Northwestern Academy marks 10th anniversary

Oct 24, 2008 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: The News Item

"Making a dream come true." That was the unofficial theme of Thursday's ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the founding of Northwestern Academy, a juvenile justice rehabilitative facility in the ...

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21 - 40 of 214 Comments Last updated Thursday Jul 3
SGT

Branchville, NJ

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#21
Jan 29, 2010
 

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soitis wrote:
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My daughter is there at Building Bridges. We just saw her yesterday. In what facility is the person you visited? Northwestern Acad. for Boys or the Boot Camp or Residential for Boys of Building Bridges? I hope and pray that they arent mistreating them as you say.
I've worked at Northwestern Academy in several buildings there but mainly the boot camp and THERE IS NO such mis-treatment going on there. You'd be suprised the type of kids that come there and what such problems they cause. Only they themselves can complete the program and leave there reformed. If not, than it's their fault not the staff's! I agree no system is perfect but as far as mis-treatment or abuse...that's all those kids know cuz that's how they've been treated before coming to N.W.
SGT

Branchville, NJ

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#22
Jan 29, 2010
 

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shadedflower wrote:
My son finally was placed in Northwestern on 10/22/09. I did just currently read a newspaper article online, while researching the place, that a child was found dead in his bed in April of this year...was this the child that died due to overmedication? I am a nervous wreck about my son being there, although he is place in the CAS program. His counselor told me the bootcamp is no longer operational??? Is this true? He said it got shut down for 3 years for "something that occured there that was not their fault" and didn't elaborate any further. I also found a newspaper article about a child dying there while being restrained back in 2005 (I believe that's the year the article listed.) Doesn't make me feel too hopeful sometimes, 2 kids in 4 years IS NOT good odds in a mother's eyes, no matter what reason they give for these poor children's deaths.
So far, londonbridge, I cannot say anything bad about Northwestern from what I saw when visiting my son yesterday, but he's only been there 10 full days. He's lost some weight and is NOT the same kid that left home, but I'm going to observe his manner as time goes on to see if the change in his demeanor is from being there or what. I'll post here accordingly and update as to what I hear, see, etc., I am very concerned that he is going to benefit from all this, though in the mental health profession they will tell you that your child's success is only as great as his willingness to want to change. Which program is your nephew in there? I know they have a VCorp program still in place; there were boys with military style clothing on in the hall where we visited.
God bless all you children who have been there and will be placed there, and I will pray daily for all the children currently there, that they become changed, stronger children and that they are well cared for in the appropriate manner while they are there.
Hmmmmm, I see several mentions regarding medication posted above...I'll be keeping my eye on that, too. God bless you all, have a good day.
I've worked at NHS. There is no mis-treatment of any kind that goes on there!! If anything, some of the staff & supervisors are corrupt and filling their pockets. A majority of the staff that really cares for these kids or attempt to do honest good for them end up loosing their jobs because of "caring". "You need to be in the click" The boot camp was closed by the state of PA because of the actions from a boot camp in Florida (no affiliate to NHS).
SGT

Branchville, NJ

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#23
Jan 29, 2010
 

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One more thing I'd like to add...Most of these posting you read here are from those whom actually spent time at NHS. First, they must have done something really bad or have been bad to be placed there! If they didn't care about anyone or anything then, and still don't now...why would you believe what they have to say? Apparently they've been disrespectful and still are! NHS is an excellent program. It may not change all the lives of every child that comes there but has a high success rate. The child him/herself must complete the program and change, not the staff. NHS could be a way better program with a perfect success rate if they only made some changes with the supervisors and certain staff members. They're a joke! I agree with the one comment made that NHS does indeed have a "HUG A THUG" program. If anything, they are too easy on the kids at times. Also, personally I believe that the 8-1 ratio (8 kids to 1 staff member) is a joke too. They need more staff members that will be able to spend more time with the kids one on one to honestly help them with their problems. But if they hired more staff then that's less money the bigshots will be making. It is very expensive to keep somone there at NHS and yeah it is all about money there too!
shadedflower

Clearfield, PA

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#24
Jan 30, 2010
 
This weekend, my son is on a home visit.

My son was not placed there for anything other than repeated behaviors of defiance in the home and school settings. He had some substance issues that could have escalated into something major had some kind of action not been taken. He was placed in the CAS program at NW for 180 days by probation and the court, and will have 18 days left at NW upon his return Sunday.

I have NEVER seen, at any time, nor has my son EVER told me of any type of abuse. He mentioned the word "victimization" several times, but when looking at the entire program he was involved in collectively, I cannot say his reference to that word was anything more than the program's way of teaching these kids how it feels to be on receiving end of the same treatment they've been allowed to dish out prior to being placed at the facility. I cannot speak for any other child but my own, and he was the grand master of manipulation and deception.

As SGT stated, it is entirely up to these children if they want to let the program work for them or not. It also takes complete revamping of the family structure for the program to work after their discharge. You cannot let them children come home to the same thing, there has to be team work involved from the parents, also. I see, just in the few hours my son has been home on his visit, how easy it would be for him to fall back into the same routine; discipline and guidelines MUST be enforced in the home, also. Children associate certain behaviors to certain places/situations. NW instills coping tools, "processing", self discipline ... these thing are not taught to them through books but rather than through the contact of staff/student on a daily basis. The people at NW are not magicians or healers, they are instructors, and IT IS UP TO THE STUDENT TO WANT THE CHANGE first of all, and to remember the things they were taught there and implement them in their daily life.

Yes, I read all negative things when I first found this forum, I was afraid to death for my son, but after 3.5 months of weekly visitation there I must say I have had the respect of staff who always took the time to answer, as best they could, and questions. They are wonderful instructors and really do care about the welfare of the children they work with. It is completely different, if you've had your child placed in other behavior facilities such as RTF's. Staff appears standoffish, but they really are quite "all about the kids" and are not there to socialize with parents. I have nothing bad to say about NW., and I fully understand that my son's success is largely dependent on his mindset about what he wants for himself when he comes home, and about we, as parents, removing the "doormat" label off our foreheads and laying down strict laws that have no contingencies.
silk02000

Newtown, PA

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#25
Feb 2, 2010
 
Does anyone have information or experience with the RENEWS program. My son is heading to NHS today and after reading this blog I am concerned. This program is suppose to be Theraputic, not like the VCORE program.
KnowwhatImtalkin g about

Manassas, VA

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#26
Feb 4, 2010
 
Kids should not be subjected to private institutions like these. They are harbors and magnets for pedophiles and other offenders/abusers who have just not been discovered yet. These kinds of people look for jobs in these places. Most decent people won't even be associated with these places even at the expense of unemployment. After all, who in their right mind would ever want to work in such a place? And there is something seriously wrong about the people who get off working there. Another reason is the area. The reason Northwestern Academy is located there is because of the work force. Anyone with any brains left the area a long time ago because of the bad employment situation. What's left are a bunch of dumb unemployables that most places wouldn't hire in the first place.
My suggestion would be to get a lawyer, contact politicians, and utilize the press as much as possible to have your child removed from such a place. If you have any care at all for your child, you don't want them there.
shadedflower

Clearfield, PA

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#27
Feb 5, 2010
 
While I am not familiar with alot of the staff at NW, I do know that one of the employees there is a police officer and another is in the USMC reserves, currently home from deployment in Iraq. KnowwhatImtalkin gabout, do you know for certain that there are pedophiles and abusers hired to work at NW, and were you, yourself, ever employed at this facility? My husband heard on the news several weeks ago that Cresson Secure employees were making the kids there have sex with each other, and I do believe the staff might also have been having sex with the inmates ... this is a juvenile lockdown facility also in our state. I am going to research it on the web to be certain what all was going on there, as my son was, at first, recommended for placement there by probation :/ HORROR OF HORRORS! I'm not sure what kind of action was taken against the employees, and I shudder to think that my son might be at a placement where this type of behavior could occur. My husband and I will be going to his graduation this coming Tuesday and I am going to be print this off and address this issue with his case worker, even though he has nearly completed the program. If anyone who ventures to this forum has knowledge of any type of sexual or physical abuse at NW, I would appreciate to hear of it, as I have entrusted my child to the care of the staff there, as have all parents who's child is placed at Northwestern.
WOW

Reading, PA

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#28
Feb 7, 2010
 

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EVERYBODY HAS THEIR OWN OPINION AND EXPERIENCE AND IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT A CHILD HAS TO SAY THE STAFF WILL ALWAYS HAVE A BIGGER VOICE IN IT ALL. YES A CHILD DID DIE IN THERE AND YES THERE WERE ATTEMPTED SUICIDES IN THERE. THEY SAY IT AINT POSSIBLE BUT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. I WAS IN BUILDING BRIDGES, WHICH IS THE FEMALE PROGRAM ON THE TOP OF THE HILL, WHEN THE CHILD DIED DOWN IN THE DETENTION CENTER. IN BB THERE WERE ALOT OF PROBLEMS. IT MIGHT BE ALITTLE BETTER NOW THAT IT ISN'T AS NEW BUT IT HAD ALOT OF PROBLEMS WHEN I ENTERED THERE. FIRST MISTAKE WHEN I WENT THERE I DIDN'T GET SEARCHED. LOL WHO KNOWS I COULD OF HAD SOMETHING ON ME. I COULD OF BEEN ARMED. ALL I GOT WAS A LICE TREATMENT AND I WAS IN THE BATHROOM BY MYSELF. I KNOW OTHERS WERE SEARCHED BUT SOME WEREN'T WHEN THEY WERE BUSY OR IF IT WAS LATE AND STAFF WANTED TO GO HOME. I SEEN ONE GIRL TRY TO STRANGLE HERSELF WITH A TOWEL WRAPPED AROUND HER NECK WHILE SHE WAS THERE. I OVERDOSED ON SEROQUEL AND RISPERDAL. IT WAS MY CHOICE BUT THERE WASN'T AS MUCH SUPERVISION AS THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN. I WAS IN ICU FOR AWHILE AND SENT TO THE PSYCH. I WENT BACK TO BB AFTER THE HOSPITAL. I DONT ONLY TALK BAD BECAUSE THERE ARE SOME STAFF THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED FOR WHAT THEY DID GGOD TO HELP. I STILL TALK TO STAFF THAT WORKED THERE WHEN I WAS THERE. I AM NOT HERE TO TALK BAD OR GOOD BUT I THINK THAT PLACE WAS ONE OF THE WORST I WAS IN. I WAS NOT IN BECAUSE OF ME. MY MOTHER WAS ON DRUGS AND I HAD NO HOME SO I MIGHT OF GOT INTO TROUBLE LIKE ANY NORMAL KID BUT FOR THE MOST PART I HAD ALOT OF MENTAL ISSUES FROM MY PARENTS. MY DAD WAS ABUSIVE AND ON HEROIN. NOT ALL KIDS ARE THERE FOR BEING BAD SOME HAVE NO HOME. ALL I AM SAYING IS DONT TRUST ANY PLACE AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOUR CHILD SAYS NOT JUST THE STAFF. YOU DONT WANT TO REGET IT LATER. I WAS THERE 05-06
puds

Bear, DE

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#29
Mar 27, 2010
 

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SGT wrote:
<quoted text>
I've worked at Northwestern Academy in several buildings there but mainly the boot camp and THERE IS NO such mis-treatment going on there. You'd be suprised the type of kids that come there and what such problems they cause. Only they themselves can complete the program and leave there reformed. If not, than it's their fault not the staff's! I agree no system is perfect but as far as mis-treatment or abuse...that's all those kids know cuz that's how they've been treated before coming to N.W.
Not all children that go to boot camps have been abused! Some of those children have loving, and caring families and the child just made poor choices! How can you stereo type these kids like that maybe there really is something to hide there!

-Newark, De
jarhead1

Bedminster, NJ

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#30
Apr 23, 2010
 
for starters,i have been employed by the academy for almost four years now. while it is true that some of our staff are idiots and some of our supervisors are questionable at times in no regards are students as a whole being abused. yes there may be a staff member who pushes the rules a little but if they push too far they will be disciplined. the only way we are allowed to put our hands on client is if he is representing a fear of or committing harm to himself or someone else. meaning if a kid swings at me he is gonna get restrained. and this will happen via an approved safe crisis management restraint or i will getfired and charged with child abuse! And by the way imho alot of these kids are so disrespectful they need a good ass kickin. it just wont be from me. these kids are treated with dignity and respect wether they treat staff the same or not. see post about staff being beat senseless with his own flashlight by a student.
steve young

Marcus Hook, PA

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#31
Apr 26, 2010
 
north western academy is worst then hell i was there in o5.they need to shut that place down if they dident.I was basiclly tortured there, they hated me especially. i was beat up everything u could possibly dream about not happening to u there happens. i seen people ask to use the bath room and the staff said no and they just shit or pissed there self.seinor drill sargent souder was the worst. i dont even want to talk about this any more i would not want my worst enemy to be there
steve young

Marcus Hook, PA

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#32
Apr 26, 2010
 
white barracks with senior drill souder was hell i was there when shit was bad they restained me for no reason numerous times.i turned my life around now but would still love to see some of the staff around chester and just knock them out. my second day there my bunkmate went awol.ive seen people stab there self in the neck beacause they would just rather die then be there. white barracks in 04 05 fuck u
PFC Tyler

Mechanicsburg, PA

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#33
May 28, 2010
 

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I was locked up at the Northwestern Academy Boot Camp (Blue Barracks) in May of '05.
Listen, NORTHWESTERN ACADEMY ABUSES AND MISTREATED ALL OF US. I'm not just saying that because I got in trouble and I resent being sent there. I'm now 23 years old and in college with straight As and a 3.8 GPA and am having a great life. I really turned my life around. While I was in boot camp, a child in the Detention section of Northwestern was KILLED during an assist (an assist is where they phsyically restrain you when you are "acting up" or becoming "aggressive"). Idk about the other sections, but in boot camp, I've seen kids get there heads slammed to the floor just for saying "this is bullshit". The boot camp is just like military boot camp but 1000000 times worse. I was a model cadet so I made it through pretty good, the trick is becoming friends with the staff, but some staff could care less about you. If i had video camera with me for the 7 months I was there, the place would be shut down. I've seen other cadets being slammed to the ground, with 5/6 grown men punching and kneeing and slamming the cadet's head into the cement floor/the road in front of our barracks(the road we marched to school/chow on). Listen, Northwestern is a dreaded place to be sentenced to, and some kids are just not strong enough, and those kids are the ones that had it the worst. We had PT (physical training) EVERYDAY. We were worked to death like race horses, and were NOT ALLOWED to drink water unless being told that we were allowed. I gotta go, email me if you have questions, I would love to talk about my stay there with anyone who is interested, email me at jmtyler717@yahoo.com! PEACE
Tracey Barron

Johnstown, PA

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#34
May 29, 2010
 
OMG! My son just arrived at Northwestern yesterday. After reading all of the comments on this page, I am literally ready to drive up there and bust him out! He is a 17 year old who had ONE probation violation and this is where they sent him! All I can say is if ONE person lays their hands on my child...its over! Now I am scared to death for his safety and health. So, they medicate these kids? NO ONE better medicate my child! This is ridiculous! Please everyone, Pray for my son!!!!
Ralph

United States

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#35
May 31, 2010
 

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To Tracy from Johnstown- Your deserves what he has coming ! all of those kids are not there for NO reason ! And that place is no "Summer Camp" ! most of those kids are CRIMINALS ! So, they WILL take the "MEDICINE" which they "DISHED" out to their VICTOMS!
SO, GROW UP!
Ralph

United States

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#36
May 31, 2010
 
Correction ! Your Son needs to be in my comment !
Tracey Barron

Johnstown, PA

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#37
Jun 5, 2010
 

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Ralph wrote:
To Tracy from Johnstown- Your deserves what he has coming ! all of those kids are not there for NO reason ! And that place is no "Summer Camp" ! most of those kids are CRIMINALS ! So, they WILL take the "MEDICINE" which they "DISHED" out to their VICTOMS!
SO, GROW UP!
You know what RALPH...my son is NOT a criminal and does not have any "victims"! How the hell would you know what my son deserves or does not deserve anyway? If you don't know what your talking about, then perhaps you should keep your comments to yourself and shut up!
Another Mom

Stroudsburg, PA

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#38
Jun 6, 2010
 
Kay wrote:
<quoted text>I am getting very nervous as I am reading all of this. My son is going back to court tomorrow and is being sent to the vcore program. Now I am getting nervous as I read all of this and hear about the abuse. If I hear any word of this happening to my son, I will raise hell with any one that I have to.(our state Reps., the Dept. of Public Welfare, etc). This is the last thing my son needs. Discipline through means of routine and respect are one thing, but not through any means of abuse, whether it be physical, verbal, or mental!!
Kay, I find out this week if my son is going to the V.core there. How did you make out with yours?? Thanks!!
Another Mom

Stroudsburg, PA

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#39
Jun 6, 2010
 
Tracey Barron wrote:
<quoted text>
You know what RALPH...my son is NOT a criminal and does not have any "victims"! How the hell would you know what my son deserves or does not deserve anyway? If you don't know what your talking about, then perhaps you should keep your comments to yourself and shut up!
Tracy - would you mind emailing me? Anilom007@yahoo.com - As i said my son maybe going and Id like to talk to you, hope you are making out well. Ignore the idiots here. Yes, there are bad kids but there are good kids who make bad decisions due to peer pressure who still come from loving and structured homes. would love to hear from you.
Dani

Perkasie, PA

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#40
Jun 9, 2010
 

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soitis wrote:
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My daughter is there at Building Bridges. We just saw her yesterday. In what facility is the person you visited? Northwestern Acad. for Boys or the Boot Camp or Residential for Boys of Building Bridges? I hope and pray that they arent mistreating them as you say.
I went there for 6 months and I can honestly say they dont treat the girls any better. I was pretty much more or less beaten to a bloody pulp. they have guys from the military come and help to restrain and they have no cameras so of course you have no way to prove what these staff members are doing. I had to go so far as request to being put in a mental institution to get to a better place to be taken out of placement and i was a children in youth case. i have much mroe to say but id rather not just bash on them because im more mature than that. but no they dont treat girls any better.

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