Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I went to jail a few years ago.
I was a bad kid. Getting kicked out of school, stealing.

So I had been placed in a juvenile treatment facility known as Boysville.
While it was no prison, it was certainly hell.

The programs offered varied by what type of crime or foster care you needed.
Each program had it's own ETA of when you could complete it. But on average you would spend about a year there.

Some people spent around 3 years in that place.

The programs have 5 levels of treatment.

Level 1

Level 2 - Responsibility

Level 3 - Practice

Level 4 - Leadership

Level 5 - Transition

To progress through each level you must demonstrate each of the 4 core values.


It all sounds simple.
Something that you could learn and do within just a few months.

well get this.

You're placed into a group of about 15 people. With those people you must live, eat, shower with, go to school with, and learn about.
You're expected to know a lot about those people before you go.
If one person decides to hold up the group in any way, the whole group must deal with the problem. Sometimes even until 4am.

The group's daily routine consisted of waking at 6am sharp, get dressed, eat breakfast, and be in the school's hallway by 7am.
after school there is usually a group meeting in a classroom from 3pm to 4:30pm where the real "treatment" happens.
After group meeting, the group would usually go to the dorm area and prepare for dinner at around 6pm.

After dinner between 6:30 and 8pm is when the group has time to do chores, have recreational time, and work on treatment papers.

after 8pm was usually showers. Showers were 6 minutes long. 5 minutes to shower, 1 minute to dry and dress.

Weekends were different. There was no school on the weekends. In my group, Saturdays were spent doing a chore called "Major Dorm". Major Dorm was when on top of our regular chores, we cleaned thoroughly. in fact my group was known for having the cleanest dorm during the annual White glove contest.

After Major Dorm, the day was ours. Basketball, billiards, swimming, TV/cards, anything to pass the time.

Sundays were similar.

in the morning, Sundays contained continental breakfasts. it wasn't anything special but it was better than what we usually got which was soggy toast, milk, and an apple.

Sunday breakfast had the delicious muffins, cereal, sometimes chocolate milk, coffee, donuts, and fresh fruit.

In fact that was usually the best food we had. Almost every dinner was served with a more than generous helping of poorly processed mashed potatoes.

It was very repetitive.

Each group had a major chore.
every few months we would be given a different major chore which is to basically clean one building on campus. There was Dining hall clean, Rec hall clean, school clean and more.

our group was horrible at it. What made it even worse was that it always took our group several hours to get the dining hall clean.

There was no outside connection. We werent allowed to listen to any FM stations, watch any regular TV and could only make a 5 minute phone call per week.
We would only sometimes get a newspaper to read.
in fact, I didnt know there was a black person running for president when i finally left that place.

It was hell. You're there so long without any clue as to whats going on in the world, its terrifying to think of the people who took my place there.

Im gonna slide away from my personal experience here.

The staff basically give away level 2 in that place.
All you have to do is live there a week and learn the basic outline of the program.

Level 2 to level 3 is fairly easy as well, as the requirements are slim.

Level 3 and up are the most controversial.

On level 3 you are automatically entered into a job orientation program.

From there you are set out to work in the dining hall cooking, cleaning, and serving as an OT worker. after a few weeks, you can fill out an application and work there as a regular worker. You're not fully supervised which is why your group and staff have to believe that you want to make level 4 before you can take a job.

The Dining hall job pays $2.50/hr
There are other jobs on campus who pay $2.75
and up to $5.00/hr

Sucks right?

Level 4 is probably the hardest. because you have to become a true leader, a real person to look up to.

It took me 14 months and 29 days to be released from that place.

Part two of this will include more on restraints, Process circles, and more. ( If I ever choose to write it, dont hold your breath)

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