River View Christian Academy

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Julian Youth Academy is a behavior modification facility located near Chino, California [1].

The targetgroup is girls aged between 13 and 17.

The typical detention last between 12 and 18 months and they can detain 34 girls.

It was founded in 1989.

Program structure

They use a level system named with the letters A-M.

A former survivor describe a stay at the facility with the following words [2]:

At 14 years old, I was awakened on a cold August morning at 5am to strangers who forced me to either dress in front of them or remain in the scant pajamas I was in. I chose the latter for obvious privacy reasons. I was not granted permission to use the restroom, or any other personal hygiene habits before what I was told would be "a long trip." My younger brother was asleep, and I would not get to see, write to, or talk to until a year later. My older sister, I will never forget, stared into my eyes with such sadness and intensity that I was stricken to muteness and shock for the entirety of the 6 hour car ride to Julian, CA. I knew not that I would also not have contact with her, nor family other than my mother and father, for about a year.

As the escorts asked me if I knew or wanted to know where they were taking me, I remained in shock and was unable to speak or express needs to these strangers.

Upon arrival, I remained in “intake” status for almost nine hours, refusing to dress and demanding that I should get one phone call, “Even criminals get a phone call.” I was not a criminal, nor was I ever involved in using drugs or alcohol, promiscuity, or otherwise physically harmful behavior. I was a victim of a statutory rape crime, and the perpetrator is now walking the streets! Due to the emotional trauma that caused and the abandonment I felt from my parents not seeking understanding from me, retrospectively I hold to the fact that I “rebelled” as mildly as any “normal,” healthy teenager would.

During my imprisonment at Julian Youth Academy (aka JYA), which was a period of fifteen months and sixteen days (August 1999-December 2000), I was treated like property through lack of sympathy, lack of care for emotional needs, lack of care for health needs, constant disbelief from staff and directors and punishment for expressing my human and health needs, lack of anyone to trust, zero advocacy, and lack of experienced and trained staff.


  • Parents visit campus once a month, and are encouraged to correspond with their teen through letters and eventually through telephone conversations.
  • Parents are also required to attend a parent training course bi-weekly if they live within a 100-mile radius of the school. All parents must attend an all day training course twice a year.
  • When a child returns home, parents supervise the Aftercare Program for the child and regularly report their child's progress to the JYA staff.

In the news

In 2003 the facility was destroyed by a fire [3]. They are working on opening it but they are involved in a legal battle with the San Diego County [4].


  1. Google maps of the surroundings
  2. I support the bill to End Institutionalized Abuse Against Children Act of 2005, a statement from a survivor of the facility
  3. Teens homeless from Cedar fire, by MEGAN MARSHACK, North County Times, October 31 - 2003
  4. Julian Youth Academy Fire Recovery, Teen Rescue homepage

External Links