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Sorenson's Ranch School was founded by Burnell and Carrol Sorenson as a summer camp in 1959 and became a year-round behavior modification facility in 1982.

When it was a summer camp the name was Koos Kamp [7].

It is located on 410 North 100 East, Koosharem, Utah 84744.

It has room for 85 detainees.


The facility use a behavior modification program with 5 levels. Contact with parents are something the children has to earn. Here is some examples:

  • Communication with parents by letter. All outgoing mail can only be sent to the parents
    • Level 1: No privileges
    • Level 2: Letters from parents only - no packages
    • Level 3: Letters approved by parents. Relatives and friends have to mail their letters to the parents, who will send them to the detainee at the ranch.
    • Level 4: Same as on level 3
    • Level 5: Same as on level 3
  • Communication with parents by phone. From the parent manual: All phone call are monitored and logged by the case manager. The case manager can terminate the phone call if the language becomes "improper". Phone call can on placed to the parents home.
    • Level 1: No privileges
    • Level 2: One phone call may be received every 2 weeks not exceeding 15 minutes.
    • Level 3: One phone call may be received or placed every 2 weeks not exceeding 15 minutes.
    • Level 4: One phone call may be received or placed every week not exceeding 20 minutes.
    • Level 5: Two phone call may be received or placed every week not exceeding 20 minutes.

Parents can visit the facility after 3 months. It will often be the first time, they will actually see the facility because the detainees are taken to the facility by teenage escort firms. The detainee have to be on level three before the visit can be arranged. A second visit can be arranged after 6 month. The detainee can return home for a week after 9 months.


Survivors complain about the use of long time being forced to sit and look at a wall - sometimes for days. Others address the lack of treatment of injuries and illnesses in general. Last and not least they complain about being forced to participate in the local church community regardless of their belief [2].

In the news

In 2002 the Ranch won a suit against the State Department of Human Services. The son of the founders had received a conviction for two felonies in California before starting to work for the facility, which normally would prevent such a person from working with children, but the Ranch appealed and won in the local court [3].

Former survivors have been isolated to deal with their own torment after the facility filed a lawsuit against Myspace [4].

In October 2007 two of the detained teenagers ran away from the facility. They were later arrested in a stolen car, which could result in a stay in a juvenile facility, where their living standards will increase [5].


External links

Watch organization status