Tranquility Bay

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Current status Closed
Detainees.gif Capacity 176
Checked October 4, 2010
Open.gif Opened 1997
Close.gif Closed 2009

Tranquility Bay was a behavior modification facility connected to World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASP).

It was located on the island nation of Jamaica [1]. It opened in 1997. The director was Jay Kay, son of WWASP president Ken Kay. The cost for one child ranged from $25,000 to $40,000 a year. Tranquility Bay was generally acknowledged as the toughest of the WWASP schools during the years if existed; in fact, many other WWASP schools who are not able to handle their most rebellious detainees would expel them from their respective schools and enroll them in Tranquility Bay.

Tranquility Bay stated that it was dedicated helping parents who were having difficulty with their children, whether they were doing drugs, breaking the law, disobeying the parents, or just disrespectful. Jay Kay told a reporter: "If I have kids, and they start giving me a problem, well they are going straight in the program. If I had to, I'd pull the trigger without hesitation." ) [2]. Children as young as 12 had been admitted to Tranquility Bay, for reasons ranging from drug use to conflicts with a new stepmother.


The facility used the WWASP 6 levels behavior modification program. Since the closure of High Impact in Tecate, Tranquility Bay was regarded as the toughest facility in the WWASP system.

A typical day was described as following by a survivor [3].

Us_warning.gif U.S. Department of State -
Warning against such facilities abroad


Some critics and former enrollees accused the facility of torture or other grave mistreatment and say that the facility employs staff who were not appropriately qualified for work with troubled teenagers.

In the news

In 2001 a detained girl - Valerie Ann Heron - jumped to her death and fractured her skull in two places [4]. The facility saw it as an accident but in fact there was a suicide note [5] [6].

In 2007 groups of citizens secured the release of a jewish boy sent by his father to Tranquily Bay. A rescue mission established by influenced people in New York saw too that this boy saved his life [7] [8]. Support groups on the internet were also created [9]

In 2009 it was reported that the program was closing down and the funiture was about to be sold. [10][11][12]

External links

Info pages

  • Info: WWASP I, El Hilo de Ariadna, Educación Social, Cultura y Sociedad, blog Es9.gif
  • Info: WWASP II, blog Es9.gif
  • Info: WWASP III, El Hilo de Ariadna, Educación Social, Cultura y Sociedad, blog Es9.gif

Survivor groups

Message boards


  1. The facility on Google Maps
  2. The Last Resort, Observer Magazine, June 29, 2003, Decca Aitkenhead
  3. Exposing WWASPS camp abuse, by Michal Zapendowski, Columms in The Brown Daily Herald, april 28 - 2005
  4. Cops rule out foul play in death of Tranquility Bay student, Jamaica Observer, August 16, 2001
  5. Want Your Kid to Disappear?, Legal Affairs, July/august 2004, Nadya Labi
  6. No More Nightmares at Tranquility Bay?, Alternet, January 23, 2006, John Gorenfeld
  7. Isaac Hersh, Teen Advocates USA
  8. Case of Michael Hersh, Father - Miriam Hersh, Mother - Rabbi Aharon Schechter, Family's Rabbi - Worldwide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASPS), The Awareness Center
  9. Save Isaac's Life!, facebook group
  10. Looking for a job, a thread on a local community board
  11. Tranquility Bay CLOSED!, a thread on Fornits webforum
  12. Tranquility Bay is OFFICIALLY Closed, a thread on the Antiwwwasp message board