Carlbrook

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Information
Current status Open
Image:Detainees.gif Capacity 130
Checked December 7, 2010
Image:Open.gif Opened 2002

Carlbrook is a behavior modification facility marketed as a therapeutic boarding school. The address is 3046 Carlbrook Road, Halifax, Virginia 24592 [1]

The facility is located in an old mansion called the "Rock House" among locals. It was constructed from 1928 to 1930 by a family involved in the tobacco industry [2].

The facility was founded in 2002. Among the founders were Justin Merritt and Grant Price. Among the persons working at the facility are staff members with a past at CEDU [3].

Contents

Program

The program lasts about 15 months. There are three group therapy sessions per week. A peer group consist of 12 to 15 detainees. The therapy sessions on Monday and Friday are so-called Request Group (Where the themes are issues at hand with one or more student, which need to be confronted and addressed; this is generally a terrifyingly painful experience). The therapy session on Wednesday is a Team Group.

They also utilize the use of the 12-step program, which has caused concern [3]

Admission

The facility demands that the detainees participate in wilderness therapy course before admission [4]

All candidates for admission to Carlbrook must successfully complete a wilderness experience directly prior to enrollment.

Level system

The program consist of two phases:

  • The lower school
  • The upper school

Workshops

- See main article Carlbrook Workshops -

In order to reach the higher level and earn visits from the family, the detainee has to pass marathon therapy session called workshops. There are 5 workshops based on workshops by the now closed CEDU facilities.

The names of these workshops are: Integritas (Integrity), Amicitia (Friendship), Animus (Passion) Teneo: (Tenacity / Perseverence) and Veneratio, (Honor)

Also there are 4 family workshops a year where the parents go to the campus to see their child and make some efforts of minimizing the feeling in the detainee for being banished from home. During these family workshop there was family group therapy. The participant in the therapy are three families and two therapists and a higher-level student. The detainees can confront their parents, share things or discuss whatever they wanted to.

The use of these workshops do worry some of the referral firms [3]

Living conditions

The teenagers live in trailers with a mix of teenagers new in the program, as well as teenagers with seniority in the program. They were not co-ed. There were three or four teenagers in each room, and about six to eight rooms in each little trailer. There were showers, toilets, and limited room for storage of personal items (hence the rules on minimum personal items).

Communication

  • Communication between the teenagers in the program: Teenagers new in the program are not allowed to speak with others in the program, who has not been through the first marathon workshop (In most cases the first workshop is done 3 months into the program). Apart from students punished with speaking bans, a teenager can talk to everyone else.
  • Parent - School communication: There is a weekly phone call between the parent and a therapist. Because the letters from the detainee are not censored like most programs, the therapist use some time to discuss what the staff calls manipulation from the detainee with the purpose to be released [5].
  • Parent - Child communication: The detainees on lower school had one phone call every two weeks and letter privileges. The letter are not censored but read, so the staff knows that the child tell the parent about the facility. When the detainee reach a higher level, they earn the rights to one phone call per week.
  • Family - child visits: The detainee earns the right to see the parents for the first time after they have been detained when they have passed the first workshop. The length of the stay is 2 days and the detainee has to remain on the campus.

The second is after passing the second workshop. The detainee is allowed off the campus for 2 days, but they are not allowed to visit their old home. The third visit is for 3 days off-campus but there are still a ban on visits home. When they have passed the fourth workshop, they are granted to go home to their old home for a weekend. There are also a fifth visit with a undetermined length of stay home.

Consequences

Unlike most facilities the staff do not use force, when a detainee runs. They notify the authorities, who will try to find and arrest the detainee as a runaway based on the laws in the state. If the state does not want detain them in juvenile hall and return them, the facility will demand that the detainee should be escorted to a wilderness stay before he or she can return.

They have recently added an isolation room in which students are forced (with manipulation, not physical force) to sit facing forward and not speak besides asking to use the restroom or to get water. A detainee will be in this room for anywhere from one day to three months. A violent detainee would be expelled.

A normal consequence for a role violation would be to be put on a suspension (Previous it was called Program). Described by a detainee:
So she put me on a program. I still went to school and what not, but when I wasn't in school, I was sitting at a program desk, on bans with everyone but my supports, and had to do writing assignments and write in an emotional journal. I also had to read The Five Love Languages for Teens......and my advisers made my parents do it too. My mother did, my father didn't.
Another is to be followed all time by a teenager in the program. As a former detainee explains:
The only time you would get followed is if you had tried to hurt yourself, or someone else but they believe that with a little bit more instruction you will be okay. My best friend from the woods, who I am still in contact with almost every day had an eating disorder, she puked, and therefore people had to go with her to the bath room, not in the stall just in the room to make sure she wasn't doing herself harm.

my name is andrew k. i went to carlbrook for 12 months and i left when i turned 18 because i could not stand to be there any longer. now im out in the world alone and no school will accept me so im in danger of not getting a high school diploma. i went to carlbrook and they made me pretend like i was dead and put me in a casket. then they had everyone yell at me while i was in the casket.

Life

How some detainee looks at the school (A letter from a detainee smuggled out to a friend)

This place is like a prison with no walls because running away will just get you sent to a worse place, similar to a real prison. There are so many ridiculous rules that are driving me crazy and I don't think I can handle it much longer. I'm trying to fake it as much as I can but it's not working out too well for me. I'm different than I used to be though by a long shot. I don't want to do drugs or drive cars or "fuck bitches" anymore if you know what I'm saying.

All I want to do is be somewhere that I can slow down and workout and run all the time and be able to have general freedoms like talking to my friends. I'm reading a lot because it's one of the only things to do around here besides play chess and work on your "emotional growth". To top it off, I can't run, at least not on my own terms. I am allowed to run on campus, which is much smaller than XXXX, with a partner. The fastest guy here is as fast as XXX(slowest, fattest friend they had), so that doesn't exactly work out for me. Of course I thought I could get around that rule, so one day I took off running down the road and I got in a lot of trouble. I really miss XXXX(school) and all my friends there. I took for granted all the freedom I had there. I did whatever the hell I wanted to do, and the worst part is, if I hadn't gotten caught up in stupid stuff, which eventually led to my downfall, I might still be there.

That whole thing really stresses me out when I'm here and I can't have all my own clothes, hygiene products or pictures. I'm making straight A s in school with little effort, which is nice and relaxing, but for some reason I'm in a stage where I want to learn and be challenged. Just think of my ass sitting here in the middle of nowhere being drilled every day for "being negative" and "not being committed to my emotional growth". You have it so good. Don't screw it up like I did.

Carlbrook students are discouraged and prevented from forming "cliques" or socially exclusive groups, and dating/ personal relationships are not allowed. However, at one point the students were able to create loopholes in the system according to their seniority or immensity in the school. If a student showed particular leadership and academic prowess, they could attain more power in the school system. Such a strategy was made easy by the schools student government system and committee based social groups. Students with a strong background in computer technology were allowed to sit around and be on the computers or supervise the use of the school computers during their free time. At one point, a jump-drive containing explicitly "out of standard" material was circulated through the school, and a group of corrupt student body members were directly responsible for the affair, as well as tens of other upper and lower school students who were able to get away with sexual relationships and drug use on campus. The Underground was undisclosed by a graduate and the school formed an entirely new disciplinary system, utilizing several new program phases including a program involving 24/7 securitas supervision. (Securitas is a security company) Students at Carlbrook do well by jumping through the therapeutic hoops provided by the structure of Carlbrook's intense 15-20 month program. Students who fail to meet the academic and personal development standards of the school are held for longer periods of time or in some cases, sent to more intense, lock-down facilities.

Education

Among the materiel used at the facility a certain book explains the function of the brain but jump to a rather odd conclusion about using alcohol among youth. (In Denmark it is custom for youth to be introduced to alcohol by their parents at the confirmation - aged 15, and as society this has not affected the performance later in life) [6]

Notable alumni

News

December 2010 a boy ran away. It caused the local police to start a search [8]

External Links

Info pages

Survivor groups

Message boards

References

  1. The facility on Flash Earth
  2. 'Carlbrook': - A Bright Spot in the Dark Thirties, The old Halifax
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Carlbrook School, FamilyLight
  4. Mandatory wilderness therapy before admission
  5. Handling of pleas from the detainee
  6. The Carlbrook Brain Book, Created for Carlbrook School by Aaron White, PhD Department of Psychiatry Duke University Medical Center
  7. Jacqueline Kent Cooke, Auditing Trusts and Estates 101, by Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts, Washington Post, February 21 2007
  8. All-night search for runaway teen, The News & Record, South Boston, December 06, 2010
    Carlbrook - possible runaway - December 6, 2010, a thread on the Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora
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