Author Topic: Restoration Youth Academy-a razor wired Christian Boot Camp  (Read 4958 times)

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Offline Oscar

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Restoration Youth Academy-a razor wired Christian Boot Camp
« on: April 15, 2012, 06:33:15 AM »
Questions abound behind the razor wire of Restoration Youth Academy, a Prichard boot camp
By Robert McClendon, Press-Register, April 14, 2012

PRICHARD, Alabama -- Tucked away among the narrow streets of Alabama Village, one of Prichard’s toughest slums, sits a compound of buildings surrounded by fences and razor wire.

The security isn’t just meant to keep people out. It’s meant to keep people in.

Officials at Restoration Youth Academy, a boot-camp-style facility for troubled youth, say they have to ensure maximum security to block runaway attempts.

By design, the staff tightly restricts the lives of the more than 60 young people there, controlling when they eat, sleep and exercise. The staff decides when and where they can have contact with the outside world.

Despite the immense power that RYA wields over those under its care, it is not required to carry any license. Due to Alabama’s deference to facilities that operate under a church banner, it functions largely free from government oversight or accountability.

RYA has been the subject of parental complaints. Its counselor is not certified by Alabama’s main governing boards. Its teachers also have no state certification, and may not need it, thanks to RYA’s claim to be a church school.

Although the property on which it sits is owned by the city of Prichard, RYA has never paid a dollar in rent or purchased a business license.

Police records show that, since RYA opened in 2010, officers have visited there at least seven times to investigate reports of runaways, stolen vehicles, "missing or exploited children" and one complaint of second-degree sexual abuse.

Police have not made any arrests in connection with those reports, so it’s hard to know the final results of their investigations.

Alabama legal tradition requires law enforcement to release only the front page of an incident report. The front pages offer no investigative details, only the nature of the reported crime.

Police declined to release the full reports involving RYA or to discuss the cases, because they involve minors.

John Young, a pastor and the face of RYA, said that there is no mistreatment of young people by the staff members.

William Knott, who lives at RYA and handles many of its day-to-day affairs, said that complaints of abuse are inevitable when dealing with troubled youth. "They are going to say anything they can to get away from here," he said.

Knott showed the Press-Register two letters from the Alabama Department of Human Resources, a state agency that examines child abuse reports, indicating that RYA had been investigated but cleared.

A spokesman for the department said that all such investigations are confidential, so he could not even confirm whether they had taken place.

"She told me I'm not her mother anymore"

RYA got mixed reviews from parents interviewed by the Press-Register.

Some said it was a Godsend, reasonably priced and the only facility that was able to help them. But Beyth Honea, who lives in the Chicago area, told a harrowing tale of her experiences.

Honea said that she brought her daughter, Lydia, to RYA in June 2011 because of severe behavioral problems, including pathological lying and theft.

As time went on, she said, she began to have problems reaching staff members and communicating with her daughter. Honea said she became suspicious that RYA was not the highly structured, professional operation that it claimed to be.

She started looking into the organization and found out that it had no license, although officials there had told her otherwise, she said. She also was surprised that none of the state agencies that one might presume to govern such an institution had any record of it.

Ultimately, she decided to remove her daughter from the boot camp.

In February, as she drove through the winding streets of east Prichard, she had one objective, she said: Get her daughter back as soon as possible.

When she arrived, Honea said, the staff didn’t know where her daughter was. When Honea came back with a police officer, Knott told her that Lydia was in Florida with a staff member.

Later, when Honea and the officer returned, a group of men escorted the young woman to the chain link fence line at the gate, according to the mother. Through the fence, her daughter, who had turned 18 only hours earlier, said she was an adult now and didn’t have to leave if she didn’t want to. She said that RYA had offered her a job as an instructor and that she had accepted.

"She told me I wasn’t her mother anymore, that these people were her family now," Beyth Honea said.

A police report, filed by the officer who accompanied Honea and obtained by the Press-Register, largely mirrors her account.

In an interview this month, Lydia Honea and the RYA staff said that she indeed was in Florida with a staff member when her mother showed up.

Lydia Honea admitted to having behavioral issues when she arrived at RYA, but she said that Young and Knott were helping her to improve. She said they made numerous efforts to communicate with her mother, including sending regular updates and report cards.

Lydia’s father, Eric Honea, reached by telephone, said that he not only gave RYA permission to take his daughter off site, he specifically asked them to do so until after she turned 18. He said that he did not want his ex-wife to be able to remove Lydia from RYA, which he believed had helped her immensely.

"I figured, by then, she’s 18, she can make that determination for herself," he said.

Honea acknowledged that his former wife had sole custody of their daughter, so the decision was not entirely his to make.

He said, however, that RYA was unaware of the custody arrangement, and he had signed all of the paperwork and paid the bills associated with the program.

He said, "My daughter could not get any help from all the Ph.Ds and mental-health specialists we could find. These people truly care about Lydia, and she’s doing much better. That means more to me than all the degrees hanging on the wall in the world."

He questioned why, if Beyth Honea were so skeptical of RYA, she would allow RYA to keep Lydia for some nine months.

Beyth Honea said that it took time for her to look into the institution, which she acknowledged she did not fully vet beforehand.

Like Eric Honea, parent Jennifer Manly of Colorado Springs praised RYA for its work. She said that her son returned from the facility much more respectful of authority.

She said that she recognized the academic program might seem a bit unorthodox, but her primary concern was dealing with her son’s behavioral troubles. "This is a ministry, and I knew that going in. I was looking for a Christian-based program," Manly said.

RYA has no license, neither does counselor

Up until recently, RYA’s website claimed that the organization was a "licensed residential facility," but that statement has since been removed.

The Press-Register contacted the state departments of Human Resources, Education and Youth Services, none of which reported any record of RYA.

Various other RYA representations remained on its website as of Saturday. For example, it assures that each child will "receive weekly counseling with a licensed certified counselor on a regular basis or more frequently as determined necessary."

Knott and Young said that RYA’s counselor, Aleshia Moffett, is licensed both by Alabama and Mississippi. They showed the Press-Register a license from Mississippi, but were unable to produce one from Alabama.

Four Alabama agencies who license counselors of at-risk youth -- the Board of Examiners in Counseling, Board of Examiners in Psychology, the Marriage Family Therapy Board and the Social Work Board -- had no record of an Aleshia Moffett.

The National Board for Certified Counselors, which issues credentials for counselors, had no record of her either.

Told this information, Knott said that Moffett "doesn’t even have to be licensed in Alabama to do what she does."

Asked to be more precise about what Moffett does, Knott said that she counsels troubled youth with problems such as behavioral disorders and substance abuse, and works to help them re-establish relationships with their parents. "She’s done this very successfully," he said.

Walter Cox, director of the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling, said that state law generally requires anyone practicing counseling to hold a license.

The law does provide an exemption for churches operating counseling services. Cox called this "a flaw in the law" because it invites abuse.

"There is a little bit of a slippery area there where someone might be able to work around the law," he said.

One of the critical questions the board asks in deciding if a counseling service falls under the church exemption is whether it accepts payment for its services, Cox said.

Regardless, he said, it is illegal under state law to misrepresent to the public that you have a license.

RYA’s website also assures that its "education department is headed by a well qualified staff with numerous awards and achievements." Knott and Young acknowledged that neither of RYA’s two teachers were certified by the state.

Alabama law requires certification for teachers at public schools and at private schools that wish to receive the state’s seal of approval, but that doesn’t apply to church schools. A church school is defined as one that is "operated as a ministry of a local church, group of churches, denomination, and/or association of churches on a nonprofit basis," according to Malissa Valdes-Hubert, a Department of Education spokeswoman.

The Press-Register asked Young and Knott whether RYA was a nonprofit. Young and Knott said that it is, although it is registered under Solid Rock Community Outreach Inc., a spin-off of Young’s church, Solid Rock Ministries.

According to records available online, the Internal Revenue Service granted nonprofit status to Solid Rock in 2004 but revoked its tax-free exemption after it failed to file the proper tax returns for three consecutive years.

Cohort of students flee only to be caught in Florida

A California parent, Tony Eigenmann, said he is convinced that the RYA operation is misrepresenting its qualifications in order to justify the charges it levies. He said that his son was treated roughly there, and received no useful education.

His son stayed only a month, and RYA charged him almost $5,000, Eigenmann said.

Young and Knott said that Eigenmann’s son is not credible, describing him as someone who would say anything to escape the strictures of the RYA program.

Young and Knott introduced to the Press-Register a 16-year-old who said that Eigenmann’s son was part of a group that tried to escape and agreed to lie to police and parents in order to damage RYA’s reputation and "get out of here." The teen further said that the group eventually managed to escape, stole a van and made it to Florida, but was caught.

The teen said that others in the group confessed to making false claims of abuse, but that young Eigenmann stuck to his story and was pulled out by his father.

Young said he and the RYA "end up paying out of our own pockets" to support the youths, and that the organization "barely breaks even."

He estimated that it costs RYA about $850 per month to care for each young person there. That includes food and clothes for the youths, facility maintenance and staff salaries, he said.

Young’s tally of the overhead costs left out rent. RYA has never paid Prichard to rent the land, nor does it have a lease that would give it a legal right to remain there.

How Prichard, a city beset by financial difficulty, could allow RYA to occupy its property rent-free remains something of a mystery.

According to Mayor Ron Davis and City Council members, the council agreed in principle in 2010 to allow RYA to rent the property, subject to an appraiser setting fair market value.

In the interim, Young was given keys to buildings on the property so that he could begin getting the utilities in order and setting up his operation.

The appraisal, however, didn’t happen. A lease was never drawn or executed.

Davis said that the City Council is in charge of city property, so it was responsible for making sure the lease was taken care of.

Councilman Troy Ephriam, who has announced that he will run for mayor against Davis, maintained that Davis was fully aware that RYA was operating on the property without paying rent. "He has attorneys that could have taken over the process at any point," Ephriam said. "It shows irresponsibility on his part that nothing was done."

Young said in an interview that he should have insisted on finalizing the lease deal. "I wasn’t trying to get over on anybody," he said. "Should I probably have pushed harder to get it done? Yes."

While Young said that RYA struggles financially, a Prichard police report filed last year suggests that he has personally had access to luxury goods. In June, he reported that burglars broke into his house and stole property that he estimated to have cost about $96,000, including Armani suits, crocodile-skin shoes, jewelry and flat-screen televisions.

Asked how he could afford such possessions if RYA were barely staying afloat, Young said that the stolen items had been gifts from members of his church.

On "love days," a tradition in many black churches, it is common for the congregation to make special offerings or bring gifts for the pastor to show appreciation.

RYA operates off the radar because of special rules for churches

Many of the questions about RYA have likely gone unnoticed because it has operated off the radar of government regulators.

Under Alabama law, child-care facilities must be licensed by the Department of Human Resources unless they are operated by a church.

Barry Spear, a spokesman for the department, said RYA wouldn’t need a DHR license because it doesn’t fit the definition of a child-care facility. Instead, he said, RYA might be considered "bona fide boarding school," and would not be subject to DHR licensing.

Spear said it was up to the Department of Education to decide whether RYA qualified as a "bona fide boarding school or not."

The department’s Valdes-Hubert said that her agency doesn’t issue licenses, per se, and it has no power over a school like RYA. She said that private schools are supposed to at least register, but church schools are exempt from that requirement.

A judge or perhaps the attorney general would have to decide whether RYA qualifies as a church school, Valdes-Hubert said. She reiterated though, that under the law, church schools must be nonprofits.

Even if RYA qualifies as a church school, there should still be at least some record of it with the local school superintendent’s office, which is in charge of enforcing mandatory student attendance laws. Nancy Pierce, a spokeswoman for the Mobile County public schools, said that the system had no record of RYA.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Oscar

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Former Bethel Boys employee working there
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2012, 02:11:36 AM »
HEAL-online has investigated the facility, which is also on Fornits Wiki. According to their findings William Knott is working there influencing the program is the structure is close to the closed Bethel Boys Academy.

For more information:

This is a  staff list for Restoration Youth Academy in Mobile, AL, HEAL-online
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Oscar

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Re: Restoration Youth Academy-a razor wired Christian Boot C
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 02:44:40 AM »
3 additional headlines:

Officials: Teens at Youth Camp Took Van
WPMI-TV / MS NBC, May 1 2012

(PRICHARD, Ala.) - Prichard Police officials said six teens have been returned to the Restoration Youth Academy after driving off with an academy van Saturday night.
Officials said the six teens left around 11 p.m. Saturday, but academy leaders weren't aware of their disappearance until 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Police said the teens drove the van toward Lee County in Florida, but were picked up by Florida law enforcement after running out of gas.

The six will not face charges for stealing the van.

Academy Dean William Knott said the kids broke a window to climb out of their bunks all while a night watchman was on duty.

"He heard a noise, he went and looked for the noise and couldn't find a noise," Knott said. "They broke in the office, broke in a key box, stole some keys, stole a van."

Knott said at least four of the teens had prior discipline problems at the academy, but Program Director John Young said at least two of the kids were slated to return to their homes in a couple of months.
"When we found that they were gone, we immediately called Prichard Police," Young said, "and called all the parents, let all the parents know what was going on."

"The parents talked with them, and they chewed them out pretty good. They told them, 'You're going to stay there because you're not coming back home putting me through the same problem you were putting me through.' "

Young said the kids told him they wanted to go to Tampa to "just hang out".

"I said, 'What we're you going to do for food?' One of the kids said, 'I was going to rob me somebody,' " Young said.

Though a very bizarre case, Young admits the academy has its share of runaways; sometimes four a month.

"This facility is not as secure as I would love for it to be to hold them in," Young said. "We have our problems, but we work with what we have."

"If they really make up there mind that they want to run they'll find a way."


Boot camp still not paying Prichard rent to use city land
By Robert McClendon, Press-Register , Alabama Live LLC, April 27, 2012

PRICHARD, Alabama -- Nearly two months after Prichard officials told a youth boot camp to either start paying rent for using city property or face eviction, the operation is still there and the city still hasn’t been paid.

Restoration Youth Academy has never paid rent in the nearly two years that it has been operating on the property in Alabama Village, an impoverished neighborhood on the city’s east side.

The city told the organization that it could move in and get started until the property had been appraised and fair market value established for a formal lease.

The months dragged on, however, and the issue dropped off the radar of the city, despite a cash crunch. Eventually, the oversight was discovered and the City Council told RYA on March 9 that it had 30 days to get an appraisal, secure a business license and come to a rental agreement with the city or face eviction.

RYA secured the appraisal, which estimated the value of the property at $158,000.

No lease agreement has been reached, however, and RYA continues to operate the boot camp without the formal right to be on the property.

Mayor Ron Davis has proposed charging a rent of $1,500 per month going forward plus $500 in back rent for each month RYA has already been open.

Davis said the break on back rent was justified, given that RYA has invested about $40,000 into the property.

RYA has provided no documentation to justify its expenses, but it has shown pictures of improvements, including a professional kitchen, Davis said.

Davis said that RYA didn’t deserve to be evicted, because it held up its end of the bargain by getting the property appraised. It’s up to the City Council to approve the lease now, he said.

The City Council’s Finance Committee met this week, but failed to reach an agreement. The lease did not even appear on the agenda of the full council’s meeting on Thursday.

At least two council members said they won’t support the mayor’s proposal because the city needs the money and they have questions about the credibility of RYA’s leadership.

Councilwoman Earline Martin-Harris said that, when it asked to use the property, RYA’s leaders said that their staff was highly qualified and promised to pay $500 per month until a fair market value for the property was established.

As of the printing of an April 15 Press-Register article:
  • RYA had been the subject of parental complaints.
  • Its counselor was not certified by Alabama’s main governing boards.
  • Its teachers had no state certification, and may not need it, thanks to RYA’s claim to be a church school.
Councilman Troy Ephriam, who is running against Davis in a mayoral bid, also had qualms.

"There is too much negativity surrounding" RYA, he said. Given that it has never paid any rent, allowing RYA to continue to operate presents a liability with no benefit to the city, he said.

Martin-Harris said the city doesn’t have enough money to accept less than market value for the property.

While the rental agreement didn’t appear on Thursday’s agenda, a request by the mayor’s office to transfer $210,000 from the city’s reserve to help expand police operations did.

The transfer would have emptied the reserve fund.

Ephriam asked that it be tabled, concerned that the city was liquidating the reserve with five months remaining in the fiscal year.


DHR Investigates Restoration Youth Academy After Allegations of Abuse
Local 15 news, May 2, 2012

(PRICHARD, Ala.) - The mother of a former student at a Mobile County reform school said kids are being physically abused while under the school's care.

Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said her office, as well as the Alabama Department of Human Resources, is investigating the Restoration Youth Academy in Prichard, but there is no credible evidence of any physical abuse.

The mother told Local 15 News she did not want her identity, as well as her daughter's identity, revealed because she fears for their safety.

The claims come after Prichard Police said six students broke out of the Restoration Youth Academy Saturday night. The six were found by authorities in Florida after stealing a van from the academy and driving it to Lee County before they ran out of gas.

"I asked them," Academy Director John Young said, "I said, 'What were you all going to do?' 'Well, we were just going to go down to Tampa, and just hang out.' I said, 'What we're you going to do for food?' One of the kids said, 'I was going to rob me somebody.' "

Young said the kids were safely returned to the school by authorities, but were not charged for stealing the van. The anonymous parent claims the academy is above the law.

"They are terrified to make arrests there because, and I've personally witnesses this, John Young and Will Knott told them, 'Go ahead and make an arrest. I'll put the cuffs on for you, and, tomorrow, I'll have your badge," the mother said.

The woman, whose daughter has since returned home from the school, claims police have copied her on reports sent to state representatives regarding physical and sexual abuse at the school. She said the kids are sometimes put in solitary confinement.

"Naked, and locked them in there with hoods on their head for days at a time with no food or no water," she said. "They will beat the kids, thirty lashes, with leather belts for fidgeting in church, and they've admitted this to police officers, but, you know, nobody thinks that that's abuse."

Academy Director John Young said they have welcomed investigations into the claims.

"They talked to every kid," Young said about the county investigators, "and the kid admitted to them, 'I just want to go home, so I lied on them so hopefully they'll close this place down so I can go home."

Young said the allegations of abuse are false, maintaining critics are attacking the school in an attempt to shut it down.

"We have found no credible evidence to support any claims of any physical abuse," District Attorney Ashley Rich said.

Rich said she has reviewed the complaints thoroughly, and said her investigation is still open.

"We still do have an ongoing investigation as to what laws govern the administration of the school and the academy itself," Rich said.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Oscar

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Re: Restoration Youth Academy-a razor wired Christian Boot C
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 04:15:29 AM »
More information about this place:

Teenager complains of abuse at boot camp (Local 10 News) (Author: Bob Norman)
Teenager alleges Pastor John Young of Restoration Youth Academy hit her

When Madison Litsky arrived home after having lunch with a family friend, there were strange people in her house who told her she had to go away with them.

It wasn’t a kidnapping, but it was an abduction of sorts. Litsky’s mother, who was fed up deteriorating behavior, felt drastic action was necessary. So she found a Christian “boot camp” called the Restoration Youth Academy in small Prichard, Alabama that was affordable and signed her daughter over to its care. The camps are often a last resort of desperate parents, though there is great debate about their effectiveness.

"I had no idea my mom was even thinking about sending me anywhere," said Litsky, now 18.

What her mother didn’t know was that the camp had been plagued by abuse complaints in the past. Local 10 has learned that new allegations have led to current investigations by local law enforcement and the federally mandated Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program. The camp’s dean, William Knott, was also dogged by abuse complaints at a previous camp that had been shut down.

When the owner of the camp, John Young, a pastor, arrived with two other employees to take her away this past August, she resisted.  

"What's going through my head is that I'm about to get kidnapped, raped, and killed," said Litsky. "The person considered (the) pastor started choking me and at that point, I thought I was going to die. I really did."

As she fought them, they cuffed her hands and shackled her feet and dragged her into a van. Inside the van she managed to kick Young in the head.

“He raised his fist and said 'Hit me again,’” she said. “This is when I got scared. … I was crying. I was terrified at this point and I said 'No I won't,' and then he hit me in the head the first time and I said 'Okay, I'll stop,' and then he hit me the second time."

She said she “almost blacked out,” and the next thing she knew they were riding down the road in the van. They drove all the way to Prichard, outside Mobile, Alabama, to the locked-down camp surrounded by barbed wire.

Litsky said when they arrived, she checked herself for injuries.

"I had the two scratches here from the choking. There was a bruise from here to here and they were on both arms. Bruise on my knee," she said, "(and) the left side of my face was swollen."

Litsky's mother said Young admitted to her on the phone that he hit her daughter after she had struck him. She also said she condoned it because that was the kind of discipline she felt might bring her daughter in line. But in a phone interview Young denied that he hit Litsky.

“I'm telling you I did not hit this young girl," said Young. "… All I did was restrain Madison."

"What do you mean by restrain?" said Norman.

"I held her hand," replied Young. "… I'm a 250-pound man. What do I look like hitting a frail girl like that? I can take a lick from a girl like that. I just restrained her."

When asked why Litsky’s mother, who stands by the camp, would say he admitted to hitting her in the face, he said he doesn’t know.

Litsky said she wasn’t abused during her four months at the camp, but heard other stories of abuse from other “cadets.” She also objected to the use of a small isolation room where she says some cadets were kept for several days. It was only when she left in December that she found out the camp had been under investigation.

Now she wants to see the camp shut down.

“I was hurt,” she said. “It’s traumatizing. No one should ever go through that. … They can do anything to you and you can tell someone, but they can lie.”

Litsky now lives with a friend, works at a pizza place, and hopes to get her high school diploma and go to college. She has been estranged from her mother but the two recently met and are trying to mend their relationship.

“It only hurt,” she said of the boot camp stay.

49. Restoration Youth Academy (1000 places You don't want to be as a teenager)

This year attention was made on Restoration Youth Academy in Alabama. Among the employees a man with a dark hidden past was found. This individual once worked at Bethel Boys Academy which was shut down by the authorities not once but several times.

Given the nature of Restoration Youth Academy with high fences and a number of runaways we are basically talking a private-run prison providing youth with so-called education with of doubtful standard.

Why hasn’t the authorities in Alabama not intervened in the operations? Why are they allowing people with basically no background check running a private prison for at-risk teenagers?

We cannot answer why they have chosen to neglect these children?

It is really awful.

Boot Camp "Beefing Up Security" After Escape (Local 15 TV) (Reported by: John Dzenitis)

PRICHARD, Ala. (WPMI) A Prichard boot camp for troubled youth is beefing up security after four teens escaped Tuesday night.

"Any time [an escape] happens, we review how that happened and we beef up that security," Restoration Youth Academy director Pastor John Young told Local 15. "We're steadily beefing up security."

Young said the four boys planned the escape by jamming a lock and escaping under the cover of darkness after jumping the camp's razor-wire fence. They were rounded up by Chickasaw Police the next day.

"This is not a prison," Young said. "We're in a building that isn't as secure as we'd like it to be. If it was, we wouldn't have this runaway problem."

Young said every time there has been an escape, it's been by different means.

"Periodically, it's going to happen," Young said. "When kids are used to having their own way, they want to break out. They want to get back to smoking. They want to get back to doing drugs."

Young said teens are usually found in close proximity to the camp, and the longest time a runaway teen has been missing is about three days.

RYA is in Alabama Village, an impoverished high-crime area. Young said sometimes the teens are found holed up in an abandoned house.

Young said the last escape was about four months ago. The highest profile escape was last year in May, when a group of teens stole a camp van and drove all the way to Florida before they were caught.

Young assured the facility is as safe and secure as possible, and all escapees have been returned safely. Young also said the camp has an impressive success rate of rehabilitating trouble teens.

"This is where kids come when their parents are out of options," Young said. "We don't treat kids like prisoners. It's not like that. We don't have a 12 foot fence. We're here to help the kids, not hurt 'em."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Whooter

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Re: Restoration Youth Academy-a razor wired Christian Boot C
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 10:43:12 PM »
Academy Director John Young said they have welcomed investigations into the claims.

"They talked to every kid," Young said about the county investigators, "and the kid admitted to them, 'I just want to go home, so I lied on them so hopefully they'll close this place down so I can go home."

"We have found no credible evidence to support any claims of any physical abuse," District Attorney Ashley Rich said.

Any time there are allegations of abuse there is going to be a story and the news media is going to bite and write the story because that is what they do.  But there are many kids who just want to go home and will say anything to just get out and wish the place would just get shut down so they could go home (which the above statement supports).  Parents see this so clearly, so when there really are abuses going on how are we suppose to differentiate from those students who are abused from those who are not?

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Offline Oscar

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Re: Restoration Youth Academy-a razor wired Christian Boot Camp
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2015, 03:31:43 AM »
The locade restroration because the complaints became too many and they had trouble paying the rent.

Then they started "Saving Youth Foundation" in Mobile.

It was raided by the authorities and the owners were arrested.

Quote from: Alabama Media Group
36 children removed from youth facilities in Mobile following allegations of abuse
By Theresa Seiger, Alabama Media Group, March 6 2015

Allegations of child abuse and apparently deplorable living conditions led the Department of Human Resources to remove more than 30 children from a pair of youth residential facilities Thursday night, according to the Mobile Police Department.

Officials said 15 girls were removed from the Saving Youth Foundation building at 770 Sullivan Ave. Police received a complaint of possible child abuse from a mother whose daughter was at the all-girls facility, according to MPD.

"The health department found code violations such as a sewage leak near the kitchen, food improperly stored and expired food for which the facility was cited," Police Chief James Barber said in a statement released Friday afternoon.

That same day investigators removed 21 boys from the Solid Rock Ministries facility on Spring Hill Avenue near Ann Street. Barber said the facility was reportedly managed by the same organization responsible for the Sullivan Avenue building. It only housed boys.

On Friday afternoon, officers conducted search warrants at both facilities. Capt. John Barber, head of MPD's Special Investigations Section, declined to elaborate on the condition the children were found in, citing the ongoing abuse investigation.

"Their conditions and the conditions they were being housed in and kept in was enough for DHR to take them from the scene," Capt. Barber said.

As of Friday afternoon, police did not believe any of the children were sent by court order to live in either facility. Capt. Barber said it appeared parents from outside the Mobile area paid tuition to send their children to the homes.

"It's our understanding that these were facilities for problem children, through attitude or academics," police spokeswoman Ashley Rains said.

The facilities housed children between 13 and 17 years old, she said. Capt. Barber said DHR would house the children until their parents could pick them up.
Detectives with MPD, DHR and the Mobile County District Attorney's Office continued Friday to investigate whether the facilities were part of a larger network.

Police said two people were apprehended on outstanding warrants Thursday after they were found at Solid Rock Ministries.

William Knott, 46, was wanted on three traffic warrants and one count of third-degree domestic violence out of Prichard. Officers picked up John David Young, 53, on one outstanding traffic warrant.