Northwestern Academy marks 10th anniv...

Northwestern Academy marks 10th anniversary

There are 230 comments on the The News Item story from Oct 24, 2008, titled Northwestern Academy marks 10th anniversary. In it, The News Item reports that:

"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 ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The News Item.

A Loving Mom

Johnstown, PA

#121 Jan 22, 2011
Worried Mom--your post sounds exactly like the first one I wrote on her. My son is also a good kid who made a stupid mistake (non violent or threatening) I am going to be honest with you about NWA. The place is a shit hole...plain and simple. The staff are, like previous posts said, nice to your face, but NOT to your kid. Depending on what barracks he was placed in (red, white or blue) will determine how much of a jerk the staff are. Now, don't get me wrong, I think there really are a very small handful of staff that are there for the right reasons, but 90% are not. Why don't you email me and I can fill you in more that way...I don't think there are enough characters I can type here to tell you everything. Email me at: [email protected] and then I will give you my real email...I am NOT posting my private email on this page.
worried mom wrote:
My son actually just went there today (V-CORE) and after reading this i am so worried and am definitely NOT going to be able to sleep. I cant believe what i have read on here...i am ready to find a way to get my son out of this place. He is not a bad kid he just made some stupid choices and didnt' learn. If i find out that he is being abused at all-oh know forget it i will go off on someone. They are suppose to be there to help these kids-well that's what i thought it was for not do half this stuff people are writing. I am so sick over this and could only imagine what he is going through in his mind right now. I am emailing some people on here to see what else they have to say. I am in tears as i read some of this stuff i hope nothing bad happens to him and he does what he is suppose to do but apparently that doesnt seem to make a difference. Also in regards to the medications-my son will NOT be given any kind of meds at all while he is there NO WAY!!!!!!!
I will be making a few calls later on today because this place just seems to be out of control! Any information\advice please do. Good luck to all!
Heartbroken Mom

Lebanon, PA

#122 Jan 22, 2011
My son MIGHT be going to the bootcamp on monday. He has a court hearing this monday to decide. My son is depressed right now, he has been in a detention center for 8 days. They have been giving him aniexty medication without my consent. He is not sleeping while he is in there and I am completely worried to death about him going to the bootcamp in his present mental state. Could you please email me at [email protected] and give me any advice or just to talk mother to mother. Thank you and I wish you luck with your situation with your son.
worried mom wrote:
My son actually just went there today (V-CORE) and after reading this i am so worried and am definitely NOT going to be able to sleep. I cant believe what i have read on here...i am ready to find a way to get my son out of this place. He is not a bad kid he just made some stupid choices and didnt' learn. If i find out that he is being abused at all-oh know forget it i will go off on someone. They are suppose to be there to help these kids-well that's what i thought it was for not do half this stuff people are writing. I am so sick over this and could only imagine what he is going through in his mind right now. I am emailing some people on here to see what else they have to say. I am in tears as i read some of this stuff i hope nothing bad happens to him and he does what he is suppose to do but apparently that doesnt seem to make a difference. Also in regards to the medications-my son will NOT be given any kind of meds at all while he is there NO WAY!!!!!!!
I will be making a few calls later on today because this place just seems to be out of control! Any information\advice please do. Good luck to all!
corporal harger

Allentown, PA

#123 Mar 7, 2011
i was at northwestern academy in bravo( red barracks) and my first week i got thrown around,screamed at and forced to do more pt then my body could stand, you have 2 mins to use the "sit down" and 2 mins to shower, they say you complete the program when you get the rank of corporal. i was given this rank in 2 months and didnt leave for 4. There are different case workers who should not be in that position but i had a case worker that wasnt even mine, who had a opinion about me due to another cadets grudge ageinst me. there is nothing fair there, although it did help me, ive seen things there that i should have told the police about after my release. they restrained an autistic kid for "not following procedures". since when can the mentally handicapped follow military procedureS?
northwestern should be shut down.
corporal harger

Allentown, PA

#124 Mar 7, 2011
shadedflower wrote:
In researching the Northwest Bootcamp, I came across this forum...is this the same bootcamp near Danville, Pa. in Northumberland County? My son will be heading there tomorrow and I was trying to find out information on what all goes on there. After reading these posts, I'm scared to death for him.
Who runs this place? Are they military drill instructors? They hit these kids? Push, spit on them? Throw them around??? My son is hardly a criminal, a good kid that makes bad choices. I don't know as the poor kid's going to make it there from what I'm reading. Sounds like he's going to come home 10 times worse and learn how to treat people like he was treated. Gee, do kids DIE in these places??? I've seen horror stories on tv about boot camps and suddenly don't feel very good about any of this.
And what about his meds, or don't they care much about stuff like that? Well, God bless all those who were there before him and all who will come after him. If this is where the law's sending him, I'll be praying every minute that he stays sane to get through along with everyone else that's going through it with him.
I guess I can pretty much expect that they're going to tell me tomorrow, or whenever I get to actually connect with someone there, that they are successful and will treat my child with dignity and respect and all that other pacifying jargon and I should BASICALLY CONSIDER IT ALL LIES??? And am I going to recognize my son when he gets out, or is going to be a shell of his former self???? If you've been in there, would you say you "learned your lesson" there? God help us all.
how was he when he got out? i went there too and i was more respectufull and ready for the military when i got out but they dont follow juviniles rights and not everyone makes it the whole way. i was lucky.
Jim Souder

Forest City, PA

#126 Mar 7, 2011
I lift things up and put them down!!
CORPORAL-Schrift dogg

Gadsden, AL

#127 Apr 1, 2011
From what I've been reading so far, the place really doesn't seem like northwestern at all. I just got released yesterday [3/31] from the v-core program, and I can honestly tell you that it is nothing like what these people make it out to be. Throughout my time there, people were being babied beyond belief. I almost couldn't believe it was a boot camp.
Truthfully, it's the easiest program to complete, and any kids who struggle completing it do so due to their own actions. Most of the problems there arise because people have too much criminal pride and are incapable of doing a simple accountability such as 10 [one-zero] push-ups and keep running their mouth to staff.
I was a Wolverine in Blue Barracks, and truthfully, my stay there was like a vacation. I'm almost upset I had to leave. All the staff there are extremely funny and nice as long as you follow the program criteria [in other words, know your place and don't try to act tough to impress other guys]. In fact, the one thing I absolutely hated in that place, was just how easy they went on all the cadets being disrespectful. If it were up to me, I would have assisted them for calling out, but in my three months I only witnessed about 17 assists [8 of which was one individual,and another 4 was another, but these two had completely disregarded protocol and went about doing what they wanted the whole time there]
The only staff there that was consistently strict was Senior Drill Sergeant [SDS] Swank. But he was strict because it was effective. All the other staff, like Drill Sergeant [DS] Dillman, Kraynak, Runkle, Gorboski, Geiswhite, Geisweit, Winnie, Reed, Staff Sergeant [SSG] Sampson and [SDS] Bressi are all really cool guys, and as long as you maintain throughout your program you should not only have a good time, but also build posiive relationship with really cool people. The case workers Cpt. Noll, Cpt. Hackenberg, and Lt. Stanley are extremely sensitive to people's personal needs and are really nice as well, so long as people just do what is expected of them.
So if your son is complaining about their stay there, don't blame the staff, because they're all extremely cool guys and if your son was following program expectations he'd enjoy it as much as I did.
P.S. the teachers are also really nice and helpful, and are willing to work with students to accommodate their educational needs.
A Loving Mom

Johnstown, PA

#129 Apr 2, 2011
I think you are the ONLY kid that went through this boot camp who actually had nice things to say. Capt. Hackenburg is NOT a nice lady, she is extremely rude and even insulted ME, the mom of a cadet there on several occasions. You obviously must have been a "favorite" and got preferential treatment.
CORPORAL-Schriftdogg wrote:
From what I've been reading so far, the place really doesn't seem like northwestern at all. I just got released yesterday [3/31] from the v-core program, and I can honestly tell you that it is nothing like what these people make it out to be. Throughout my time there, people were being babied beyond belief. I almost couldn't believe it was a boot camp.
Truthfully, it's the easiest program to complete, and any kids who struggle completing it do so due to their own actions. Most of the problems there arise because people have too much criminal pride and are incapable of doing a simple accountability such as 10 [one-zero] push-ups and keep running their mouth to staff.
I was a Wolverine in Blue Barracks, and truthfully, my stay there was like a vacation. I'm almost upset I had to leave. All the staff there are extremely funny and nice as long as you follow the program criteria [in other words, know your place and don't try to act tough to impress other guys]. In fact, the one thing I absolutely hated in that place, was just how easy they went on all the cadets being disrespectful. If it were up to me, I would have assisted them for calling out, but in my three months I only witnessed about 17 assists [8 of which was one individual,and another 4 was another, but these two had completely disregarded protocol and went about doing what they wanted the whole time there]
The only staff there that was consistently strict was Senior Drill Sergeant [SDS] Swank. But he was strict because it was effective. All the other staff, like Drill Sergeant [DS] Dillman, Kraynak, Runkle, Gorboski, Geiswhite, Geisweit, Winnie, Reed, Staff Sergeant [SSG] Sampson and [SDS] Bressi are all really cool guys, and as long as you maintain throughout your program you should not only have a good time, but also build posiive relationship with really cool people. The case workers Cpt. Noll, Cpt. Hackenberg, and Lt. Stanley are extremely sensitive to people's personal needs and are really nice as well, so long as people just do what is expected of them.
So if your son is complaining about their stay there, don't blame the staff, because they're all extremely cool guys and if your son was following program expectations he'd enjoy it as much as I did.
P.S. the teachers are also really nice and helpful, and are willing to work with students to accommodate their educational needs.
wheezy

Feasterville Trevose, PA

#130 Apr 4, 2011
A Loving Mom wrote:
I think you are the ONLY kid that went through this boot camp who actually had nice things to say. Capt. Hackenburg is NOT a nice lady, she is extremely rude and even insulted ME, the mom of a cadet there on several occasions. You obviously must have been a "favorite" and got preferential treatment.
<quoted text>
I agree you can see why,he made Corporal.Hats off to you and maybe they backed off on the kids because of that Judge sending kids to boot camp and getting a kick back from that.Not every kid was babied there and some of those kids have other problems. If all the kids that went there happened to know about this forum on Northwestern we would here more stories I am sure.Would be real interesting cause I still hear stories from my kid when he was there. I understand staff is doing there job except its not there child they are treating that way its some one elses child!!!!
A Loving Mom

Johnstown, PA

#131 Apr 4, 2011
Agree! My son can barely even talk about what he went through there..because the whole experience was traumatizing for him. And he was only there on a curfew violation! I'm sure our county is getting kick backs too!
wheezy wrote:
<quoted text>I agree you can see why,he made Corporal.Hats off to you and maybe they backed off on the kids because of that Judge sending kids to boot camp and getting a kick back from that.Not every kid was babied there and some of those kids have other problems. If all the kids that went there happened to know about this forum on Northwestern we would here more stories I am sure.Would be real interesting cause I still hear stories from my kid when he was there. I understand staff is doing there job except its not there child they are treating that way its some one elses child!!!!
Jim Souder

Forest City, PA

#132 Apr 4, 2011
sgt souder says I lift things up and put them down!! in white barracks. and I love juice!! u know steroids
concerned step-mom

United States

#133 Apr 24, 2011
My step son is due to enter a 4 month program at NWA. If in fact these allegations of abuse is true then something need to be done. If everyone that left a comment about there encounters at north western would send these letters to the state of Pennsylvania, or raise a fund to hire a good lawyer and investigator something could potentially be done. I read a post about there not being cameras in this facility. Why not? And if these kids are being mistreated thats a form of child neglect, child abused and u would imagine some form of endangerment. I am willing to go all the way to supreme court for what I believe in. And I'm going to start with getting some legal advice from my personal lawyer and having him take a look at these comments. Because truth need to be exposed. One other question why haven't anyone went to the local news or emailed Nancy Grace to have these ppl exposed?
A Loving Mom

Johnstown, PA

#134 Apr 24, 2011
Concerned Step-Mom---I applaud your comments, however, I fear you will hit brick walls with taking these issues anywhere. I complained to my Attorney, Juvenile Probation Department, etc. and not ONE of them wanted to hear a word I was saying. They defended NWA like the place was their first born child. I do know that the Pennsylvania State Welfare inspection person had visited the compound and spoke directly with my son. He told the lady exactly what a terrible place it was and reported all the abuse and the truth about what goes on there...of course, I heard her report to the state was "unfounded allegations". There were maybe 2 staff members in that entire place that were actually "decent" to my child. Captain Hackenburg is a horrible bitch! She was so rude and out of line with ME when I approached her during the graduation with a few questions. Afterwards she went to the barracks and told all the kids there that Miller's mother is just as much an asshole as he is! If I were you, I would beg and plead for your step-son to be placed at another facility. My son is not a violent child, did not steal or doing any kind of hateful crimes and he was placed with kids that were in there for gang related violations and attempted homicides! My son had a couple curfew violations, with his original charge and subsequent probation sentence for possession of a small amount of marijuana, and the judge sentenced him to NWA for 120. Good luck in your quest to bring light to the happenings to this place. If you need anyone to back you, please know I am here to help you! God Bless!
concerned step-mom wrote:
My step son is due to enter a 4 month program at NWA. If in fact these allegations of abuse is true then something need to be done. If everyone that left a comment about there encounters at north western would send these letters to the state of Pennsylvania, or raise a fund to hire a good lawyer and investigator something could potentially be done. I read a post about there not being cameras in this facility. Why not? And if these kids are being mistreated thats a form of child neglect, child abused and u would imagine some form of endangerment. I am willing to go all the way to supreme court for what I believe in. And I'm going to start with getting some legal advice from my personal lawyer and having him take a look at these comments. Because truth need to be exposed. One other question why haven't anyone went to the local news or emailed Nancy Grace to have these ppl exposed?
Jim Souder

Forest City, PA

#135 Apr 24, 2011
juice love it
concerned step-mom

United States

#136 Apr 24, 2011
A Loving Mom wrote:
Concerned Step-Mom---I applaud your comments, however, I fear you will hit brick walls with taking these issues anywhere. I complained to my Attorney, Juvenile Probation Department, etc. and not ONE of them wanted to hear a word I was saying. They defended NWA like the place was their first born child. I do know that the Pennsylvania State Welfare inspection person had visited the compound and spoke directly with my son. He told the lady exactly what a terrible place it was and reported all the abuse and the truth about what goes on there...of course, I heard her report to the state was "unfounded allegations". There were maybe 2 staff members in that entire place that were actually "decent" to my child. Captain Hackenburg is a horrible bitch! She was so rude and out of line with ME when I approached her during the graduation with a few questions. Afterwards she went to the barracks and told all the kids there that Miller's mother is just as much an asshole as he is! If I were you, I would beg and plead for your step-son to be placed at another facility. My son is not a violent child, did not steal or doing any kind of hateful crimes and he was placed with kids that were in there for gang related violations and attempted homicides! My son had a couple curfew violations, with his original charge and subsequent probation sentence for possession of a small amount of marijuana, and the judge sentenced him to NWA for 120. Good luck in your quest to bring light to the happenings to this place. If you need anyone to back you, please know I am here to help you! God Bless
<quoted text>
Thank you. I'm hoping if I get someone like Nancy Grace or the local news to expose this facility they would change the structure of this facility. Thank u for ur insight and support.
Jordan Lantz

Selinsgrove, PA

#137 May 18, 2011
I personally have been to Northwestern as a juvenile and yes its a bootcamp its not supposed to be fun. Most of the drill instructors that work there have military backgrounds. Northwestern is based on military bootcamp an its no worse than any of our branches. The first 2 weeks that you are there you go through high impact which is the worst part of ordeal. After that you do what our told an you move up in rank to obtain extra privileges. If you are not a problem then this is easy an you actually will build relationships with the staff. This is what it is a bootcamp,there will be screaming, there will be physical training and lots of it, but there is not mistreatment. Even when they have kid that doesn't want to cooperate they are isolated an removed from the group. If anyone has questions you can find me on face book Jordan Lantz.
Amy83

Palmyra, PA

#138 Jun 5, 2011
my nephew is currently at North Western. He isn't a bad kid he just tends to let his temper and his mouth get ahead him. The last few years have not been good to him and he didnt have a clue as to how to deal with his anger. I have visited him twice now and he has been in for the last 2 months. Yes the first few weeks he hated it and wanted to go home cuz yes he didnt get to do what he wanted and there were consequences for his actions. But now we can see a definite change in him :) They have shown him how to deal with his anger and he now has set goals for what he wants to acheive when he is released. Just last week he made rank and he is soo proud of himself :) And while he misses and can't wait to be home he will tell you he actually kind of enjoys it. He has even decided that he wants to join the Marine,which their training is no walk in the park either. So do I think there is abuse going on up there .... perhaps but then again this isn't supposed to be a vacation. I can assure you that the paths some of these kids are on will put them in prison one day and I know for a fact that inmates get treated way worse. I am in no way condoning overly abusing these kids but sometimes force is needed.
Rhonda

Monongahela, PA

#139 Jun 18, 2011
My grandson just got placed there a few days ago. My daughter called,discovered she can only visit 2 hours on Sundays and receive a 3 minute call on Wednesdays. One of their goals is to promote family communication and how does 8 hours a month establish communication? I understand the concept of instilling rules and regulations, but children still need their family. Some are in that facility for behavior and delinquent juvenile issues. I am connected politically and will not stand for my grandson being abused nor mistreated. So mark my words when I say if this blog is a representation of what is truly happening in this facility...I will go to all and any lengths to make sure they get publicity they do not desire. And a word of wisdom to everyone...if you feel your child is being abused at a facility...don't hesitate to get an attorney and get a court order to have your child removed from the facility. You can also write a letter to the judge addressing your concerns.I think the best thing we can do is find a way to stay in contact with each other and ban together as a whole unit to protect the children if there is abuse there.
A Loving Mom

Virginia Beach, VA

#140 Jun 19, 2011
Rhonda...as a mom of a former "cadet" I appreciate this post! However, I can tell you in the County that we live in did absolutely nothing when I called my attorney, my son's attorney..no one wanted to hear a word I had to say..please tell your daughter to be very careful what she puts in letters she writes to your grandson. The staff reads them and if there is anything in there private...they will read them to the other kids and make fun of your grandson...God Bless in you in quest to do something about this place..if you want to chat, please email me at [email protected]..I would love to fill you in on some things that I know goes on at that hell on earth.
Rhonda wrote:
My grandson just got placed there a few days ago. My daughter called,discovered she can only visit 2 hours on Sundays and receive a 3 minute call on Wednesdays. One of their goals is to promote family communication and how does 8 hours a month establish communication? I understand the concept of instilling rules and regulations, but children still need their family. Some are in that facility for behavior and delinquent juvenile issues. I am connected politically and will not stand for my grandson being abused nor mistreated. So mark my words when I say if this blog is a representation of what is truly happening in this facility...I will go to all and any lengths to make sure they get publicity they do not desire. And a word of wisdom to everyone...if you feel your child is being abused at a facility...don't hesitate to get an attorney and get a court order to have your child removed from the facility. You can also write a letter to the judge addressing your concerns.I think the best thing we can do is find a way to stay in contact with each other and ban together as a whole unit to protect the children if there is abuse there.
Rhonda

Homestead, PA

#141 Jun 22, 2011
A Loving Mom wrote:
Rhonda...as a mom of a former "cadet" I appreciate this post! However, I can tell you in the County that we live in did absolutely nothing when I called my attorney, my son's attorney..no one wanted to hear a word I had to say..please tell your daughter to be very careful what she puts in letters she writes to your grandson. The staff reads them and if there is anything in there private...they will read them to the other kids and make fun of your grandson...God Bless in you in quest to do something about this place..if you want to chat, please email me at [email protected]..I would love to fill you in on some things that I know goes on at that hell on earth.
<quoted text>
Thank you Tracey! I will definitely contact you via email.
Jim Souder

Forest City, PA

#142 Jun 23, 2011
I love juice I make your kids life hell well there here

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