Uinta Academy

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Uinta Academy is a behavior modification facility located on two locations near Wellsville and Lewiston [1] [2]

It was founded in 2003 [3].

They can detain 44 girls aged between 12 and 17 [3].

The program last 12 months, but often the girls are there for up to a year and a half.[3].

Program structure

According to statements made on the myspace group of former survivors, the program has become stricter. This description of the program can be inaccurate due to policy changes.

They use a level system, which according to sources is structured as below:

Level one Daily
Level two Weekly
Level three Weekly two
Level four Achievement

They use horses in their treatment of the girls; including tons of outside work that has nothing to do with therapeutic issues. The work that the girls do is constant and hard. They haul hay, pick weeds for hours at a time and are expected to keep the house spotless. The girls are on a point card where, in order to be able to do anything else besides writing assigned essays, they have to earn their privileges of ten-thousand points per day. If they do not behave "correctly" or "accordingly" they are punished with negative points or as the staff call it, consequences. The girls hardly get any freetime because they are on a schedule everyday and any freetime they get is monitored and permission is necessary to use it. Also, every girl is expected to have the same relationship with every other girl in the house (not very realistic if you're trying to teach real life skills) this means no favoring of anyone and again ALL socializing is monitored. Everything these girls do from going to the bathroom to sleeping is monitored. Yet, they expect these unrealistic situations and way of doing things to help and consider it part of the "treatment".

The girls in this residential treatment center are basically in an experiment. The whole point card idea comes straight from positive and negative reinforcement and punishment that is taught through operant conditioning (B.F. Skinner was not meant to be taken so seriously). It is such a textbook way to treat a human. There is definitely more negative effects that this treatment center has on its patients for you cannot program somebody to be a certain way or in order to fix them by sending them to a formatted environment. The only requirement for sending your child here is having a sufficient amount of money in the bank to pay the minuscule $7,800 per month, this is not including extra costs for trips and other necessities she might need while there for her year and a half stay or more.

Trips to the gym are up to five days a week and include instructor taught classes. The girls also do yoga every week.

The campus in Lewiston functions as a transition home.

To be a staff there you have to be 21; no other requirements. They don't treat the girls with respect or care. The staff are called family teachers. They function as more moderators and are strict and many have control issues; they are insensitive and can be harsh.


It is known that there are weekly calls between staff and the parents. There are also a monthly meeting in order to discuss the progress of the girl in the program. The girl has hardly any contact with parents besides one weekly phone call. The girls cannot have any communication with anyone else besides parents, until she earns her way up to the fourth level, at which point she may talk to her therapist about calling an approved and appropriate friend.

Parent visits are usually every three months if the girl is behaved and has earned the visit. There are weekly letters that the girls are required to send to their parents on Sundays, however they may not always receive a letter from their parents.

News / Media

They have problems with the local city council. They can not expand with a third campus [4].

External Links

Info pages

Survivor groups

Message boards