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High Impact was a boot camp and behavior modification facility placed up in the hill just outside the town of Tecate, Mexico.

It was raided and shut down by the Mexican authorities in December of 2001.

Although the owners have denied it, every one of the detainees came from other facilities run by World Wide Association Of Specialty Programs and Schools (ISAC) also known as WWASP [1] [2]. Contracts made before 2002 between parents of detainees and those facilities did mention High Impact as an option if the child did not progress in the programs. After 2002 the contracts only mention Tranquility Bay.

Program description

Program Goal

The program was designed to fit detainees who did not follow the rules in the rest of the facilities associated with WWASP. It was intended to motivate the detainees to be more positive regarding the objectives of the behavior modification they were enrolled in the programs for. According to statements, they were transferred - some smuggled - into Mexico, where they entered the program [3].

Although the entire program took place at the facility, it was marketed as wilderness therapy. When a detainee arrived, they were informed about the goal of the program. They had to run or walk a certain amount of miles in order to be transferred back to the facility they came from.

Daily life

After wakeup, it was time for breakfast which consisted of a singly cup of oatmeal. Each detainees were given between 30 seconds to 1 minute to use the restroom, which were the one time during the day it could be used without consequences being applied. Due to that fact, a lot of the detainees were forced to urinate and defecate in their trousers and washed the clothes instead [4].

Then the exercise started. The running took place within the facility. When it was raided in 2004, some three years after it had opened, the concrete had been worn down where the detainees had run.

Lunch consisted of a cup of rice and beans.

Before dinner they were allowed to use the showers, which only had cold water and no soap. They were also allowed to wash their clothes by hand. Dinner consisted of a chicken breast, all of which had to be eaten, otherwise it would be viewed as an attempt of suicide by refusing to eat. There were two types of sleeping quarters. Dog cages were used by at-risk detainees under suspicion of running away. The other detainees slept in a hall on the concrete with only a blanket as cover.


The rules were very strict. Consequences were given for a number of reasons - for instance:

  • Use of restroom more than once per day.
  • Talking to other detainees.
  • Shouting
  • Refusing to eat. Leftovers, even vomit, should be eaten.
  • Attempts to escape

The consequences were:

  • Annulment of miles ran that day.
  • Being forced to carry a 40 lb bag of sand while walking the miles on the facility.
  • Being confined to the dog cages during the day in a sitting position [5] [6].
  • Being confined to the dog cages during the day in four point restraint lying on the stomach [7].

News, statement

High Impact is mentioned in relation with a lawsuit against WWASP [8].


  1. Questions Swirl Around Closure of Teen Centers, (Sandra Dibble and Anna Cearley 2004)
  2. Woodbury Reports Archives 2001, ( - industry marketing firm)
  3. Statement from Beth Cooper, International Survivor Action Committee
  4. Statement from "Jennifer143", Fornits
  5. Photo gallery, Paula Reeves, The pictures at the top right and bottom right corners are taken at High Impact
  6. Statement from Chelsea Raine Filer
  7. Colorado girl pulled from Teen Help compound, (Rocky Mountain News 2002 - Transcript from ISAC)
  8. Troubled Teen Programs - 25 Plaintiffs Join in Lawsuit Against WWASPS, Cross Creek Manor, Robert Lichfield, and Associates – More Expected to Join In, (Webwire November 16, 2006)

External Links