give them a ring to #FreeJustina: @CTDCF 860-550-6300, Mass DCF 617-748-2000. pic.twitter.com/i7kkG0Pilp

If you are able to join for Prayer Vigil At The Courthouse on Monday 3/17 12:30 - 1:30 #FreeJustina https://www.facebook.com/events/266229923545528/

Judge approves shifting of teen’s care to Tufts-led team by @BostonGlobe http://tinyurl.com/p5trfsr but still not released #FreeJustina

Boston Childrens Hospital to be Investigated by the MA Dept of Public Health Over Justina Pelletier http://tinyurl.com/ptvk649 #FreeJustina

Olga Roche head of #DCF said “I absolutely feel very strongly that I am the person right now” http://t.co/eNpzWbCZq3 #FreeJustina

Does it look like @BostonChildrens has been taking proper care of Justina for the past 13 months? pic.twitter.com/2a1mwml3A0 #FreeJustina

The 15 yr old girl in the middle in blue is #JustinaPelletier All we ask is that #DCF #FreeJustina to her family pic.twitter.com/wKr4FQu2ax

Every child deserves a champion #FreeJustina pic.twitter.com/D8tA23fusU

Olga Roche is the head of #DCF who is responsible for the 13 month captivity of #JustinaPelletier #FREEJUSTINA pic.twitter.com/qSl79SMiyG

"..in her field have a name for this aggressive legal-medical maneuver. They call it a ‘parent-ectomy.’”http://tinyurl.com/kemhtw6 #FreeJustina

Vigil for Justina on March 17th, at 12:30 P.M. at the Suffolk Juvenile Court, 24 New Chardon St., Boston http://JusticeForJustina.com #FreeJustina

Have you heard about #JustinaPelletier ? Want to know who it is we are talking about? --> http://tinyurl.com/m2vvbz9 <-- #FreeJustina

DO YOU KNOW A STUDENT AT A BOSTON area UNIVERSITY? Ask them to tweet their peers & come to vigil Monday and SAVE A GIRLS LIFE! #FreeJustina

New Law Bans Forced Psychiatric Drugging Of Children - http://t.co/p1gFNhQ4nI "Prohibition on Mandatory Medication Amendment" #FreeJustina

If you can attend this rally - please make plans. So important. Save a child. #FreeJustina pic.twitter.com/WQrrPNLCRA

Understand it could be any child taken from their family. Our focus remains to #FreeJustina & every child wrongfully kidnapped by the system

Don't forget to call DCF tomorrow morning before scheduled court pic.twitter.com/GjBv1SFH3A
#FreeJustina

Can’t take a stand for rights if you don't know what they are! Spread awareness: http://tinyurl.com/ntbzkad #CDR #FreeJustina

Why must a helpless child be punished for a medical dispute between two hospitals?! #DCF #FreeJustina

#JudgeJosephJohnston Please return Justina Pelletier to the expert care of Dr. Mark Korson at Tufts
#FreeJustina

Parents' choice of treatment plan established by renowned expert at Tufts plan are guilty of MEDICAL CHILD ABUSE?! #FreeJustina