Carolina Springs Academy

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Information
Current status Closed
Detainees.gif Capacity 160
Checked April 1, 2012
Open.gif Opened 1998
Close.gif Closed 2009

Carolina Springs Academy was a behavior modification facility located one mile north of the town of Due West, South Carolina. It operated under an umbrella organization of WWASP. The property on which the school was placed, is owned by Narvin Lichfield.

It was founded in 1998 and it can detain 160 teenagers.

Program description

Some detainees arrived tricked by their families but parents were advised to use a youth transport firm.

Daily sample schedule

An article described as typical days as [1].

  • 07:30 Wake-up, Prepare for fitness
  • 07:40 Morning Fitness Session
  • 08:15 Personal Hygiene Prepare for Day
  • 08:45 Breakfast
  • 09:15 Breakfast Clean-Up
  • 10:00 Study Skills Projects
  • 11:00 Privileged / Leisure Projects
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 12:45 Lunch Clean-Up / Afternoon Chores
  • 13:30 Quiet Time / Appropriate Reading
  • 14:30 Privileged / Leisure Projects
  • 15:30 Study Skills Projects
  • 16:30 High Performance Activity
  • 18:00 Dinner
  • 18:45 Dinner Clean-Up
  • 19:30 Group Activity or Self Improvement
  • 21:30 Group Reflections and Feedback
  • 22:15 Hygiene / Prepare for Bed
  • 22:30 Bed Time / Lights Out
  • 23:00 Conclusion (Quiet)

Level system

The programs consisted of six levels.

New detainees did start at level 1 - called Entry. They had to show good behavior and attend a number of seminars in order to be voted up to the next level by their fellow detainees and therapists. Detainees started with no privileges. One example is communication with the parents. According to a contract from 2005 the rules of communication was regulated as described below [2].

Level Communication policy
Entry Parents communicate via phone with family representative - no direct communication between parents and child, censored email is allowed.
Achievement Parents communicate via phone with family representative - no direct communication between parents and child, censored email is allowed.
Advanced One 15 minutes phone call with parents per month, censored email also allowed.
Service Two 20 minutes phone calls with parents per month, 3 days visit in local area but the child has to sleep on the campus.
Honor Before Child seminar II: Three 20 minutes phone calls with parents per month, 3 days visit in local area but the child has to sleep on the campus. After Child seminar II: Three 20 minutes phone calls with parents per month, One 5-7 day home visit per month
High Honor Weekly 20 minutes phone calls, Home visit as on Honor Level after the seminars.

It was a harsh and challenging environment. According to statements [3] [4] some of the other privileges which the detainee had to work for is:

  • talking with fellow detainees (Level two and above) unless it is
    a part of group therapy
  • Right to shave or use hair products(Level two and above)
  • Shoes (Level 3 and above)
  • Make-up or jewelry (Level 4 and above) In order to keep the
    detainees from running from the facility, a number of security precautions are mandatory:
  • No use of bathroom with doors fully closed.
  • No crossing of threshold without asking staff
  • No recording of phone numbers or addresses beside the parents
  • Check every morning to ensure that only one pair of bras, underwear and socks are on.
  • No watching television or newspaper reading
  • No looking out of the windows
  • No speaking when staff orders "silence"
  • No physical contact with other girls except as part of group therapy (hugs)

Once a detainee did reach level 4, they became junior staff member based the education they themselves have obtained as a detainee in the program. However they were still closely monitored so they did not give favors to students in lower levels.

Consequences

Any moving up and down in the system was done via a point system which was controlled by good or bad behavior and the ability to observe the rules. Negative points could given to a student that masturbates in private (If suspicious remains is found anywhere) or for looking at detainees of the other sex. If the student were not moving forward in the system or have lost point they could be put on "observation placement" which is a kind of time out where any movements were not allowed. They could also be transferred to other facilities like Tranquility Bay [5].

Exit Plan

A detainee graduated when the person reach level six or the person become 18. If a person did not reach level six before the 18 birthday, the detainee could choose an "exit plan", which consisted of being handed money (amounts between 10 and 100 dollar according to sources) and a bus ticket to the nearest town, so they could stay in a shelter and start their adult life without the support of their family.

The family of the detainee had no obligations to take the detainee back and in fact they parents are urged no to during seminars, they had to attend in order to visit their own child once, they have enrolled the child in the program.

Parent involvement

Parents were not obligated to do anything. It was an totally outsourcing of the adolescents of the youth, but if they insisted in seeing the child during the stay, they were mandated to attend a parents seminar, so they were emotionally prepared to reject any kind of claim of abuse from the child about the place [6].

In the news

The owner of Carolina Spring was also involved in another facility Academy at Dundee Ranch in Costa Rica. There was an request about an investigation of the facility [7]. The facility is also involved in a lawsuit [8]. Parents claims that the marketing of the facility does not show the full extend of what is going on there [9] [10] [11]

June 2008 a dorm at the facility burned down [12] [13].

November 2008 a boy ran away from the facility. While it was announced that he was caught by the police, it remains unclear whether he returned home or was shipped of to Tranquility Bay, which are the normal punishment for such offenses [14] [15]

September 2009 Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse (CAICA) wrote on their webpage that South Carolina's Department of Social Services, Group Home Licensing had confirmed that Carolina Springs Academy's license had been revoked [16]. The new name for the facility wss Magnolia Hills Christian school

September 2010 there were reports from a animal rights organization that animals were found dead or neglected at the abandoned campus [17]

External links

Info pages

Survivor groups

Message boards

References

  1. Licensing Standards Compliance Report, published on the message board of COALITION AGAINST INSTITUTIONALIZED CHILD ABUSE (referral business)
  2. Enrollement contract from 2005
  3. Statement from former student, (HelpYourTeens)
  4. Teen tells school horror story (Times Record News Wichita Falls, Texas November 20, 1998 - Reprint from International Survivor Action Committee)
  5. [Trickery at Tranquility Bay, Jamaica (HelpYourTeens)
  6. Parents discovery (3 days) - facility homepage
  7. Correspondence between Congressman George Miller and Attorney General John Ashcroft about alleged human rights violations of children in WWASPS facilities 2003 - 2004
  8. Documents from Turley Law Firm
  9. A mother's story (Coalition against Institutionalized child abuse)
  10. Seven Days I Will Never Forget (Coalition ageist Institutionalized child abuse)
  11. Deception, Misrepresentation & Fraud (HelpYourTeens)
  12. Fire destroys dorm at school for troubled teens, The Charlotte Observer, June 26 2008
  13. Carolina Springs 08, Donalds Fire Department
  14. Missing Abbeville County teen found, by Rick Spruill, Independent mail, november 21 2008
  15. Did he make it home?, a thread on Antiwwasp message board
  16. MAGNOLIA HILLS CHRISTIAN Formerly: CAROLINA SPRINGS ACADEMY, Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse (CAICA)
  17. Animal Bones, Carcasses Found At Closed School - Dozens Of Surviving Animals Rescued By Upstate Group, WYFF4, September 10, 2010