Midwest Academy

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Current status Closed
Checked December 6, 2017
Close.gif Closed 2016

The facility was placed on 2416, 340th Street, Keokuk, Iowa 52632 [1]. The former director - Brian Vaifanua - of the now close Paradise Cove has been sighted on the facility and is also reported as the owner [2]. The owners at the closure are mentioned to be Midwest Twister and Prestige Funding [3]

It used the WWASP level system. It was placed in a remote area with desert around it. Nearest town is Keokuk and it is placed almost at the end of the runway of Keokuk Municipal Airport.

The also had a smaller department called Midwest Treatment Center. It was located on 2818 Highway 218 in Montrose [4].

Program structure

When the facility was opened they made used of the level system used in any facility operating under the WWASP umbrella.

After WWASP was restructured they continued to maintain a very structured environment, but the exact nature of the program is not known as the student manuals were not online.


  • In November 2006 two teenage boys managed to escape the facility and commited some vandalism while they were free. Whether they were released or transferred to Tranquility Bay, which were still open at that time is not known [5]
  • in June 2008 a number of detainees were sent out to help with a flood in the area along with prisoners from a nearby prison [6].
  • October 2008: After several facilities have closed in the recent years, the management had to deny the rumors about a future closure [7]. According to the management the present number of detainees are about 144.
  • February 2010 a former elementary guidance counselor was convicted of second-degree sexual abuse on a child under the age of 12 based on the testimonies given to staff at the academy in exchange for moving forward in the program [8]. The convicted counselor applied for a re-trial [9]. He was later ordered to pay restitution [10]
  • January 2016 a search warrant was issued by the police into a sex abuse investigation [4]
  • The program closed 2016. The owner is now on trial for various charges [3]

External Links

Info pages

Survivor groups

Message boards


  1. The facility on Google Maps
  2. Area reps hold auditions for upcoming film, by Brennan Umthun/Staff Writer, Daily Democrats, November 8 2007
  3. 3,0 3,1 Ben Trane, former Midwest Academy director, testifies, By Andy Hoffman, The Hawk Eye, december 6 - 2017
  4. 4,0 4,1 Search Warrants Executed at Boarding School for Sex Abuse Investigation, BY KAITLIN MCKINNEY, 13 WHO TV news, January 28 2016
    UPDATED: 2 search warrants executed at Midwest Academy in Keokuk; press conference Friday, by KHQA, January 28 2016
  5. Two Midwest Academy students confess to Joyce Park vandalism, by Cindy Iutzi, Daily Gate, November 14, 2006
  6. Keokuk water plant 'secure'; Guard assists in efforts, By Diane Vance and Cindy Iutzi/Gate City Staff Writers, June 16 2008
  7. Trane says Midwest Academy isn't closing, by By Diane Vance/Gate City Staff Writer, Daily Gate City, November 4 2008
  8. http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/84038877.html Former IC Guidance Counselor Found Guilty of Sexual Abuse], by Elizabeth Kutter, KCRG TV, February 10, 2010
  9. Former IC Guidance Counselor Wants New Trial in Sex Abuse Case, By Anna Lothson, KCRG TV, March 15, 2010
  10. Former counselor convicted of sexual abuse ordered to pay restitution, by Trish Mehaffey, The Gazette, November 24, 2010