Coral Reef Academy

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U.S. Department of State - warning against such facilities abroad

Coral Reef Academy is a behavior modification facility on Samoa. They are able to detain 32 boys aged 13-18. Their "My Choice" program also detains boys aged 18-21.

The average stay recorded to be between 6 and 15 months. The program was founded in 1996 [1].

Due to the climate a lot of the boys are forced to use inhalants and they are also suffering from rashes caused by scabies [3].

Many of the staff, specifically Dr. David Macbeth are very skilled in the art of manipulation and use it on a regular basis as to encourage the students to act in ways the normally would not.

These staff have also been known to blatantly lie and exaggerate to distressed parents in order to persuade them to enroll their teens.

One commonly known example is that they claim (to many students) that when they reach the age of 18, they will be free to go. By the time the student reaches his 18th birthday, they will have convinced the parents (through false information) that he will not be safe in America and he should be held until he graduates the program.

One of the biggest issues with Coral Reef is the distance and isolation. One student was punished and put on basement (an punishment of isolation where one is to sit cross-legged for 72 hours, only laying down to sleep) and 1 on 1 (observation, one is isolated from the group) and it wasn't until six months later his parents found out. All communication is regulated through the staff, and if they don't want something to be discussed, it won't.


They use a level system with 4 levels.

The levels are called:

  • 1) Tamaititi (Child)
  • 2) Taule'ale'a (Untitled Young Man)
  • 3) Tulafale (Orator)
  • 4) Pulenu'u (Village Mayor)


This facility use corporal punishment

According to a statement on Fornits by a parent to a boy, who were detained on the facility by his mother, they use a belt to discipline the detainees.


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