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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):

The Government Accountability Office has done a report as well:

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.


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,
Kat Eden - (650) 366-3380 Ext. 2218, Director, Marketing Communications -
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,,,,, and others already have.

[Your name]

Please click here to sign this petition on

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TweetStorm scheduled for 2014-11-23 @ 11AM Pacific/2PM Eastern/7PM GMT

Countdown URL:


The goal of this storm is to drive comments to the Huffington Post article here:

The Huffington Post promotes articles based on the number of comments they receive, so the more comments we can drive in, the more likely (although we have no guarantees,) that this article is to end up on the front page of The Huffington Post, which would bring in approximately 40,000,000 readers. We have been waiting YEARS for an opportunity like this!

PLEASE NOTE: The Huffington Post moderates comments, so there may be a delay before your comments post.  Also, many of these institutions are litigious and are suing activists as we speak! They are also major campaign donors. So, the Huff Post will take down any comments that are potentially libelous or defamatory. If too many defamatory, lbelous or vulgar comments are posted the article may be pulled down entirely and the Huffington Post may refrain from touching this issue ever again! If you wish to mention (or make,) allegations, be sure to preface them with "In my opinion," or "In my experience." You may mention, as matters of fact, arrests, indictments, convictions, or successful civil actions. People also need to log in with a Facebook ID, but they can uncheck the box for cross-posting to Facebook. The Huffington Posts comment policy can be found here:

PLEASE NOTE: Feel free to write your own tweets, but know that retweets 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:"

Please contact your friends and ask them to join us. All they have to do is copy/paste tweets during the storm.

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PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE comment on this article, enough comments will get it on the Huff Post main page: #ShutLoganRiver
The U.S. GAO has called this torture, what do you think? #ShutLoganRiver #EndTorture
Want to help kids who have been abused & tortured? Check out #ShutLoganRiver and copy/paste tweets now! RTs don't help trend! #SpeakUP
Speak out about 200,000 kids facing torture and abuse. Comment please!   
Imagine if this happened to you, or a child you know, now STAND UP and comment please! #ShutLoganRiver #ProtectKids
Be part of a #TwitterStorm #ProtectKids and help trend a hashtag! Check out #ShutLoganRiver and copy/paste tweets now! RTs don't help trend! 
These children have no other advocates, go tell Huff Post to promote this article: #ShutLoganRiver #Education
We need #Anonymous support to pour in comments and get this article on the front page: #Anon #ShutLoganRiver
We've done this before, please help us trend again and drive comments to: #ShutLoganRiver #EndTorture
The Huffington Post is watching - the more comments here the more they'll cover #ShutLoganRiver & #ProtectChildren
Solitary confinement is TORTURE. Copy/paste this tweet if you agree and check out #ShutLoganRiver #EndSolitary
I'm taking a stand RIGHT NOW to protect kids all over the United States. Please join me by copying tweets from #ShutLoganRiver now!
The Huff Post has noticed & posted Please comment to show our appreciation! #ShutLoganRiver
If you joined us for #ShutLoganRiver #BringMadiHome or #FreeJustina join us now to drive comments to this article:
Want to stand up for kids abused in school? Copy/Paste tweets from #ShutLoganRiver and help us bring comments to:
Want to help your followers bring media attention for good? Copy/paste this tweet! #ShutLoganRiver #ProtectKids
"Deaths, Abuse & Alleged Rapes: How Lax Oversight Endangers Florida's and the Nation's Children" #ShutLoganRiver
Want to #StandUp for abused kids? Go to #ShutLoganRiver & copy/paste tweets now. Help us trend & drive comments to:
The authorities haven't helped these kids, but you can. Comment now & help get this to the main page: #ShutLoganRiver
How long will this stuff go on until the citizenry stand up and demand better?! #ShutLoganRiver #EndChildAbuse

Ever wonder how to trend a hash tag? Copy/paste tweets from #ShutLoganRiver NOW and we'll show you! RT's don't help trend! copy/paste!!!

5 minutes of your time commenting here: can help raise attention and bring child abusers to justice! #ShutLoganRiver

Help give a voice to the voiceless, comment here, the Huff Post is watching & can put the story on their front page!

# of followers doesn't matter 4 trending. Copy/paste tweets from #ShutLoganRiver! RT's don't help trend. Ask your friends to join us too!

Kids need love, understanding, & respect. Not beatings, solitary confinement, & fear. This is WRONG: #ShutLoganRiver

How can these people EVER be allowed near kids again?! #ShutLoganRiver

Please join me NOW for a TwitterStorm to stand up for kids who can't contact the press! #ShutLoganRiver

If you care about kids, you will be shocked and appalled by this one: #ShutLoganRiver

The only surprise is how rarely this makes the press... #ShutLoganRiver

Even if you have no followers, you can tweet #ShutLoganRiver with us and help us trend!