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Posted September 15, 2002 

John Carroll
(Parma, Ohio)

I would also like to ad my support to the letter that Donna sent to this site. Our son has been at Casa by the Sea since 2/15/01. He is currently at level 5 and is working toward coming home in about a month.

He was very much like Donna's daughter in what he was doing. Lying, stealing, running away, failing school, drugs, sex, these were all apart of everyday life for the group of kids he was "hanging" with. Many of the kids were several years older and liked having him around as he would not go to jail for the same things that they would if he got caught doing something for them.

Donna has explained the way the program works so I will not repeat that but I do want to add a comment or two. Our son at one point, without any prompting from us and away from the facility, told us that he had heard some of the things that people say about this program and several others that are using the same basic program. He said that he had heard that they use hand cuffs and that the kids are not treated very well. At that point I said," you mean that they do not use mace and stun guns (both which I have read they use), he almost fell out of his chair laughing. He could not believe that these things have been said. He said that in the entire time that he had been there he had only seen one or two kids that could have been described as restrained in any way, but that they had been "WAY" out of control and someone was going to get hurt if something was not done. He would have done the same thing to prevent someone from being injured.

We have read where the kids are not fed. Truth is our son gained 20 to 25 pounds the first six months or so that he was there. He had never looked so healthy. Now that he has earned his way into the upper levels, he is allowed to work out in their weight room. He is very proud of how he looks now. Very healthy, and he feels good too.

As we look back at some of the letters he wrote in the beginning, he just laughs. He also laughs at some of the things he has seen and heard about on some of the forums where people discuss these programs. He has told us that he can not imagine what else we could have done to get his attention and make him see where he was headed. He has thanked us more than once. He has told us it was only a matter of time before he was going to be in jail.

These programs are not necessarily for every one but it has changed our lives in a very positive way. My advice is this: The internet is a very great place to find information, but as I have learned in doing family history research, you MUST verify what you read. I recently read a post where the person writing kept saying that the teen said this about the program and the teen said that. All very negative things about the specific program. It has struck me so many times that a teen who is way out of control, LYING, stealing, failing school, doing drugs and many other risky behaviors, who is absolutely NOT TRUSTED to be alone in the house, is totally believed when they are sent to a program, are no longer getting their way and say "Oh, please help me I am being abused". I am not saying that it is impossible, but please do not immediately condemn a program on the word of a person who has almost destroyed your family, look at it very deeply first. Talk to as many people as you need to feel comfortable. Don't stop talking and looking at a program just because one person says it is not good, look at where they are coming from and what their agenda might be or are they too easily manipulated by the teen in their life, lets face it these kids are VERY VERY good at it.

Thank you,

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