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Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform => Troubled Teen Industry.com - Program Website Division => Research Banditos => Topic started by: Che Gookin on November 27, 2008, 04:32:18 AM

Title: 3 Springs Research Project-Active
Post by: Che Gookin on November 27, 2008, 04:32:18 AM
I'm collecting statements from kids I've run into over the years.

Meeter: Che
Geeker: Che, Kathy, and others.
Hunter: Che



Quote
so a personal statement from an actual face- not some anonymous first name like they use for their testimonials.
if the pictures of my face don't show my hopelessness that i was feeling, then maybe my words can. my name is john glisson. i spent ten months in three spring's paint rock valley treatment[sic] center. every day for ten months i woke up at six oclock to no running water and, often, all of the drinking water frozen solid. while three springs maintains they are not a "boot camp", nor do they condone "unhealthy" practices as such, but the fact i underwent ptsd treatment and was prescribed prazosin for nightmares as a direct result of the post traumatic stress disorder i developed as a result of three springs.(verifiable, i'll try to upload a picture of the label)
three springs embodies everything they tried to prevent. those who were physically superior were able to take advantage of those who tried to work through their problems. fear was used to intimidate us into assimilation, and if that doesn't sound enough like soviet russia, read into their 'medicine wheel' and 'creed'. these were spouted off on command so often that now, three years later, they still top my mind in all of their unnecessary glory.

let me finish the rest later,ummk?

Rough draft^ he is still working on it.
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Che Gookin on November 27, 2008, 09:18:33 AM
My own personal statement:

Quote
My Time At Paint Rock Valley Boys

I worked as a counselor at Three Springs of Paint Rock Valley Boys from 2002 to 2004. During that time I participated in abusive acts and  witnessed even more. My actions have brought me a great deal of personal pain and remorse. It wasn’t until after I was terminated for what essentially was the exercising of poor judgment that I came to realize the full extent of what I did and saw. Everything must have a start and my story started with the extremely poor training I received, moved on to the appalling lack of supervision, and is rounded out by the horrible conditions of the facility. I started working at Three Springs a few weeks before Christmas at the end of 2002.

At my time of hire I spent four or so weeks going through the Three Springs 100 hour new employee training. During this time I went to classes all day and spent time with a group at night. The training program was inadequate to say the least. Most of it went over the various levels of the stages system, the medicine wheel,  and creed.  We received minimal medical training, minimal training in how to deal with violence, minimal training in dealing with people who were upset. All in all we received very little useful training to prepare us for covering the group we were being trained to cover.

Once training was complete, and we passed out tests, which most of us cheated on, we were given our group assignments. My group was the group of Lisicha. This group was the youth group that consisted of boys from the ages 10 to 14 or so. My first introduction to Lisicha involved a restraint in the middle of the dining hall during lunch hour between two of my training classes. Restraints were something that I learned happened  quite frequently in Lisicha.

My first restraint with my group occurred at night after a young man attempted to hit my co counselor. Nearly 10 restraints later the group was finally willing to calm down enough to go to bed. At some point it became apparent that the traditional methods of SAMA (Satori Alternatives to Managing Agression) were pretty useless. The methods taught to me by Three Springs took to long, were to awkward, and normally resulted in the restraints taking longer. At this point I began to use what could be termed as Shock and Awe, which actually works pretty well if your goal is to pound a group into passive submission.

Shock and Awe retraints are when I would slam the kid into the ground as hard as I could to force him to submit in the shortest amount of time. Luckily for the boys no one was seriously physically hurt. The worst injury incurred during a restraint was a broken collar bone. That was more from the location of the restraint that the force, which was fairly minimal but on a rocky trail. My Shock and Awe methods of restraints rarely seemed to raise an eyebrow. I used these techniques of rendering a boy submissive in public on a regular basis in front of other counselors, supervisors, family worker, and unit directors. I think during my time I was written up twice for improper restraint during the performance of roughly 300 restraints and very few of them by the book.

The book also called for the proper filling out of paperwork. However, in my experience, when you have 16 incident reports to fill out you tend to gloss over the details and do your best to justify your actions. I often lied on my progress reports and heard of other counselors doing the same. Once during an incident involving a restraint in where I restrained a boy in Lisicha's cabin for hiding under a bed I wrote up the boy for attempting to run away. Not a single eye brow was raised about the report or the incident despite the fact it was pretty obvious I was blatantly being dishonest to protect myself. My embellishments on incident reports didn't seem like such a serious problem at the time as my group was experiencing such severe behavioral problems that everyone seemed to think that the number of restraints were justifiable.

The group’s behavior was so up and down that multiple restraints became the norm. During one particularly sickening day I performed 26 restraints with no help from my co workers. One supervisor even called over on the radio and asked me to keep my group quiet as it was disturbing a meeting. At some point I had to beg for someone to come relieve me so I could use the toilet. Restraints became so common in Lisicha that I became sort of trigger happy. If a kid even twitched to hard it ended up in a restraint. I remember restraining a kid for using the f-word once and nothing was even said to me. If my restraints were bad some of the supervisors and other counselors were worst. I’ll describe this more later on in this statement. I began to suffer physically and mentally from the stress, but it was the boys suffered the most through the variety of consequences they endured on that day and others like it.

Consequences  at Three Springs are designed to bring about compliance of an individual or group. Here is a list of the commonly used ones:

1) sitting on a rock all day
2) Group Ignore- the child was completely ignored by his group and had to cook al his own food and sleep in a tent.
3) Primitive: This is where the boy was kicked out of his group completely and forced to live in his own campsite, cook his own food, and was not allowed to speak to anyone.
4) quiet time- not being allowed to talk
5) standing quiet time- not being allowed to talk and standing quietly
6) personal fire drill- the child was given a few fire drills randomly through out the night for behaviors in the day.
7) Building Ban- not being allowed in the buildings
8) Campsite- the whole group was made to eat and cook on their campsite, get up earlier, and not allowed to talk on campus.
9: Manure therapy- shoveling horse crap at the horse barn all day
10) Personal Gott- being forced to carry a 5 gallon jug of water
11) Work projects- this could vary from chopping wood to cleaning their campsites

One of the stranger consequences I witnessed involved a young man who was made to carry his own gott of water everywhere and being made to walk 100 poles a day until he began to comply with the program. Walking poles was where they walked the distance from 1 telephone pole to the next and then back to count as 1 lap. Another consequence that struck me as odd involved a blunder on my own part.

I was caught making three of my own group members carry cinder blocks around the bleachers by the baseball field. One of the higher ups from the Huntsville office witnessed it and complained that I wasn’t making sure the consequence had some meaning attached to it. She later told me that I should have gotten the boys to move the whole pile of cinder blocks so they clean out underneath them. According to her this would have given the consequence some sort of legitimacy. Personally, in retrospect, I think both her and my consequence were nonsense.

More nonsense that went on regularly at Three Springs was treatment team. Each week the counselors(no formal psychological training), the family worker(no formal psychological training, and the supervisor(no formal psychological training would all get together and assess the progress of the members of their group. Most of these treatments did not involve the facility psychologist. Of course this was the same psychologist the kids saw a mere 20 minutes or less every month.  During this meeting interventions were created to help move the boys through the program.

One of the worst aspects of treatment teams was the evaluation of topics that the boys did every week. These topics done in Nightly were examined and discussed. I frequently witnessed the boys being told that they weren’t being honest enough about why they are in the program. Often, I believe anyway, the boys resorted to gross exaggeration to bluff their way past treatment team to satisfy the mania for introspection.  Another problem I witnessed was the living conditions.

Three Springs houses the boys in campsites that have three to five buildings. These buildings include the cookshed, woodshed, nightly site, cabin, and trunk room. More often than not counselors allowed their groups to leave their campsites in a disgusting state. I often found myself sleeping in a cabin that smelled so vile that it was not uncommon for me to sleep with my head out the door. I regularly found rat feces on plates, clothing, in trunks, under beds, and on shelves. Shower houses tended to have green slime and mold on the walls and a frequent complaint was mice and rats in the pantry in the kitchen.

The kitchen presented another item of concern during my stay at Three Springs. The food cooked and served  by the kitchen staff with the assistance of the boys was often disgusting and unappetizing. Many of the boys in my group complained of weight loss due to not being able to eat. I’m not a finicky eater so loosing weight wasn’t an issue  for me. However, several residents who had medications that increased or suppressed their appetites tended to suffer from the lack of quality food. Weekend meals often served sandwiches with white bread, baloney, and potato chips as a nutritious meal. Poor food lead to one of the most violent incidents I witnessed at Three Springs.

I was sitting at my table talking to the kids in my group when a resident grew angry about something and started lashing out at others. Three counselors restrained him, very painfully on the floor in the corner. I later asked him what got him angry and he said that he was just sick and tired of eating crappy food and being hungry all the time. This wasn’t the only incident of violence that occurred at Three Springs.

Here is a list of incidents that occurred during my time at Three Springs:

1) A counselor at the County Choices program restrained a kid with such force he cracked the wooden cabin floor.
2) A counselor drove his shoulder into the stomach of a kid who was being carried down a hill by two others and performed what he termed a T-bone maneuver.
3) A unit director picked a boy up by his feet and banged his head on the ground.
4) Another unit director picked a kid up and swung him around like a rag doll and then apparently threw the kid.
5) I jumped over a table and restrained a kid with such force I ended up with a knot on my head and bruised knee.
6) Another counselor regularly used to tell others that the best thing to do on your first day in group was to , “boom a kid” to get them to behave.
7) A female unit director bragged of suplexing a kid.
8) A supervisor restrained a boy on the concrete and deliberately ground the boy’s elbows and knees into the concrete to inflict pain on him.
9) Another supervisor performed a running tackle on a boy for cursing at another staffer.
10) I restrained a boy in the gravel with such force it left his imprint in the ground.
11) I personally witnessed a staffer use a choke hold on a boy.
12) Another staffer bragged that he found banging a kid’s head on the concrete a good way to settle them down.

There is so much more I could add, but the sheer number of incidents makes it hard to sort threw them all. At night I sometimes have nightmares about what went on at Three Springs. Guilt was what led me to examine myself and my actions. It was remorse that made me want to do some sort of penance for what I did and what I didn’t do. My biggest regret to this day isn’t what I did, but the fact that I remained silent while working at Three Springs. It wasn’t until I was terminated for handing out a consequence that resulted in a young man sustaining a minor abrasion to his nose that I was forced to see the bigger picture.

My temination forced me out of a world where abuse on a weekly to daily basis seemed routine and part of the job. It forced me into the real world where such things are not tolerated. It wasn't to long before I began to feel a huge sense of guilt over all that had transpired. I don't hate Three Springs for terminating. Quite the opposite as I'm more than willing to thank them for forcing me out of such a soul destroying operation. Many people have claimed Three Springs saved their life with the time they spent there. I claim Three Springs saved my life by forcing me to leave. This action helped me to move onto a healthier place.

It took me awhile to readjust to not waking up every hour, not living with the constant hyper-awareness of living with 10 young boys, not suffering panic attacks, not throwing up from those panic attacks, not suffering constant knee and back pain, and finally not being in a place where hurting people appears to be part of the job as long as it is in the name of treatment. I offer no excuses or explanations as to why I didn't report what I witnessed other than to say it never once occurred to me to do so during my twenty two months of employment and nor was it ever overly encouraged of us to act in our mandated reporter roles as we all should have been doing. This at times has added to my guilt factor, but my sense of remorse and guilt for what I have done and not done has more or less been exorcised after making contact with some of the boys I worked with.  To date all that have been contacted have all accepted my apologies and we have maintained a friendly relationship.

It makes me happy to know that despite Three Springs and the hell they endured, those wonderful young men have grown up to be better a better sort of man than I ever have or will be.




rough draft 1st copy^

3rd revision
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Che Gookin on November 27, 2008, 09:25:36 AM
Another ex-staffer I know who gave me permission to repost this off Heal:

Quote
FORMER EMPLOYEE REPORT #1

 
Please keep me Anonymous.

Everything in my statement is true. I give HEAL permission to use my statement. The following is a true statement of my experience at Three Springs as an EX-Counselor for their Georgia Girls program.  The programs in Georgia, both for girls and boys, have been shut down by Three Springs due to withdrawal of state funding for the programs in 2006.  Other Three Springs programs remain open and are equally as abusive and dangerous as the ones in Georgia.  The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) funded the Georgia programs.  Other Three Springs programs are privately owned and operated.

 

All the children who attended the Georgia programs were legally in the custody of the state for a period of 2 years. Three Springs had two separate programs, Short Term and Long Term.  The Short Term program was dubbed the “emergency shelter”.  This program usually lasted between 1 and 90 days and usually had residents who were awaiting placement in a Long Term program either at Three Springs or elsewhere in the state.  A small percentage of the residents who attended the Short Term program were actually sentenced for a period of 60-90 days in confinement.  We were used to alleviate the overcrowding in Youth Detention Centers (YDC).  The Long Term program was usually 6 months to 2 years, with the average stay being 1.5 years.  The Long Term program had different expectations of residents than the Short Term program but similar goals for rehabilitation.  Average group size of the Short Term program was 10-15 residents and of the Long Term program 8-12 residents.  Typical number of counselors on duty in the Short Term program was 2 at a time with occasional days of 1 counselor on duty at a time.  The Long Term program found counselors alone with the residents most of the time with occasional days of 2 counselors at a time.  Most of the girls were in the programs due to truancy from school, stealing, drug, and alcohol use.  The age range was 11-18 yrs old.

 

I worked for Three Springs from May of 2004 to September 2004.  Initially I was taken in by their website.  It was appealing and looked to be a good program.  I agreed to relocate and work for them after college graduation.  I did not know it would be emotionally and psychologically as well as physically damaging.

 

I worked for the Georgia Girls in their Short Term program.  Training lasted 1-2 weeks (I really don’t remember much as I’ve blocked most of it out.)  During training, we were taught how to de-escalate a situation and restrain residents.  As counselors, we were required to stay overnight on campus during the length of our shifts.  Our shifts usually lasted from 2-4 days with some exceptions being 5 days or more.  The days began at 5:45am and ended whenever the residents would decide to quiet down and go to sleep, usually anywhere from 10:30pm until 1:00am on some nights.  Average amount of sleep obtained on any given shift after paperwork was done every night was approximately 2-3 hours.  Counselors were not allowed breaks during the day and had to be with their group of residents at all times.  Calls for supervisors to relieve counselors for short bathroom/sanity breaks often went unheeded.

 

The everyday schedule included meals, school, therapy, vocational, and recreational time.  The meals consisted of pre-packaged easy to prepare things like hamburger helper, tuna helper, or other simple foods.  Usually calories were high to meet the state standards, but the quality of the food was poor with very little fresh vegetables and fruit to supplement the diets of the residents.  Counselors were expected to cook for the residents.  Occasionally residents earned the right to cook for the group, but that was rare.  Qualified teachers did school on campus.  It was mostly an independent study and the residents were expected to complete material on their own.  The supervisors or counselors, most of whom did not have psychology degrees, usually oversaw therapy.  Actual face time with a qualified psychiatrist averaged 30 minutes per month and it was usually an adjustment of the medications residents were placed on.  Therapy at Three Springs usually consisted of watching a couple movies (28 days and some Lifetime movie on rape) and discussing the movies.  Vocational time was where a majority of the focus was spent.  “Voc time” as it was called by many of the counselors usually consisted of manual labor done by the residents and counselors.  Mowing lawns, picking up trash, cleaning the cabins, weeding, and raking were just a few of the activities performed by residents.  Counselors typically supervised and assisted occasionally.  Recreational time was usually limited to 30 minutes to an hour and was a sport such as basketball or kickball, although most of the time our time was limited.   Most of the time, the recreational activity was an exercise tape that played while the counselor supervised and made a meal, usually lunch or dinner.

 

Some of the common interventions included:

 

Run Risk:  A consequence and intervention implemented when a resident decided to make a break for it and run.  Usually involved wearing an orange reflective construction vest and remaining within 10 feet of staff at all times.  On rare occasions, or when there were no more vests available, the resident would be required to wear an orange prison jumpsuit.  Due to the nature of the jumpsuit, the resident was denied pants or shorts during the period of time they dressed in the jumpsuit.  The jumpsuit was usually only worn by the highest risk offender (any resident who had been on run risk and had decided to take off a second time).  Usually if they were placed in the jumpsuit, they would also have to be on “Contact Buddy.”

 

Contact Buddy:  A popular intervention that included the resident wearing the orange jumpsuit.  The resident would be denied their privilege of free movement.  They, or a piece of their clothing that was attached to their bodies, had to be held by staff at all times.  This was usually implemented with staff holding the tee-shirt the resident wore at all times.

 

Suicide Precaution:  A safety measure taken for when residents are threatening to harm themselves or others.  Bathroom protocol included making them strip to their underwear, making them keep one hand visible to staff at all times, and the resident having to sing or keep talking to ensure the resident wasn’t doing something that would harm themselves.  This procedure was done in front of another resident for safety of the counselor on duty.  The resident on suicide precaution would also have to run their fingers under their undergarments in order to ensure nothing had been hidden there.  During showers, the residents on suicide precaution had to shower with a counselor watching.  The shower curtain covered them, but the middle loops had been taken down so the counselor could observe their face and neck while in the shower.  The counselor also had to hand the resident their soap and shampoo.

 

Many of the residents admitted to the Three Springs program were violent and aggressive towards counselors and each other.  I left Three Springs shifts with bruises on my arms from attempting to restrain a resident due to violent outbursts.  The residents had threatened me.  There were days where I had to continually watch my back.

 

The administration of the facility was equally as unresponsive.  The administration refused to look out for the safety and health of ANY of the counselors employed at the facility. Most of the feedback given to counselors was in the form of negative criticism with the threat of termination.  The administration also failed to look at possible alternatives for poor program performance.   When I went to them with concerns and solutions, I was shot down with “We can’t do that because” or “That’s not a good idea because”.

 

A fellow counselor for the Long Term program had been beaten up by one of the residents.  The resident kicked, punched, hit, and bit her. The resident also used a broomstick or metal pole to strike the counselor.  The counselor had to be removed by other counselors and she promptly fell into unconsciousness.  The administration refused to let her go to the hospital and she had to continue working her entire shift.

 

Prior to my employment, there had been a riot at the school on campus.  It resulted in a cabin getting shut down and residents shuffling to other cabins as well as leaving the facility.  It ended up overburdening counselors and overcrowding cabin rooms.

 

There were other things that occurred too.  A counselor locked herself in the bathroom because she didn’t want to be with the residents. She was scared to be with them. She was having panic attacks due to the stress of the job and being around the children.  Additionally, two counselors walked out mid-shift. Both counselors walked out while I worked at the facility.

 

I once sat for 26 hours with 2 kids refusing to do anything with no instructions on how to deal with them and approximately 4 – 5 minute bathroom breaks.  I did receive a break when night staff came in to watch the residents overnight, but the next morning, I was right back in the same room.

After being employed for one month, I began having panic attacks.  They progressively worsened and I ended up crying for 6-8 hours at a time. I could not bring myself to stop crying at times. When I would get it under control, I would be good for about 1 or 2 hours then go back to crying. I couldn’t mentally function or physically bring myself to function.  I was so tired and exhausted mentally and physically that eventually I just shut myself off from everything and everyone. I became a zombie. The stress finally got to me and I quit September 10th 2004 and it’s a decision I DO NOT regret.  I am ashamed that I worked for a place such as Three Springs and allowed my safety and common sense to be overruled for so long.

 
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Che Gookin on November 28, 2008, 06:02:37 AM
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=25914&p=316084&hilit=Three+Springs#p316084 (http://fornits.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=25914&p=316084&hilit=Three+Springs#p316084)

Consolidation articles
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Che Gookin on November 28, 2008, 06:13:15 AM
Quote
http://www.showmenews.com/2001/Sep/20010914News014.asp

Written in 2001

Story ran on Friday, September 14 2001
TUSKEGEE, Ala. (AP) - When Dionte Pickens? body was found, it was hanging in a closet of a juvenile lockup, a black leather belt looped around the 14-year-old?s neck.

His mother believes that her child?s death last October - whether a suicide or a murder - was the result of inadequate supervision at the for-profit Three Springs detention center in Tuskegee. A lawsuit contends Pickens died while his designated supervisor was playing a video game.

The death and the lawsuit have raised questions about the treatment of juveniles at the center, run by Huntsville-based Three Springs Inc., which operates 21 juvenile programs in Alabama and six other states.

The state?s welfare agency has removed about a dozen teens who were assigned there, but the state Department of Youth Services has 25 juveniles at the Tuskegee site and 49 at a center Three Springs operates in Madison.

The state deputy chief medical examiner concluded - after an autopsy and an investigation - that Pickens? death in the cinderblock room was a suicide.

The Alabama Bureau of Investigation referred its investigation report on Pickens? death to the Macon County District Attorney?s Office. Deputy District Attorney Kenneth Gibbs said an investigation was continuing.

Several privately run facilities that treat young offenders have been criticized for poor supervision and management in several states, including centers in Colorado and Louisiana.

Wendy Brooks Crew, a lawyer for Pickens? mother, said Pickens had been locked up in Tuscaloosa for truancy when he was transferred hundreds of miles to the Three Springs center at Tuskegee. Crew said Pickens? mother was not informed in advance about the transfer.

Pickens? mother, Louisa Dunn, claims Three Springs Inc., which is paid $121.50 a day for each of the youngsters assigned to the state it keeps in Tuskegee, either allowed Pickens to be murdered by hanging or allowed him to commit suicide.

The suit contends that a doctor at Three Springs had recommended within three days of Pickens arrival that he have a psychological evaluation as soon as possible.

Instead, Pickens was "housed in a room with non-breakaway hardware" and allowed to have a belt, Crew said. Pickens never received a psychological evaluation and his death was more than a month after his arrival, she said.

Three Springs knew that Pickens, who was taking anti-depressant and psychotropic medication, had previously attempted suicide, Crew said.

Three Springs attorney Marc Givhan said the company is saddened by the death, but would not comment beyond that.

While the state continues to use the Tuskegee facility, state Human Resources Commissioner Bill Fuller said that after he heard about Pickens? death, he removed all of the "12 or 13" abused and neglected teens who were assigned there.

"The atmosphere was generally oppressive for my children," Fuller said.

"My primary reason was not the recent death so much as the physical conditions that my boys were exposed to day-to-day, a confinement atmosphere," he said.
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Che Gookin on November 28, 2008, 06:15:39 AM
Quote
Printed in 2003


Wednesday, July 9, 2003


Va. State Police Still Puzzled By Young Trail Hiker?s Death
By Karl B. Hille
The Winchester Star


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Virginia State Police are still awaiting autopsy results on a Georgia girl who collapsed July 2 on the Appalachian Trail in Clarke County.

Danita Ritchie, 15, of Gwinnett County, Ga., was hiking with a group of young people near the Clarke-Loudoun County line when she became ill, State Police said.

By the time rescue workers could reach the remote section of trail, Ritchie was beyond help, said Trooper Richard McClanahan.

There was no indication of foul play or injury, McClanahan said.

?I?ve talked to the pathologist that did the autopsy,? he said. ?She told me there wasn?t any injuries. She thought it [the cause of death] was going to be medical, but she was waiting for results to come back from the lab to determine the exact cause.?

He said it could take six to eight weeks for a final report from the coroner?s office in Fairfax.

Ritchie collapsed on Buzzard Hill, McClanahan said, which is located on a portion of the trail known to hikers as ?the Roller Coaster? because of its steep climbs and descents.

He said the group of hikers was about two miles north of Morgans Mill Road, near Mount Weather.

Clarke County Sheriff Dale Gardner said last week that Ritchie was the second teen to report health problems while hiking that portion of the trail in recent days.

The week before, a 15-year-old boy became ill while hiking and was helped from the trail, Gardner said.
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Che Gookin on November 28, 2008, 06:20:12 AM
http://cafety.org/index.php?option=com_ ... 44&catid=9 (http://cafety.org/index.php?option=com_joomlaboard&Itemid=26&func=view&id=344&catid=9)

Cafety thread on Auldern Academy
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: kev (antiWWASP.com) on November 28, 2008, 06:25:54 AM
Quote from: "Che Gookin"
http://fornits.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=25914&p=316084&hilit=Three+Springs#p316084

Consolidation articles

this function of the forums gives you a perfect example (in the highlighted terms when you query the forums with that string...) of keyword density if you needed a visual interpretation. the highlights show how many times that keyword is seen by google throughout that article. if anyone knew the exact algorithm there would be no competition as everyone would make sites to the formula, and we would lose relevance in the engine as time progressed. my interpretation of SEO is as follows (and is the reason i have the #1 google ranking for the search term "wwasp", psy locked down "sue scheff" in much the same way)...

Listed in order of importance.

1. inbound and outbound links (how many friends does your website have)
2. relevent content and keyword placement within that content.
3. helping search engines understand your content (sitemaps, text navigation, etc)
4. much more to it, but these basics are to help you sculpt content to the needs of the portal.

i can tell you exactly what to produce if thats what this is about. psy will be leading direction of your research. but you will be helping yourselves even more if you work to produce content which i can just ok, instead of running full edits to maintain efficiency for the portal. just trying to be helpful, not dictate your work. if it is better for you to have me handle all the aspects of SEO, let me, just keep producing the compelling works you're all so capable of cranking out and we will zoom past our targets on all major search engines.
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: hurrikayne on November 28, 2008, 11:30:52 AM
Give it another read through, make sure you are happy with the edits.

My Time at Paint Rock Valley Boys

I worked as a counselor at Three Springs of Paint Rock Valley Boys from 2002 to 2004. During that time I participated in abusive acts and witnessed even more. My actions have brought me a great deal of personal pain and remorse. It wasn’t until after I was terminated, for what essentially was the exercising of poor judgment that I came to realize the full extent of what I did and saw. Everything must have a start and my story started with the extremely poor training I received, moved on to the appalling lack of supervision, and is rounded out by the horrible conditions of the facility.

I started working at Three Springs a few weeks before Christmas at the end of 2002. At my time of hire I spent four or so weeks going through the Three Springs 100 hour new employee training. During this time I went to classes all day and spent time with a group at night. The training program was inadequate to say the least. Most of it went over the various levels of the stages system, the medicine wheel, and creed. We received minimal medical training, minimal training in how to deal with violence, minimal training in dealing with people who were upset. All in all we received very little useful training to prepare us for covering the group we were being trained to cover.

Once training was complete, and we passed our tests, which most of us cheated on, we were given our group assignments. My group was the group of Lisicha. This group was the youth group that consisted of boys from the ages 10 to 14 or so. My first introduction to Lisicha involved a restraint in the middle of the dining hall during lunch hour between two of my training classes. Restraints were something that I learned happened quite frequently in Lisicha.

My first restraint with my group occurred at night after a young man attempted to hit my co counselor. Nearly 10 restraints later the group was finally willing to calm down enough to go to bed. At some point it became apparent that the traditional methods of SAMA (Satori Alternatives to Managing Aggression) were pretty useless. The methods taught to me by Three Springs took too long, were too awkward, and normally resulted in the restraints taking longer. At this point I began to use what could be termed as Shock and Awe, which actually works pretty well if your goal is to pound a group into passive submission.

Shock and Awe restraints are when I would slam the kid into the ground as hard as I could to force him to submit in the shortest amount of time. Luckily for the boys no one was seriously physically hurt. The worst injury incurred during a restraint was a broken collar bone. That was more from the location of the restraint that the force, which was fairly minimal but on a rocky trail. My Shock and Awe methods of restraints rarely seemed to raise an eyebrow. I used these techniques of rendering a boy submissive in public on a regular basis in front of other counselors, supervisors, family worker, and unit directors. I think during my time I was written up twice for improper restraint during the performance of roughly 300 restraints and very few of them by the book.

The book also called for the proper filling out of paperwork. However, in my experience, when you have 16 incident reports to fill out you tend to gloss over the details and do your best to justify your actions. I often lied on my progress reports and heard of other counselors doing the same. Once during an incident involving a restraint in where I restrained a boy in Lisicha's cabin for hiding under a bed I wrote up the boy for attempting to run away. Not a single eyebrow was raised about the report or the incident despite the fact it was pretty obvious I was blatantly being dishonest to protect myself. My embellishments on incident reports didn't seem like such a serious problem at the time as my group was experiencing such severe behavioral problems that everyone seemed to think that the number of restraints were justifiable.

The group’s behavior was so up and down that multiple restraints became the norm. During one particularly sickening day I performed twenty-six restraints with no help from my co-workers. One supervisor even called over on the radio and asked me to keep my group quiet as it was disturbing a meeting. At some point I had to beg for someone to come relieve me so I could use the toilet. Restraints became so common in Lisicha that I became sort of trigger happy. If a kid even twitched too hard he ended up in a restraint. I remember restraining a kid for using the f-word once and nothing was even said to me. If my restraints were bad, some of the supervisors and other counselors were worse. I’ll describe this more later on in this statement. I began to suffer physically and mentally from the stress, but it was the boys who suffered the most through the variety of consequences they endured on that day and others like it.

Consequences at Three Springs are designed to bring about compliance of an individual or group. Here is a list of the commonly used ones:

1.) Sitting on a rock all day
2.) Group Ignore: The child was completely ignored by his group and had to cook al his own food and sleep in a tent.
3.) Primitive: This is where the boy was kicked out of his group completely and forced to live in his own campsite, cook his own food, and was not allowed to speak to anyone.
4.) Quiet Time: Not being allowed to talk
5.) Standing Quiet Time: Not being allowed to talk and standing quietly
6.) Personal Fire Drill: The child was given a few fire drills randomly throughout the night for behaviors in the day.
7.) Building Ban: Not being allowed in the buildings
8.) Campsite: The whole group was made to eat and cook on their campsite, get up earlier, and not allowed to talk on campus.
9.) Manure Therapy: Shoveling horse manure at the horse barn all day
10.) Personal Gott: Being forced to carry a 5 gallon jug of water
11.) Work Projects: This could vary from chopping wood to cleaning their campsites

One of the stranger consequences I witnessed, involved a young man who was made to carry his own gott of water everywhere, and was made to walk 100 poles a day until he began to comply with the program. Walking poles was where the child walked the distance from 1 telephone pole to the next and then back, to count as 1 lap.

Another consequence that struck me as odd involved a blunder on my own part. I was caught making three of my own group members carry cinder blocks around the bleachers by the baseball field. One of the higher ups from the Huntsville office witnessed it and complained that I wasn’t making sure the consequence had some meaning attached to it. She later told me that I should have gotten the boys to move the whole pile of cinder blocks so they could clean out underneath them. According to her, this would have given the consequence some sort of legitimacy. Personally, in retrospect, I think both her and my consequence were nonsense.

More nonsense that went on regularly at Three Springs was Treatment Team. Each week the counselors (no formal psychological training), the family worker (no formal psychological training, and the supervisor (no formal psychological training) would all get together and assess the progress of the members of their group. Most of these treatments did not involve the facility psychologist. Of course, this was the same psychologist the kids saw a mere 20 minutes or less every month. During this meeting, interventions were created to help move the boys through the program.

One of the worst aspects of Treatment Teams was the evaluation of topics that the boys did every week. These topics done in Nightly were examined and discussed. I frequently witnessed the boys being told that they weren’t being honest enough about why they are in the program. Often, I believe anyway, the boys resorted to gross exaggeration to bluff their way past Treatment Team to satisfy the mania for introspection.

Another problem I witnessed was the living conditions. Three Springs houses the boys in campsites that have three to five buildings. These buildings include the cook shed, woodshed, nightly site, cabin, and trunk room. More often than not counselors allowed their groups to leave their campsites in a disgusting state. I often found myself sleeping in a cabin that smelled so vile that it was not uncommon for me to sleep with my head out the door. I regularly found rat feces on plates, clothing, in trunks, under beds, and on shelves. Shower houses tended to have green slime and mold on the walls; another frequent complaint was mice and rats in the pantry in the kitchen.

The kitchen presented another item of concern during my stay at Three Springs. The food cooked and served by the kitchen staff with the assistance of the boys was often disgusting and unappetizing. Many of the boys in my group complained of weight loss due to not being able to eat. I’m not a finicky eater so loosing weight wasn’t an issue for me. However, several residents who had medications that increased or suppressed their appetites, tended to suffer from the lack of quality food. Weekend meals often served were sandwiches with white bread, baloney, and potato chips as a ‘nutritious’ meal.

Poor food led to one of the most violent incidents I witnessed at Three Springs. I was sitting at my table talking to the kids in my group when a resident grew angry about something and started lashing out at others. Three counselors restrained him, very painfully, on the floor in the corner. I later asked him what got him angry and he said that he was just sick and tired of eating crappy food and being hungry all the time. This wasn’t the only incident of violence that occurred at Three Springs.

Here is a list of incidents that occurred during my time at Three Springs:

1.) A counselor at the County Choices program restrained a kid with such force he cracked the wooden cabin floor.
2.) A counselor drove his shoulder into the stomach of a kid who was being carried down a hill by two others and performed what he termed a ‘T-bone Maneuver’.
3.) A unit director picked a boy up by his feet and banged his head on the ground.
4.) Another unit director picked a kid up and swung him around like a rag doll and then apparently threw the kid.
5.) I jumped over a table and restrained a kid with such force I ended up with a knot on my head and bruised knee.
6.) Another counselor regularly used to tell others that the best thing to do on your first day in group was to, “boom a kid” to get them to behave.
7.) A female unit director bragged of suplexing a kid.
8.) A supervisor restrained a boy on the concrete and deliberately ground the boy’s elbows and knees into the concrete to inflict pain on him.
9.) Another supervisor performed a running tackle on a boy for cursing at another staffer.
10.) I restrained a boy in the gravel with such force it left his imprint in the ground.
11.) I personally witnessed a staffer use a choke hold on a boy.
12.) Another staffer bragged that he found banging a kid’s head on the concrete a good way to settle them down.

There is so much more I could add, but the sheer number of incidents makes it hard to sort threw them all. At night, I sometimes have nightmares about what went on at Three Springs. Guilt was what led me to examine myself and my actions. It was remorse that made me want to do some sort of penance for what I did, and for what I didn’t do. My biggest regret to this day isn’t what I did, but the fact that I remained silent while working at Three Springs.

It wasn’t until I was terminated for handing out a consequence that resulted in a young man sustaining a minor abrasion to his nose that I was forced to see the bigger picture.
My termination forced me out of a world where abuse on a weekly to daily basis seemed routine, and part of the job. It forced me into the real world where such things are not tolerated. It wasn't to long before I began to feel a huge sense of guilt over all that had transpired. I don't hate Three Springs for terminating me. Quite the opposite, as I'm more than willing to thank them for forcing me out of such a soul destroying operation. Many people have claimed Three Springs saved their life with the time they spent there. I claim Three Springs saved my life by forcing me to leave. This action helped me to move onto a healthier place.

It took me awhile to readjust to not waking up every hour, not living with the constant hyper-awareness of living with 10 young boys, not suffering panic attacks, not throwing up from those panic attacks, not suffering constant knee and back pain, and finally not being in a place where hurting people appears to be part of the job as long as it is in the name of treatment. I offer no excuses or explanations as to why I didn't report what I witnessed other than to say it never once occurred to me to do so during my twenty-two months of employment, nor was it ever overly encouraged of us to act in our mandated reporter roles as we all should have been doing. This, at times, has added to my guilt factor, but my sense of remorse and guilt for what I have done and not done has more or less been exorcised after making contact with some of the boys I worked with. To date all that have been contacted have accepted my apologies and we have maintained a friendly relationship.

It makes me happy to know that despite Three Springs, and the hell they endured, those wonderful young men have grown up to be better a better sort of man than I ever have or will be.
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: hurrikayne on November 28, 2008, 12:19:42 PM
I edited this one as well....hope he/she doesn't mind...again, read through, let me know if you are not happy with it.

FORMER EMPLOYEE REPORT #1


Please keep me Anonymous.

Everything in my statement is true. I give HEAL permission to use my statement. The following is a true statement of my experience at Three Springs as an EX-Counselor for their Georgia Girls program. The programs in Georgia, both for girls and boys, have been shut down by Three Springs due to withdrawal of state funding for the programs in 2006. Other Three Springs programs remain open and are equally as abusive and dangerous as the ones in Georgia. The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) funded the Georgia programs. Other Three Springs programs are privately owned and operated.

All the children who attended the Georgia programs were legally in the custody of the state for a period of 2 years. Three Springs had two separate programs, Short Term and Long Term. The Short Term program was dubbed the “emergency shelter”. This program usually lasted between 1 and 90 days and usually had residents who were awaiting placement in a Long Term program either at Three Springs or elsewhere in the state. A small percentage of the residents who attended the Short Term program were actually sentenced for a period of 60-90 days in confinement.

We were used to alleviate the overcrowding in Youth Detention Centers (YDC). The Long Term program was usually 6 months to 2 years, with the average stay being 1.5 years. The Long Term program had different expectations of residents than the Short Term program but similar goals for rehabilitation. Average group size of the Short Term program was 10-15 residents; the Long Term program was 8-12 residents. The typical number of counselors on duty in the Short Term program was 2 at a time with occasional days of 1 counselor on duty at a time. The Long Term program found counselors alone with the residents most of the time with occasional days of 2 counselors at a time. Most of the girls were in the programs due to truancy from school, stealing, drug, and alcohol use. The age range was 11-18 yrs old.

I worked for Three Springs from May of 2004 to September 2004. Initially I was taken in by their website. It was appealing and looked to be a good program. I agreed to relocate and work for them after college graduation. I did not know it would be emotionally and psychologically as well as physically damaging.

I worked for the Georgia Girls in their Short Term program. Training lasted 1-2 weeks (I really don’t remember much as I’ve blocked most of it out.) During training, we were taught how to de-escalate a situation and restrain residents. As counselors, we were required to stay overnight on campus during the length of our shifts. Our shifts usually lasted from 2-4 days with some exceptions being 5 days or more. The days began at 5:45 a.m. and ended whenever the residents would decide to quiet down and go to sleep, usually anywhere from 10:30 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. on some nights. Average amount of sleep obtained on any given shift after paperwork was done every night was approximately 2-3 hours. Counselors were not allowed breaks during the day and had to be with their group of residents at all times. Calls for supervisors to relieve counselors for short bathroom/sanity breaks often went unheeded.

The everyday schedule included meals, school, therapy, vocational, and recreational time. The meals consisted of pre-packaged easy to prepare things like hamburger helper, tuna helper, or other simple foods. Usually calories were high to meet the state standards, but the quality of the food was poor with very little fresh vegetables and fruit to supplement the diets of the residents. Counselors were expected to cook for the residents. Occasionally residents earned the right to cook for the group, but that was rare.

Qualified teachers did school on campus. It was mostly an independent study and the residents were expected to complete material on their own. The supervisors or counselors, most of whom did not have psychology degrees, usually oversaw therapy. Actual face time with a qualified psychiatrist averaged 30 minutes per month and it was usually an adjustment of the medications residents were placed on.

Therapy at Three Springs usually consisted of watching a couple movies (28 days and some Lifetime movie on rape) and discussing the movies. Vocational time was where a majority of the focus was spent. “Voc time” as it was called by many of the counselors usually consisted of manual labor done by the residents and counselors.

Mowing lawns, picking up trash, cleaning the cabins, weeding, and raking were just a few of the activities performed by residents. Counselors typically supervised and assisted occasionally. Recreational time was usually limited to 30 minutes to an hour and was a sport such as basketball or kickball, although most of the time our time was limited. Most of the time, the recreational activity was an exercise tape that played while the counselor supervised and made a meal, usually lunch or dinner.

Some of the common interventions included:

Run Risk: A consequence and intervention implemented when a resident decided to make a break for it and run. This usually involved wearing an orange reflective construction vest and remaining within 10 feet of staff at all times. On rare occasions, or when there were no more vests available, the resident would be required to wear an orange prison jumpsuit. Due to the nature of the jumpsuit, the resident was denied pants or shorts during the period of time they dressed in the jumpsuit. The jumpsuit was usually only worn by the highest risk offender (any resident who had been on run risk and had decided to take off a second time). Usually if they were placed in the jumpsuit, they would also have to be on “Contact Buddy.”

Contact Buddy: A popular intervention that included the resident wearing the orange jumpsuit. The resident would be denied their privilege of free movement. They, or a piece of their clothing that was attached to their bodies, had to be held by staff at all times. This was usually implemented with staff holding the tee-shirt the resident wore at all times.

Suicide Precaution: A safety measure taken for when residents are threatening to harm themselves or others. Bathroom protocol included making them strip to their underwear, making them keep one hand visible to staff at all times, and the resident having to sing or keep talking to ensure the resident wasn’t doing something that would harm themselves. This procedure was done in front of another resident for safety of the counselor on duty. The resident on suicide precaution would also have to run their fingers under their undergarments in order to ensure nothing had been hidden there. During showers, the residents on suicide precaution had to shower with a counselor watching. The shower curtain covered them, but the middle loops had been taken down so the counselor could observe their face and neck while in the shower. The counselor also had to hand the resident their soap and shampoo.

Many of the residents admitted to the Three Springs program were violent and aggressive towards counselors and each other. I left Three Springs shifts with bruises on my arms from attempting to restrain a resident due to violent outbursts. The residents had threatened me. There were days where I had to continually watch my back.

The administration of the facility was equally as unresponsive. The administration refused to look out for the safety and health of ANY of the counselors employed at the facility. Most of the feedback given to counselors was in the form of negative criticism with the threat of termination. The administration also failed to look at possible alternatives for poor program performance. When I went to them with concerns and solutions, I was shot down with “We can’t do that because” or “That’s not a good idea because”.

A fellow counselor for the Long Term program had been beaten up by one of the residents. The resident kicked, punched, hit, and bit her. The resident also used a broomstick or metal pole to strike the counselor. The counselor had to be removed by other counselors and she promptly fell into unconsciousness. The administration refused to let her go to the hospital and she had to continue working her entire shift.

Prior to my employment, there had been a riot at the school on campus. It resulted in a cabin getting shut down and residents shuffling to other cabins as well as leaving the facility. It ended up overburdening counselors and overcrowding cabin rooms.

There were other things that occurred too. A counselor locked herself in the bathroom because she didn’t want to be with the residents. She was scared to be with them. She was having panic attacks due to the stress of the job and being around the children. Additionally, two counselors walked out mid-shift. Both counselors walked out while I worked at the facility.

I once sat for 26 hours with 2 kids refusing to do anything with no instructions on how to deal with them and approximately 4 – 5 minute bathroom breaks. I did receive a break when night staff came in to watch the residents overnight, but the next morning, I was right back in the same room.

After being employed for one month, I began having panic attacks. They progressively worsened and I ended up crying for 6-8 hours at a time. I could not bring myself to stop crying at times. When I would get it under control, I would be good for about 1 or 2 hours then go back to crying. I couldn’t mentally function or physically bring myself to function. I was so tired and exhausted mentally and physically that eventually I just shut myself off from everything and everyone. I became a zombie. The stress finally got to me and I quit September 10th 2004 and it’s a decision I DO NOT regret. I am ashamed that I worked for a place such as Three Springs and allowed my safety and common sense to be overruled for so long.
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Che Gookin on November 28, 2008, 05:35:49 PM
She's gonna be doing some extensive re-working on that post to update it due to changing conditions. Mine looks good though.

kevo.. go ahead and post up the revision hurrikayne did on mine. Looks good to me.
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: kev (antiWWASP.com) on November 28, 2008, 10:01:23 PM
yessir masta seh... ;D
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Che Gookin on December 07, 2008, 04:58:43 PM
Quote
I don't have any pics, i will share the memories of, among other things:
1) one-manning the gott in the rain from dining hall to the campsite in the rain, then eating frozen hot dogs with canned peas and carrots on the side
2) waiting for an oppositional buddy or NGM in the blistering cold or parching heat countless times
3) having disgusting, mildewed clothes after flipping over during the canoeing trip
4) using the privy (enough said)
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Kathy on December 07, 2008, 07:20:31 PM
==================================================
Youth Services shares rise on acquisition -
      Owings Mills firm  buying Ala.-based Three Springs; Stock
     
      price climbs 14%; $27  million deal could boost revenue by more than
     
      a third
==================================================
Sun, The (Baltimore, MD)-April 17, 1996
Author: SUN STAFF, Jay Hancock

        Wall Street found more reasons to love Youth Services International Inc. yesterday, as the Owings Mills company announced an acquisition that would boost revenue by more than a third. The news propelled its stock price upward by 14 percent.
       
        Youth Services agreed to buy Three Springs Inc., which is based in Huntsville, Ala., and runs programs for emotionally troubled adolescents. Three Springs operates 13 facilities across the Southeast and is best known for its ``therapeutic wilderness'' program.
       
        Fast-growing Youth Services runs centers for juvenile delinquents across the country. Its executives signed a letter of intent to buy Three Springs for 800,000 shares of Youth Services stock, worth about $27 million yesterday.
       
        Financial analysts praised the deal as one that would extend Youth Services' reach, add to its correctional tools and boost profits almost immediately.
       
        ``If they took over an operating facility in the past, they would delete it and put in their own program,'' said Dennis Moran, who follows Youth Services for financial house A. G. Edwards in St. Louis. ``[Three Springs] has a program that works. They've picked up a growth company that they don't have to turn around.''
       
        Three Springs' management will stay on, and Youth Services is expected to add its wilderness program to its treatment menu.
       
        Youth Services stock, which could have been had for $8.25 a share less than a year ago, popped by $4.25 yesterday to close at $34.25, a new high.
       
        ``It's a good acquisition. It's really going to solidify their market position in the Southeast as one of the major players,'' said William Bavin, who follows the company for Baltimore financial house Ferris, Baker Watts. ``It ought to add a decent amount to earnings.''
       
        Youth Services earned $2.2 million on $53.1 million in revenue for the year ending June 1995. The Three Springs deal is expected to add another $20 million in revenue.
       
        Youth Services said the acquisition would boost earnings, but didn't specify how much.
       
        Even so, at 54 times this year's estimated earnings per share, Youth Services stock is expensive even by the inflated standards of today's market. One explanation: It is being discovered by Wall Street.
       
        ``YSI is getting on the map,'' Mr. Moran said.
       
        In recent weeks, Genesis Merchant, A.G. Edwards and NatWest Securities all assigned financial analysts to the stock, nearly doubling the coverage and raising Youth Service's profile among mutual funds, pension funds and other deep-pocketed investors seeking the next hot growth company. Genesis, Edwards and NatWest all gave Youth Services ``buy'' ratings.
       
        Wall Street has reason to be interested, Youth Services' fans say. It is the biggest company in what some measure as a multi-billion dollar industry, but its 1995 revenues weren't even $54 million.
       
        Law enforcement agencies increasingly are hiring contractors like Youth Services for youth corrections work. And another trend may help the company even as it hurts society: The number of juvenile delinquents is expected to grow, as baby-boomers' kids move into their teens.
       
        Three Springs has a capacity of about 500 beds. Youth Services treats about 4,000 youths at 19 facilities in 12 states.
       
        If it goes through, and analysts expect that it will, the acquisition will add to Youth Services' facilities in Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia and introduce the company to Alabama and Georgia. Youth Services recently completed the buy of a Tampa, Fla., facility that is expected to add about $10 million in annual revenue.
       
        At almost eight times Three Springs' annual cash flow of $3.5 million, its $27 million price tag is ``a little high, but it's probably worth it,'' Mr. Bavin said.
       
        Pub Date: 4/17/96
     
Edition: FINAL
Section: BUSINESS
Page: 1C
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Kathy on December 07, 2008, 07:27:01 PM
==================================================
PULLING THE WEIGHT
      -
      GIRLS' WILDERNESS PROGRAM TEACHES CONSEQUENCES ==================================================
Richmond Times-Dispatch-December 8, 1996
Author: Kathryn Orth
      ;
      Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

        Six months ago, Elizabeth was a teen-ager out of control. She used drugs and struggled with anorexia and bulimia. Her parents had no influence over her.
       
        Now Elizabeth, not her real name, lives at the New Dominion School in a wilderness living program for troubled girls.
       
        She sleeps outdoors every night, regardless of the weather, in a shelter she helped build. She works hours every day with saws and shovels, cutting firewood or building shelter frames. Televisions and radios are banned.
       
        She and her tentmates light their wood stove only for a short time at dawn, to make getting up and dressing a little more comfortable. She works for the privilege of attending academic classes.
       
        It was a difficult adjustment, but Elizabeth, 15, has come to be grateful to her parents for bringing her to the school.
       
        "If I weren't here, I'd probably be dead," she said.
       
        Privately founded in 1976 as a wilderness school for boys, the New Dominion School was bought two years ago by Three Springs Inc. of Huntsville, Ala. The girls' division was added in March. Similar schools exist around the country, mainly in the West.
       
        It is the only wilderness living program for girls in Virginia. Virginia Baptist Hospital runs a wilderness living program for boys.
       
        Director Chris Yates has been with the school since 1976.
       
        "This (program) is to help girls who have had emotional problems that have resulted in destructive and dangerous behavior, to help them get that under control and establish positive thinking that becomes positive action," he
       
        said.   The program's philosophy is that hard work, being outdoors and cooperating with a group will help a child feel better about herself and grow, Yates said.
       
        Twenty-five girls live at the school. Of those, five are from other states. The school will eventually handle about 45. Several were sent to the school by their parents and the rest by social services agencies, he said.
       
        The girls are divided into three groups. Each group lives with counselors in tent shelters built by the group and is responsible for keeping its area clean, for cutting its own wood for the campfires and wood stoves, and for conducting work projects. The girls are building a larger tool shed for the shovels, rakes and axes that they use every day for their projects.
       
        One of the school's guiding principles is that actions have consequences, Yates said.
       
        "They learn fast (that) if they don't cut the wood, they're going to be cold," he said.
       
        If a girl shirks a duty, the group may call a meeting.
       
        "The group would make it clear that a girl is not pulling her weight. Parents don't have that one in their bag of tricks," Yates said.
       
        The tent shelter that Elizabeth sleeps in is home to four girls and a counselor. The girls cut the logs for the tent's posts and side rails and constructed the raised gravel floor.
       
        The girls stick to a strict daily schedule. Girls assigned as cook's helpers and servers rise at 6:15 a.m. and report for work in the dining hall. The others may sleep until 6:40.
       
        Chores begin at 7:10. The girls clean the privy, rake the trails and clean the campfire pits. After breakfast at 8, they check out tools for the day's work project. Elizabeth's group has been building an eating tent in their campsite area.
       
        Tents and personal areas are inspected daily. Elizabeth is proud of her orderly "p.a." -- personal area.
       
        "Here's my shoe line," she said, showing off the neat row of work boots, rain boots and dress shoes lined up under the cot. "Our shoes have to be lined up with the edge of the bed."
       
        The cot is made up with tight hospital corners. Blankets and a heavy sleeping bag are folded at the end, with the folded edges of the blankets uniformly facing the end of the cot.
       
        Her foot locker is Spartan, but very neat.
       
        "Once a week, if we pass inspection, we get to go on `night out.' Three times a month we go to church," Elizabeth said.
       
        The outings are simple. The group shops for food for the two days a week that they cook for themselves, then attends a movie or goes bowling.
       
        The daily routine continues with more outdoor work, school indoors if a girl has reached some of the personal goals she set when she arrived, and a shower at 4 p.m. before supper.
       
        "If we don't finish our work projects, we don't get to eat up at the lodge," Elizabeth said.
       
        Each evening the girls gather around a campfire for a group meeting. They deal with any problems that have come up during the day and get feedback from the group on how they are doing.
       
        Each girl sets goals when she arrives. The group judges when the goals are met.
       
        Elizabeth's first goals included being honest about how she was feeling, taking responsibility for her actions, not being being manipulative and getting her personal area cleaned up on time and with pride. After two months, the group judged that she had met those goals, and she set a second set.
       
        Among those goals were choosing two people a day and going out of her way to help them, and leading by example. When they were met, she "earned her crest."
       
        "It's like a badge. I earned my crest on Oct. 18. They say this big speech and then say `Elizabeth, come up here and get your crest,' " she said.
       
        Among the privileges given with the crest are attending school and going on home visits. Since earning her crest, Elizabeth has been allowed to take one hour of English and one hour of geometry every day in the school rooms at the lodge.
       
        There is no set term of enrollment and the girls do not know when they may be judged ready to go home.
       
        "We talk about goals and solutions rather than length of stay," Yates said.
       
        Elizabeth is comfortable with the routine at New Dominion and proud of her accomplishments, but when her mother left her at the school she felt abandoned, angry and lonely, she said.
       
        "I was messing up really bad (at home). I was on drugs. I wasn't listening to my mom. She tried to help me and I pushed her away. She had taken me to so many shrinks, I was actually `shrinked out.' I realize now that it was as hard for my mom to leave me here as it was on me. It's taken me a while to know that people care about me," Elizabeth said.
       
        For now, Elizabeth is taking it one goal at a time, working with her group and looking forward to adding an hour of biology to her daily academic schedule.
       
        "I think this place works better than detention homes or shrinks," she said. "I've learned a lot and I still have a lot to learn."

Edition: City
Section: Area/State
Page: C-1
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Kathy on December 07, 2008, 07:32:35 PM
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Sex-crime treatment center handles out-of-state youths    Some lawmakers express surprise, dismay upon learning of cases    taken by private facility
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Mobile Register (AL)-February 16, 1997
Author: WIJ2173, Associated Press Writer

        By:BILL POOVEY
       
        MONTGOMERY  Convicted juvenile sex offenders from other states are being sent to Alabama for treatment at a private lockup in Courtland, an influx that caught some legislators by surprise.
       
        Rep. Jody Letson, D-Hillsboro, who has the treatment center in his district, said when interviewed Thursday by The Associated Press that he was not aware that juvenile sex offenders have been sent to Courtland for years.
       
        ``It's not right,'' Letson said. He said other states ``should at least take care of their own people.''
       
        The juvenile sex offenders from other states are being treated at the Three Springs Inc. Residential Center, where officials say security is ample and the service, first utilized in 1996 by the Alabama Department of Youth Services, is difficult to find elsewhere.
       
        Courtland's mayor described the center as a ``good neighbor.''
       
        The Alabama Legislature's Contract Review Committee this month approved DYS paying $127 a day to the Three Springs center for each sex offender it sends there for treatment.

         Legislators approving the service contract said they were unaware that juvenile sex offenders, typically teen-agers convicted in sex crimes involving child victims, are being sent to Alabama from other states.
       
        Contract Review Committee Vice Chairman Ralph Burke, D-Rainsville, said he was not aware that any facility in Alabama was treating juvenile sex offenders from other states.

         But Mike Watson, chief executive officer of the private Huntsville-based company that operates the center, said the treatment being provided out-of-state juvenile offenders is ``certainly no secret.''

        ``Historically we have probably had over 200 or 250 adolescent sexual offenders,'' said Dr. Pam Cook, clinical director for Three Springs. ``Alabama was one of the later states to start referring to us.''
       
        Ms. Cook said there were 23 juvenile sex offenders at the center Thursday, including three referred by DYS and eight other referrals from the Alabama Department of Human Resources. She declined to say how many from other states were being treated.
       
        Ms. Cook said the center at Courtland offers a distinctive service.
       
        ``There are very few places that treat adolescent sexual offenders,'' Ms. Cook said. ``It is a brand new field.''  Rep. Lee Jorgensen, R-Madison, works for Three Springs. Jorgensen said there has never been any attempt to keep secret the private company's dealings with other states.
       
        The center's director, Gerald Maxwell, describes it as ``lock-secure'' residential care with a licensed school and specialized therapy for males up to 18 years old. He said the staff includes nurses, teachers, counselors and security personnel.
       
        Maxwell said the center in north Courtland is ``an older one-story facility that back in the '60s was a nursing home that we purchased about 1990 and renovated.''
       
        He said it is surrounded by a ``privacy fence with barbed wire on top.''
       
        Maxwell said treatment typically lasts at least five months.
       
        He said some counties in Indiana and West Virginia have paid Three Springs as much as $300 daily for each sex offender's treatment.
       
        Three Springs also has a treatment operation at Madison with about 50 juvenile offenders assigned by DYS, each also at a cost to the state of $127 a day, and at Paint Rock Valley, with 15 DYS assignees each costing $62 a day.
       
        Those contracts also received approval from the legislators Feb. 6.
       
        Watson said the company has worked with the Alabama Department of Human Resources since it opened.
       
        State Sen. Bill Armistead, R-Columbiana, said private specialized treatment is the best hope of dealing with juvenile sex offenders.
       
        ``We've got to invest that kind of money in these kids to turn them around,'' he said.
       
        Jan Autery, administrator of the DYS community services division, said the department started making referrals to privately operated treatment facilities partly to avoid building and maintenance costs. She said the department does not send any Alabama offenders to other states for treatment.
       
        Ms. Autery said the Three Springs center at Courtland is the only one in Alabama that specializes in treating juvenile sex offenders.
       
        DYS spent about $1.7 million on all its private placements in fiscal 1996 and expects to spend ``considerably more than that this year,'' Ms. Autery said.
       
        The taxpayer cost of keeping juvenile offenders in state-owned facilities ranges from about $80 in boot camps to about $138 a day at Mount Meigs, the state's ``most secure'' juvenile detention facility.
       
        ``On any given day there are between 150 and 200 kids awaiting placement'' with DYS, Ms. Autery said. ``The majority are in juvenile detention centers operated by the counties.''
     
Edition: AM
Section: B
Page: 2
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Kathy on December 07, 2008, 07:36:09 PM
Daily News-Record (Harrisonburg, VA)-July 27, 1997

        School Offers Troubled Girls New Lives
       
        Students Learn Self-Respect By Earning Every Privilege Under Primitive Conditions
       
        By JESSICA CLARKE News-Record Staff Writer DILLWYN -- By the age of 14, Carol had been expelled from school and arrested for auto theft.
       
        She was sexually promiscuous, used cocaine and marijuana, drank heavily and had disappeared from her Waynesboro home for three months.
       
        Now 15, Carol, not her real name, attends school daily, says "no" to alcohol, drugs and sex, has gained 32 pounds from regular meals and plans to be a nurse.
       
        And she can haul a loaded wheelbarrow along a wooded trail.
       
        The difference is self-respect.
       
        It came partly from a wake-up call of rain thumping the tent in which she sleeps. And from constructing privies, splitting wood, digging trenches, making campfires and meals and building trust.
       
        Trust was defined dramatically for Carol after she arrived a year ago here in Buckingham County at New Dominion School, a program for troubled teens an hour south of Charlottesville.
       
        She used a pocketknife to do a chore. "Honestly I never thought anybody would hand me a knife. I used to be destructive. I used to cut my shoes up, spray hair spray on my pants and catch them on fire. It's good to know they trust us here and good to know I trust myself enough not to do it anymore."
       
        That's a measure of success at this year- round outdoor treatment program, Virginia's only such girls' school. New Dominion's boys' school opened here in 1976.
       
        The girls' program started in March 1996 with a philosophy that "being able to see the effects of what you do builds self- reliance," Steve Welsh, a school coordinator, says. "We don't appreciate what we don't earn. In a sense we have to create that appreciation by having them earn everything they get."
       
        Including food, warmth in winter and school.
       
        A teen gains self-esteem "when she does something that makes her life better," he says. With the school's focus on teamwork to instill individual responsibility, "more than it deals with their problems, it really helps kids see their strengths. That kind of growth environment fills holes."
       
        The holes in girls here may have been created and enlarged by sexual or physical abuse, drug use, promiscuity and problems at school. The private school is unsuitable for girls who are violent, suicidal, with low intelligence or a serious psychological disorder, officials say.
       
        New Dominion's girls, mostly from Virginia, have tried other treatments.
       
        Before coming here last month, Debbie, 14, from Waynesboro, had been at a mental health hospital, residential program for troubled teens and emergency youth shelter. "I had a hard time dealing with my anger and getting along with my parents," says Debbie, not her real name.
       
        With Carol, Debbie and another girl here referred by Waynesboro's Office on Youth, "It's like they were laying their bodies on the railroad tracks almost literally," says Kirstin Frescoln, the office's family outreach coordinator. But the girls are bright and have potential.
       
        "We feel like the kids we send there are going to be safe and nurtured and cared for," Frescoln says. "That may sound strange because we're sending them out into the woods to fight mosquitoes, to live in tents. The living in the snow and the rain and with mosquitoes is kind of a wake-up call."
       
        Though New Dominion is licensed as a wilderness program by the state, school administrator Chris Yates says its image is different. "Nobody wanted to be associated with schools that were kind of march or die."
       
        Children have died at survival schools in the western United States, Yates notes. Most such schools have shorter terms than New Dominion, which has open enrollment and no set duration.
       
        New Dominion is licensed as a school for students with disabilities and a wilderness program by the state departments of education and mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse services. A wilderness program is a primitive, nonpunitive environment that combines learning and therapy in an outdoor setting.
       
        The average stay here so far has been about 14 months. Girls leave after meeting goals established when they enroll. Goals may be educational or involve relationships at home or with groups.
       
        Enrollment is 33 now with a capacity of 44. Of 45 girls who have enrolled so far, eight have completed the program, and several have left without finishing. The school has a waiting list, Welsh says.
       
        The program, with three camps now, will have a fourth soon. Each camp has a sleeping tent the girls built with pine beams, plastic sides and mosquito netting over beds. Lanterns illuminate at night because the camps, with tents for eating, cooking and nightly group meetings, do not have electricity.
       
        Girls, who sleep outdoors year-round, use only hand tools for their work projects. In the eating tent at Arapaho camp, a bow saw, ax, hammer, mattock and other tools lie in a corner.
       
        "Our idea isn't to be militaristic. Our idea is to teach them basic life skills," Welsh says. "If it's physically beyond a kid, we wouldn't accept them. You've got to have the guts to push that kid, and if you don't, you're not going to get results."
       
        Working as a team builds self-reliance and trust in others. "The group depends on the individual. The individual depends on the group. It's really modeled after a family," he notes.
       
        The "survival element" is "really good for those particular kinds of kids," Frescoln says. "We don't send kids there to be punished. We have detention and juvenile justice for that. For the most part, once they go they generally thank us" afterward.
       
        Most kids Frescoln refers here are behind academically but have caught up by the time they leave.
       
        With no more than five girls for each teacher, "I've had phenomenal results," Welsh says. "School becomes something that they want, not something they take for granted."
       
        At the ungraded school, where students work at their own pace, girls earn credits, a high school diploma or prepare for a General Educational Development (GED) test.
       
        New Dominion, owned by Three Springs Inc. in Huntsville, Ala., offers counseling for substance abuse, sexual and physical abuse and other issues.
       
        The school is among the most primitive camp programs in Virginia. "I wasn't sure how receptive agencies would be to sending girls to a wilderness program," says Gloria Dalton, a licensing official with the state education department.
       
        The school has increased its enrollment capacity, a sign of need for the program, says Dalton, whose office has had no complaints about New Dominion.
       
        Parents, social services agencies and the court system refer girls. The $100 daily tuition is paid by private and public sources.
       
        "They certainly don't come in happy. No one's happy to be here initially," Welsh says.
       
        Tracy, 16, not her real name, of Waynesboro had a choice about coming nine months ago. "The judge was tired of seeing my face in court" for running away from home, she says.
       
        Carol burst out crying in court when told she was coming here. "I guess I was just used to getting things handed to me all the time." She was under house arrest for a month while waiting to come.
       
        Her auto theft charge will be dropped when she leaves here next month, says Carol, whose mother is dead. She will live with the aunt and uncle she stayed with in Waynesboro before arriving.
       
        Among the proudest moments here for girls is earning a crest, a badge conferred by the staff as "an outward sign that kid is making changes inside," Welsh says.
       
        The girl's group makes a recommendation to staff about the crest based on her meeting her goals. The crest, usually earned within two to four months, allows privileges including visits home and academic classes.
       
        A girl who runs away from the school, is threatening or dishonest has privileges revoked and usually a work project assigned to do with a staff member.
       
        Home visits allow girls and their families to discuss issues as part of a transition home, Welsh says.
       
        For Tracy, who will leave by the end of the year, home visits are the hardest part of being here. "It's very depressing having to come back" and deal with matters that happened at home.
       
        "Parents are a big part of that healing process" with home visits, Frescoln says. "It's not just the kids who are doing all this work. We're also asking that family members make some changes too."
       
        Open for just 16 months, the program has had no recidivism, Welsh notes.
       
        Some mental health professionals believe it's more cost-effective to give services at an earlier age so children don't need residential treatment.
       
        "Many links they have with the community are going to be broken," says Joann Grayson, who teaches psychology at James Madison University. "In some cases a parent might see that as an advantage if they're not happy with a child's friends or activities."
       
        The transition from here to home can be difficult, with some teens pressured to revert to former friends or behavior and no support network.
       
        "Some kids when they integrate fall apart," Welsh says. "It's not something that's going to be pretty all the time. They need to make mistakes and learn like they do here."
       
        Although she "might struggle still with sex" after she leaves, Carol says, "the drugs and alcohol, that's definitely out of the picture. I know I'm going to have a struggle with my attitude. I have a big mouth."
       
        "You're accepted here no matter what you've done," says Carol, who thinks she'd be dead by now if she hadn't enrolled. "There's nothing people ever will judge you for. They might be a little scared of you at first. But it means a lot to have somebody accept you."
     
Copyright (c) 1997, Byrd Newspapers, All Rights Reserved.
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Kathy on December 07, 2008, 07:38:31 PM
Augusta Chronicle, The (GA)-October 2, 1997

 Boot camp contract awarded
       
        ATLANTA -- Alabama-based Three Springs Inc. was awarded a 10-year, $49.8 million contract this week to run a new 168-bed Georgia boot camp for boys.
       
        The camp in McIntosh County, in southeast Georgia, is being built by the state Department of Juvenile Justice for $8.6 million. It is expected to open next February.
       
        At capacity, it will cost $81.50 per child per day to operate the camp. On average, Juvenile Justice spends $91 per day to keep a child in a boot camp or long-term facility.
       
        Three Springs has operated the 30-bed Youth Detention Center in Augusta since early this year.
       
Edition: ALL
Section: METRO
Page: C08
Title: Re: Holding Thread for 3 Springs statements
Post by: Che Gookin on December 08, 2008, 06:56:12 PM
Quote
I was there 10 years ago, so I may be a little rusty on my stories. I once was on a trip with my group and they were all mad at me ( I was a difficult kid). Anyways, I had been begging the counselors to stop the van and let me out because I needed to use the bathroom for about 2 1/2 hours. They ignored me the whole time and by then my bladders was so full I was in excruciating pain. They happened to stop for a second to talk with the counselors in the other van and I saw a bathroom nearby. I asked if I could get out and use it since it was right there and they again ignored my pleading, so I actually had to jump out of the van and run as fast as I could to the bathroom without permission so I could get some relief. One counselor got out to chase me and when she got to the bathroom, I just told her that I had asked and asked. They tried to punish me for doing what I had to do since they weren't taking care of my needs. I recall another time when it was night time and this chick in my group who had been repeatedly raped by her own brother was having a meltdown, everyone was tired and just wanted her to shut up so we could all go back to the cabin and sleep, the whole group and the counselor were all tormenting her and being completely insensitive. Calling her names and telling her that she was stupid and needed to get up because we were all tired. No one even cared, yet she was supposed to be there for therapy.
Title: Re: 3 Springs Research Project-Active
Post by: Kathy on December 09, 2008, 11:41:20 AM
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Even an escape is a lesson    One boy said his escape made him realize how he had violated the trust of a    staff member
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Mobile Register (AL)-May 7, 1998
Associated Press

   MADISON, Ala. A state-subsidized private juvenile facility went to work repairing its tarnished image after four boys scaled a fence and fled a campus work detail.
       
        Some media reports on the April 22 incident described the campus as a ``jail,'' bringing a sharp reaction from the facility's operators, who call it a school.
       
        ``We've got adults and kids working so hard to change goals and attitudes. We just took a beating by this kind of thing,'' said Mike Watson, the president and chief executive of Three Springs, Inc., which runs the campus in Madison.
       
        The missing boys were caught Thursday and returned to Three Springs, said administrator Paul Summer.
       
        One of the boys who escaped told a Huntsville Times reporter that he saw it as a challenge to try to get out. He said he was surprised at the reception he got when he returned.
       
        ``Well, I thought I might get sent somewhere else,'' he said. ``But they brought us back. And really the worst thing was having everyone look at you like, `I can't believe you did this. You let us down.'''
       
        ``The hardest was one of the ladies on the staff wouldn't talk to me for two weeks.,'' he said. `'I just finally got to talk to her last night. It made me realize how much I had violated their trust.''
       
        Three Springs operates 18 facilities in six states. Some are correctional, like the campus in Madison. The state pays the company from $125 to $130 a day per resident, about what it costs to house an offender in a state youth facility, Summer said.
       
        ``We want these walls and fences to serve as a blanket while these kids have a chance to change,'' he said. ``That's the idea, to protect them as much as the community, and give them a chance.''
       
        The youths sent here by the Alabama Department of Youth Services are considered medium-risk, medium-needs offenders, meaning they have committed crimes like forgery, theft, smoking marijuana or second-degree assault. Almost all have served time in other state facilities.
       
        Three Springs has been operating the school in Madison for about two years, putting about 200 boys through the paces of a positive-thinking, responsibility-taking program.
       
        The boys, with closely cropped hair and punctuating speech with ``ma'am'' and ``sir,'' voice the cadence ``one, sir,'' ``two, sir,'' ``three, sir'' as they walk down the hall.
       
        A chart on a wall lists the program goals and stages and the students who have progressed to each unit.
       
        Program director Leon Thomas said, ``This is not a place where they can walk in the door, do their time and walk out. It's not just a holding cell.''
       
        Those short-tempered youths who violate rules or cause problems may face a couple of hours or even three days in a segregation cell apart from the other 56 boys. Except for the segregation area and the high fences around the courtyard, the campus looks much like a small school.
       
        In the shop room, the boys make picnic tables to sell. They donated some to a children's playground last year. The computer lab is equipped with programs in math, English, science and other subjects to keep the boys up with their regular classes. Many of the students are studying for their general equivalency diplomas.
       
        They also participate in group sessions to talk about problems and work through levels of community thinking.
       
        To progress through the program, each student has to present a program to his group about his crime and his perspective of the circumstances leading to it.
       
        ``We have to get them to a point of having a realistic self-image,'' Summer said. ``They have low self-esteem. They swagger, but in truth, they could hide behind a Dixie cup. ''
     
Edition: AM
Section: B
Page: 7

Copyright 1998, Mobile Register.  All Rights Reserved.
Title: Re: 3 Springs Research Project-Active
Post by: Kathy on December 09, 2008, 11:43:27 AM
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FACILITY TO TREAT TEEN SEX OFFENDERS
==================================================
Daytona Beach News-Journal (FL)-April 22, 1999
by Valerie Whitney
     
        A former juvenile boot camp on Indian Lake Road is about to become a locked treatment center for 30 teen-age sex offenders.
       
        Three Springs Inc., a private therapeutic company based in Huntsville, Ala., will operate the residential facility under a three- year contract with the state for $1.6 million a year, a company spokesman said.
       
        The residents, who will be committed there by the courts, will be 30 male youths ranging in age from 13 to 18 and drawn from across northern Florida.
       
        The camp most recently housed a girl's treatment program operated by Stewart- Marchman Center. The boys will start being admitted this summer, said Paul Summers, group administrator for Three Springs.
       
        Janet Abee, manager of the state's Juvenile Justice Department for District 12, an area that includes Volusia County, said a contract with Three Springs will be signed within the next couple of weeks. However, the company already has begun recruiting psychologists, counselors, case workers, coaches and others for the unit. Job interviews start Monday.
       
        Abee said the Daytona Beach site was chosen because a vacant high-security facility already existed on the property. The facility opened in November 1995, but the Volusia County Sheriff's Office closed the boot camp in February 1997, citing a lack of state funds to run it.
       
        "Normally when we send out a request for proposals, the program can be sited anywhere," Abee said.
       
        However, in this case, state officials informed contractors about the boot camp, which was originally designed to house high-risk male offenders. The girls who had been housed there were not considered to be true high risks and have been transferred to Stewart-Marchman's complex at Tiger Bay.
       
        "It kind of just made it a natural place" to house the program, she said. The program will draw from a six-district region that stretches from Pensacola to Jacksonville and also includes Ocala and Gainesville, as well as Volusia and Flagler counties.
       
        "And, of course, we have our own share of sex offenders in this area," Abee said.
       
        The location will be convenient to visit for families of area youths confined there, she added. The state's other facility for youthful sex offenders is in Broward County.
       
        The project is Three Springs' first contract in Florida. The company's marketing slogan  "Helping troubled children discover lasting solutions" reflects its rehabilitation philosophy.
       
        A lot of people don't understand sex offenders. This is something that can be treated," Summers said.
       
        He said Three Springs staffers from a similar program the company operates in Courtland, Ala., will be brought in to help get the program up and running. "This is not something new to us," he said.
       
        The facility is expected to create 45 to 50 jobs, with a monthly payroll around $100,000.
       
        The company operates 23 programs  16 for boys and seven for girls  for youthful offenders in seven states. Some programs are correctional programs and others deal with mental health issues.
       
        Those sent to Three Springs of Daytona Beach  the most likely name of the center  will be confined there for a full year.
       
        Once the 30 beds are filled, the camp will not accept any additional residents. All of the things the teens will need, including schooling, will be provided for them on the property, he said.
       
        A 12-foot barbed wire fence surrounds the site, which is off U.S. 92, several miles west of Interstate 95. Summer said officials are planning to add additional security features.
     
FLORIDANews-Journal
Page: 1C

Copyright (c) 1999 Daytona Beach News-Journal
Title: Re: 3 Springs Research Project-Active
Post by: Kathy on December 09, 2008, 11:53:58 AM
============================
Private girls' school to open in September
      -
      Auldern Academy is designed particularly to help high schoolers with self-esteem problems ==================================================
Chapel Hill Herald (NC)-August 1, 2001
NEIL OFFEN www.threesprings.com (http://www.threesprings.com)
     
Edition: Final
Section: Front
Page: 1

Copyright, 2001, The Durham Herald Company
Title: Re: 3 Springs Research Project-Active
Post by: Kathy on December 09, 2008, 11:56:56 AM
==================================================
Teen's death raises questions about care of juveniles ==================================================
Mobile Register (AL)-August 27, 2001
Author: BILL POOVEY, Associated Press Writer

        Teen's death raises questions about care of juveniles  In lawsuit, mother contends 14-year-old might have been murdered at Tuskegee detention center   By BILL POOVEY  Associated Press Writer  TUSKEGEE - Fourteen-year-old Dionte Pickens of Tuscaloosa died in state custody at a juvenile lockup, a black leather belt looped over a closet clothes rod and around his neck.
       
        The teen-ager's mother contends in a lawsuit that her child possibly was murdered in the dark by another detainee at the Three Springs detention center in Tuskegee.
       
        The death and the lawsuit have raised questions about the treatment of juveniles at the center, which is run by Huntsville-based Three Springs Inc. The state's welfare agency has removed about a dozen teens who were assigned there, but the state Department of Youth Services has 25 juveniles at the Tuskegee site and 49 at a center Three Springs operates at Madison.
       
        The company operates a total of 21 juvenile programs in Alabama and six other states.
       
        Wendy Brooks Crew, a lawyer for Pickens' mother, said Pickens had been locked up in Tuscaloosa for truancy when he was transferred hundreds of miles to the Three Springs center at Tuskegee. Crew said Pickens' mother was not informed in advance about the transfer.
       
        The lawsuit contends that Pickens' Oct. 15, 2000, death was due to inadequate supervision and that his designated supervisor was playing a video game when Pickens died. A medical examiner said the body was discovered in a bedroom closet about 9 p.m., with the bedroom adjacent to a common room used by about 20 other teen-agers.
       
        Three Springs knew that Pickens, who was taking anti-depressant and psychotropic medication, had previously attempted suicide, Crew said.
       
        The suit claims Three Springs Inc., which is paid $121.50 a day for each of the 25 DYS youths it keeps in Tuskegee, either allowed Pickens to be murdered by hanging or allowed him to commit suicide.
       
        A Three Springs employee said Pickens was murdered, Crew said.
       
        The state deputy chief medical examiner who was called and arrived at Three Springs about 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2000, concluded after observing Pickens' body in the cinderblock room and following an investigation and autopsy that the death was a suicide.
       
        DYS spokesman Allen Peaton said records of all 1,100 DYS detainees in state and corporate-owned lockups are confidential, even after a death. He also said DYS officials could not discuss Pickens' case because of the lawsuit.
       
        "A priority of DYS is to place all 1,100 youths in our custody in safe and appropriate placements," Peaton said.
       
        The Alabama Bureau of Investigation referred its investigation report on Pickens' death to the Macon County District Attorney's Office. Deputy District Attorney Kenneth Gibbs said his office has reviewed the report. He said an investigation was continuing. Gibbs declined to say if his office has reached a conclusion about Pickens' death being a suicide.
       
        Three Springs executives referred questions to their attorney, Marc Givhan of Birmingham, who issued a statement: "The entire Three Springs organization is saddened by the death of this young man. Because this matter is in litigation, it is inappropriate for us to comment further."
       
        The suit contends that a doctor at Three Springs had recommended within three days of Pickens arrival that he have a psychological evaluation as soon as possible but Pickens was instead "housed in a room with nonbreakaway hardware" and allowed to have a belt.
       
        Crew said Pickens never received a psychological evaluation and his death was more than a month after his arrival at Three Springs.
       
        While DYS continues to use the Three Springs Tuskegee Secure Program, state Human Resources Commissioner Bill Fuller said that after he heard about Pickens' death last fall he removed all of the "12 or 13" abused and neglected teens in his department's custody who were assigned there.
       
        "We had heard that a DYS child died of unexplained causes at the same site," Fuller said. "We were aware of that then and that was a factor" in moving them.
       
        Fuller said the teens in DHR custody "each had their own youthful opinions" about how Pickens died.
       
        "The atmosphere was generally oppressive for my children," Fuller said. "My primary reason was not the recent death so much as the physical conditions that my boys were exposed to day-to-day, a confinement atmosphere."
       
        Crew said Pickens' mother, Louisa Dunn, is divorced from his father.
       
        "When he was on his medication he did very well," Crew said. "When he was off his medication he was difficult for his mother to control."
       
        She said Pickens was supposed to be starting 10th grade.
       
        "It is my understanding he had no charges other than misdemeanors and what are called status offenses," Crew said. "He had problems at school, truancy ... couldn't focus and couldn't concentrate."
       
        Pickens' juvenile court officer, Thomas Snoddy, did not return telephone messages seeking comment. JUVENILES IN CUSTODY  The Alabama Department of Youth Services has a total of about 1,100 juveniles in custody, including about 208 girls. The contract lockups, number of beds they provide for state detainees and state's daily cost for each:
       
        Alabama Clinical Schools at Birmingham: about 25 beds for male sex offenders, $145.35.
       
        Three Springs Inc. at Tuskegee: about 25 beds, $121.50.
       
        Three Springs Inc. at Madison: about 49 beds, $123.50.
       
        Eufaula Youth Facility operated by First Corrections Corp. of Norfolk, Va.: about 90 beds, $90.50.
       
        Big Brothers in Dothan community group homes for boys: about eight beds, $77.
       
        Alabama Youth Home in Westover: about 12 beds, $74.
       
        Alabama Youth Home in Wetumpka: about 12 beds, $74.
       
        The Bridge Inc. girls' home at Decatur: about eight beds, $70.
       
        West Alabama Youth Services Inc. at Greensboro: about eight beds for girls, $70.
       
        Dorothy's House in Dothan: about eight beds for girls, $75.57.
       
        The Bridge Wilderness boot camp for males at Gadsden: about 24 beds, $72.
       
        The Bridge drug and alcohol treatment program for boys at Gadsden: about 24 beds, $82.
       
        The Bridge drug and alcohol treatment program for boys at Mobile: about 40 beds, $82.
       
        The Bridge boot camp-wilderness program at Gadsden for girls: about 24 beds, $72.
       
        Lee County Youth Development Center female boot camp-wilderness program for girls: about 16 beds, $80.
       
        Oak Mountain Youth Services alcohol-drug interdiction program: about 24 beds for boys, $91.
       
        Ramsey Youth Services Inc. for special needs boys: about 12 beds, $135.45. The state's average daily cost for each juvenile at the DYS Mount Meigs, Roebuck and Chalkville campuses is $137. State-operated boot camps in Autauga County and Thomasville are about $92. State-operated group homes at Gadsden, Mobile, Montgomery, Florence and Troy are $70-$80. Source: Alabama Department of Youth Services   PHOTO  DAVE MARTIN /Associated Press     Fourteen-year-old Dionte Pickens of Tuscaloosa died in state custody at the Three Springs detention center, above, in Tuskegee, Ala. A black leather belt was looped over a closet clothes rod and around the teen-ager's neck. His mother contends in a lawsuit that her child was possibly murdered by another detainee at the center.
     

Page B-1

Copyright 2001, Mobile Register.  All Rights Reserved.
Title: Re: 3 Springs Research Project-Active
Post by: Kathy on December 13, 2008, 09:26:18 PM
==================================================
ALABAMA TEENAGER'S DEATH RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT PRIVATELY-RUN CARE ==================================================
Watertown Daily Times (NY)-September 14, 2001
Author: Associated Press

        When Dionte Pickens' body was found, it was hanging in a closet of a juvenile lockup, a black leather belt looped around the 14-year-old's neck.
       
        His mother believes that her child's death last October - whether a suicide or a murder - was the result of inadequate supervision at the for-profit Three Springs detention center in Tuskegee. A lawsuit contends Pickens died while his designated supervisor was playing a video game.
       
        The death and the lawsuit have raised questions about the treatment of juveniles at the center, run by Huntsville-based Three Springs Inc., which operates 21 juvenile programs in Alabama and six other states.
       
        The state's welfare agency has removed about a dozen teens who were assigned there, but the state Department of Youth Services has 25 juveniles at the Tuskegee site and 49 at a center Three Springs operates in Madison.
       
        The state deputy chief medical examiner concluded - after an autopsy and an investigation - that Pickens' death in the cinderblock room was a suicide.
       
        The Alabama Bureau of Investigation referred its investigation report on Pickens' death to the Macon County District Attorney's Office. Deputy District Attorney Kenneth Gibbs said an investigation was continuing.
       
        Several privately run facilities that treat young offenders have been criticized for poor supervision and management in several states, including centers in Colorado and Louisiana.
       
        Wendy Brooks Crew, a lawyer for Pickens' mother, said Pickens had been locked up in Tuscaloosa for truancy when he was transferred hundreds of miles to the Three Springs center at Tuskegee. Crew said Pickens' mother was not informed in advance about the transfer.
       
        The medical examiner said the body of the teen was discovered in a bedroom closet adjacent to a common room used by about 20 other teenagers.
       
        Pickens' mother, Louisa Dunn, claims Three Springs Inc., which is paid $121.50 a day for each of the youngsters assigned to the state it keeps in Tuskegee, either allowed Pickens to be murdered by hanging or allowed him to commit suicide.
       
        The suit contends that a doctor at Three Springs had recommended within three days of Pickens arrival that he have a psychological evaluation as soon as possible.
       
        Instead, Pickens was "housed in a room with non-breakaway hardware" and allowed to have a belt, Crew said. Pickens never received a psychological evaluation and his death was more than a month after his arrival, she said.
       
        Three Springs knew that Pickens, who was taking anti-depressant and psychotropic medication, had previously attempted suicide, Crew said.
       
        "When he was on his medication he did very well," Crew said. "When he was off his medication he was difficult for his mother to control."
       
        Three Springs attorney Marc Givhan said the company is saddened by the death, but would not comment beyond that.
       
        While the state continues to use the Tuskegee facility, state Human Resources Commissioner Bill Fuller said that after he heard about Pickens' death, he removed all of the "12 or 13" abused and neglected teens who were assigned there.
       
        "The atmosphere was generally oppressive for my children," Fuller said. "My primary reason was not the recent death so much as the physical conditions that my boys were exposed to day-to-day, a confinement atmosphere."
       
        State Department of Youth Services spokesman Allen Peaton said records of all 1,100 of its detainees in state and corporate-owned lockups are confidential, even after a death.
       
        As for Pickens' history with law enforcement, Crew said, "It is my understanding he had no charges other than misdemeanors and what are called status offenses."
     

Section: National News
Page: 3
Copyright (c) 2001 Watertown Daily Times
Title: Re: 3 Springs Research Project-Active
Post by: Kathy on December 13, 2008, 09:31:38 PM
Montgomery Advertiser (AL)-January 17, 2003
(excerpt)  

 MONTGOMERY. ALA
       
        Hanged boy case
       
        settled by mother
       
        The mother of a 14-year-old boy who was found hanged in state custody at a juvenile lockup in Tuskegee has settled with a private company in a lawsuit claiming her son's death was the result of inadequate supervision.
       
        Louisa Dunn, the mother of Dionte Pickens, reached the settlement with Huntsville-based Three Springs Inc. and four employees of the company, which contracts with the state for two juvenile treatment facilities, said Dunn's attorney, Wendy Crew.
       
        Pickens had been locked up in Tuscaloosa for truancy when Crew said he was transferred to Tuskegee without his mother being informed.