Academy at Ivy Ridge

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Academy at Ivy Ridge is an independent privately owned and operated for-profit behavior modification facility in Ogdensburg, New York. [1]

The institution is owned by the business partnership of the Jason G. Finlinson Corporation and the Joseph and Alyn Mitchell Corporation [2]. It opened in affiliation with the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASP).

In January 2006 Ivy Ridge announced that it had withdrawn from WWASPS in November 2005 because of the negative media attention that WWASPS was receiving [3] However, the Teen Help subsidiary of WWASPS still conducts marketing for the school (as of March 2007) [4].

The institution began admitting students in 2001. As of spring 2005 there were 460 students enrolled [5].

Program Description

Level system

They use a level system like the rest of the facilities working in relationship with WWASP. The system has 6 levels.

Living conditions

Survivors mention as room called "shoe room". Due to the risk of runaways, none of the teenagers, who are detained at the facility are allowed to have shoes in any other room than the shoe room during the nights.


Until the detained teenagers has reached a certain level in the program, they are only allowed to communicate by censored letter communication. If they reach level 3, they can have monitored phone calls to their parents only (In case of a divorce, they can communicate with both parents if the parent, who pays for the stay agrees to communication with the other parents).

If they and their parents pass certain seminars, they can have parent visits at the facility and if they reach level 5 they even can come on home visits.


The facility has a O.P. room where teenagers who are breaking the rules of the facility has to lie down all day in only with breaks for toilet visit or meals, who according to one survivor consisted of bread and water [6].

When I was in O.P. for months in '02, I was given nothing but 2 slices of cheese, 2 slices of bread, and 1 cup of water 3 times daily.

In the news

The facility was convicted of issuing High School diplomas, which were not approved by the State [7]. They have tried to increase the standard in their education in order to be allowed to issue High School diplomas in 2006, but their application were rejected [8].

Despite this fact people are still being contacted regarding payment for "education" of their children [9].

March 2009 it was announced that the facility would close down until fall 2009 in order to restructure. The remaining detainees would be transferred to other facilities [10].

External Links

Info pages

Survivor groups

Threads on Message boards


Watch organisation Status