"Suck it up": no charges after 17-year-girl dies in agony of untreated infection at Utah's Diamond Ranch Academy

Originally published at: "Suck it up": no charges after 17-year-girl dies in agony of untreated infection at Utah's Diamond Ranch Academy | Boing Boing


It seems we have learned nothing from Elan :frowning:


These places, just like “conversion camps”, must attract the worst kinds of sadistic predators to their staffs. That they’re still allowed to operate is a symptom of a sick society.


BTW is a good place as any other to put this comic about what was to live in Elan, and how they managed to survive for so long.



A good article, awful layout.


So if I’m understanding this correctly, she was there because her parents forced her to go? And then the place killed her through negligence and apathy? Yikes.


They murdered her.


Lying to parents about the nature and efficacy of the “treatment” kids get at these places is a major part of the business model, but often kids are sent to these kinds of facilities by court order “for their own good.” That’s one of the sickest parts of the whole industry.


Also, they usually have a network of fake “local” websites that all route to the central one. Then they have a hard-sell routine designed to stampede concerned parents into quickly agreeing to the program, before they have a chance to think about it, ask questions, etc.

It’s a money machine, and the care of the kids is an afterthought. Frequently the programs are staffed by previous “graduates” of the program with no other qualifications.

Drugs, drugs for sex, and sexual assault are common in many of these setups.


Sounds like the story shown in this movie called “The Storyteller”. Unfortunately, Roberto Carlos’ mother thought that sending him to a state institution would be the best thing for her son. She believed the propaganda of the Military Dictatorship and really hoped that he would become a “doctor”, an informal title for important people in Brazil.


These camps NEED to go. They are just rife with abuse.


Just input from a parent who sent a child to DRA.

We have a son fortunately still with us who probably would not have been if we had not made the gut wrenching decision to send him as our only viable option. I obviously cannot say anything about them now but at the time (~4 years ago) we searched and came upon DRA and it was the only one that was NOT religion based and would allow him to still finish high school, which he did. We read all we could good and bad and took that calculated risk. We were in general pretty pleased (as you can be in a situation like this) with our experience with DRA. We stayed involved and advocated for our son. He had a couple of health issues while there and they were handled appropriately.

The staff was available, responsive, and receptive to our concerns and our son’s needs. The facilities were well kept (were literally allowed to see everywhere) and there were regular activities (many off campus) to help engage the kids. We were in regular contact with his therapist (who he liked) and felt he was being well cared for.

Certainly not everything was perfect and there were some bumps and frustrations along the way but considering the clientele they were wrangling I am actually surprised it went as well as it did.

As for comments about having somebody come in the wee hours and take your kid, I hope you never have to experience anything like that. For us it was literally the only option if we wanted to keep him alive. It was not done lightly and it was incredibly painful for us to do. I took on a considerable financial burden without hesitation because there was no avenue left to us besides just kicking him out and letting him destroy himself. Don’t pretend you can understand the level of desperation parents can be driven to try to help their children unless you have lived it.

I don’t know if her parents advocated for her at all, we know a couple kids who were there with our son who were basically just shipped off and it was now DRA’s problem. And if you have not dealt with troubled kids, you have no idea how hard it can be just trying to figure out what is true. All that being said, if DRA fucked up with regard to this girl then they should they should obviously face whatever appropriate consequence.

Thank you for the context and insight. I don’t see any “pretending to understand” in the comments above, but agree we shouldn’t do that.

In any case, there’s no “if” about whether “DRA fucked up with regard to this girl.” An infection that kills a 17 yr old in 2 weeks isn’t subtle. It doesn’t even matter what they thought was happening. If they thought she was lying about her symptoms? Still need to make sure. If she was lying, deal with it, and apply with whatever consequences you think appropriate once you know. If they thought the symptoms were something else (withdrawal? flu? mental illness?)? Still need to make sure, otherwise it’s not possible to respond appropriately. Maybe not on day one, but by day 7? No excuse.

The camp was acting in place of her parents, and I very much hope that if an actual parent did this, that all their other children would be taken away. If this happens it means either they can’t provide for them, or they refuse to. In the latter case, they should be charged, and as you noted, this camp is expensive and can certainly afford to provide basic medical care.


How in the world does child abuse not apply? At the least.


… for those like me who don’t know or forgot


Unfortunately, in too many of these camps, that would affect the profits. Last year, Samantha Bee did an excellent report on these facilities, how they get around regulation, and how some only provide the bare minimum on housing, feeding, and caring for the children - despite what they put in the brochures used to convince parents:


Maybe the parents were “at the end of their rope” with their “troubled teen” and were tricked by the brochure.

Maybe they were railroaded into it by the courts and didn’t have any option.

Or maybe they paid a ridiculous amount of money to have their embarrassingly problematic child extraordinarily renditioned to a black site for reconditioning.

Either way it’s a tragedy and this child was straight up murdered by the adults who were supposed to care for her, because profit.


DRA’s are goddamn notorious for “fucking up” those in their care. Subjecting them to physical and sexual abuse. In all states where they operate there is ZERO oversight or regulation for safety.

If they were troubled before being sent there, they are traumatized and PTSD’ed afterwards.




Usually the sentencing judge is getting paid for every bit of feedstock they send to the camp.