Island View RTC Tuition, Controversies, Actions Taken and Situation Today

If you have heard about Island View RTC and all the controversies that came along with it and would love to find out more about it, then this post is the best one for you.

Elevations RTC is a residential treatment center in Syracuse, Utah, a suburb of Ogden, for teens ages 13–18. The facility was formerly known as Island View Residential Treatment Center, until it was acquired by Syracuse RTC, LLC, which does business as Elevations RTC, in 2014. Elevations RTC now shares the campus with Seven Stars and ViewPoint Assessment Center.

About Elevations RTC

Elevations RTC is one of the leading Residential Treatment Centers offering guidance, support, and relief to students of all genders.  We help adolescents 13-18 overcome challenges stemming from mental health problems, emotional disorders, learning disorders, substance use, and other underlying issues. From depression to anxiety to defiance to bullying, Elevations RTC is one of the more respected residential treatment centers in America.

Elevations RTC is uniquely focused on providing an all-gender inclusive, real-world residential environment with a combination of intensive psychiatric treatment and personalized care.  We offer specialized clinical groups to address specific problems, accredited academics to ensure your teen can graduate on time, and experiential education opportunities to build confidence and resiliency.

All of this takes place in a medically comprehensive residential treatment centers environment designed to help a struggling or troubled adolescent acquire the skills and proactive mindset they need to regain their self-confidence, happiness, and reconnect with their life.

Elevations RTC is a normalized high school in a nurturing residential treatment centers environment. With have teachers who directly teach concepts instead of students having to learn through packets or assignments. Elevations RTC also offered a all gender environment.

Elevations RTC taught students practical study skills which empower them to succeed in education long after leaving this setting. They teach critical thinking, organization, note-taking, setting goals and monitoring progress, recognizing priorities, maximizing use of time, discovering confidence, and envisioning success.

Their teaching staff helped child ren learn, but also provided them with the tools to be successful in high school, college or beyond.

Opening of Syracuse Campus

The Syracuse campus initially opened in 1994 as the Island View Residential Treatment Center. Its founders were Lorin Broadbent, DSW, Jared Balmer, PhD, and W. Kimball DeLaMare, LCSW. They came together to create their own residential treatment center after leaving other failed “tough love” treatment programs.

In 2004, Aspen Education Group acquired Island View. CRC Health Group, a company owned by Bain Capital, purchased Aspen Education for $300 million in 2006. Aspen and CRC Health Group were owned and operated by the Syracuse campus until 2014.

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Rebranding to Elevations RTC

In April 2014, Syracuse RTC, LLC acquired Island View and changed the name to Elevations RTC.

Elevations is a continuation of Island View. At Elevations, the student dress code, applications, policies and procedures, and the solitary confinement procedures are largely the same as at Island View.

Many Elevations employees also worked at Island View. These include Elevations’ executive director Judi Jacques, MEd, clinical director Jennifer Wilde, LCSW, medical director Dr. Michael Connolly, admissions director Laura Burt, program director Eric Flores, and dean of students Jen Capellen.

Elevations is a residential treatment center that works with students of all genders. The facility today caters to a large population of transgender and gender non-conforming teens.

Tuition at Elevations costs approximately $16,000 per month or $192,000 per year. According to Elevations, the average stay is eight to ten months, although students often stay there much longer.

Allegations of abuse and mistreatment

Many for­mer res­i­dents at El­e­va­tions and Is­land View have al­leged ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some form of phys­i­cal, sex­ual, or psy­cho­log­i­cal abuse at the Syra­cuse facility. They de­scribe staff tor­ment­ing and abus­ing them, and leav­ing the pro­gram with more trauma (PTSD) than they came in with. 

A Sep­tem­ber 2020 in­ci­dent at El­e­va­tions, in which a stu­dent was ren­dered un­con­scious after hit­ting his head while being re­strained, prompted an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Utah De­part­ment of Human Ser­vices Of­fice of Licensing. The case is still open.

Island View RTC Tuition

In 2018, a for­mer res­i­dent filed a law­suit against El­e­va­tions RTC, al­leg­ing that a staff mem­ber threw her to the floor. The girl al­leged that as a re­sult she sus­tained trau­matic brain and nerve dam­age re­sult­ing in per­ma­nent dis­fig­ure­ment of her eye and im­paired vision. De­spite her headaches, nau­sea, vom­it­ing, and dou­ble vi­sion, the for­mer res­i­dent al­leged that El­e­va­tions failed to pro­vide med­ical as­sis­tance for six days. El­e­va­tions set­tled the case in Sep­tem­ber 2019, and the court dis­missed it with prejudice.

In­spec­tions re­ports of the fa­cil­ity from 2015 through 2019 show 35 vi­o­la­tions, in­clud­ing in­suf­fi­cient doc­u­men­ta­tion per­tain­ing to seclu­sion meth­ods and re­peated ci­ta­tions for miss­ing pa­per­work re­lated to staff train­ing and mildew or mold in the bathrooms.

El­e­va­tions also has been ac­cused of prac­tic­ing con­ver­sion therapy. Trans­gen­der ac­tivist Lil­lian Lennon, told Mash­able that while in the res­i­den­tial treat­ment cen­ter, she was shut­tled be­tween a boys’ dorm and an iso­la­tion quarter. She says staff re­fused to call her by her pro­nouns and dis­missed her gen­der iden­tity as an “ex­cuse to be promiscuous.”

What More Havoc did they Cause?

In 2014, the Utah De­part­ment of Human Ser­vices de­tailed stu­dents’ claims that staff at El­e­va­tions was mis­treat­ing them, in­clud­ing using re­straint on them too often when un­war­ranted and be­lit­tling them.

Around the time the fa­cil­ity was re­named El­e­va­tions RTC, Is­land View had been at the cen­ter of two highly pub­li­cized law­suits in 2014, one with Dr. Phil, al­leg­ing that the cen­ter “main­tained a prison-like en­vi­ron­ment where phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal tor­ture were used against students”, which were sub­se­quently dismissed.

Sev­eral for­mer res­i­dents of the cen­ter claimed in 2012 that they had re­ceived in­ad­e­quate med­ical care dur­ing their time there, and that they had been sub­jected to soli­tary con­fine­ment and other harsh phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal treatment.

In 2007, the dis­ap­pear­ance of a 15-year-old res­i­dent made head­lines after she made a short-lived at­tempt to es­cape the facility. After her par­ents re­turned her to Is­land View, the girl says she was pun­ished for run­ning away by being put in iso­la­tion for 58 days.

In 2004, a 16-year-old boy hung him­self in a bath­room at Is­land View. The staff were un­suc­cess­ful in re­viv­ing him. Is­land View was cited for pro­vid­ing in­ad­e­quate med­ical care to the child, placed on pro­ba­tion, and re­quired to sub­mit a plan of cor­rec­tive ac­tion.

In 2002, a for­mer res­i­dent filed a $135 mil­lion law­suit against her fa­ther in part for hav­ing her ad­mit­ted to Is­land View where she says she was traumatized.

Many for­mer res­i­dents have also re­ported that seda­tives were given at Is­land View to quell disobedience.

The local Syra­cuse Po­lice De­part­ment has re­sponded to 219 emer­gency calls at the fa­cil­ity’s ad­dress be­tween Jan­u­ary 2005 and Oc­to­ber 2020. Many of the calls have been re­lated to abuse, sex of­fenses or sui­cide attempts.

Breaking Code Silence

For­mer Island View RTC and El­e­va­tions res­i­dents, in­clud­ing Is­land View alumni actor Misha Os­herovich, at­tended a rally held by Paris Hilton in protest of al­leged abuse at Provo Canyon School and pro­grams for at-risk youth, and spoke out about the abuse they claimed occurred. El­e­va­tion’s clin­i­cal di­rec­tor, Jor­dan Kill­pack, is a for­mer Provo Canyon School ther­a­pist.

Island View RTC Tuition, Controversies, Actions Taken and Situation Today

Freaky” star Os­herovich de­scribed in Them about their ex­pe­ri­ence at Is­land View. Os­herovich likened what the fa­cil­ity did to con­ver­sion therapy. Os­herovich tweeted their sup­port for the Break­ing Code Si­lence movement. The Amer­i­can Bar As­so­ci­a­tion hosted a panel with Os­herovich, Hilton, Sen­a­tor Sara Gelser, and the mother of a for­mer Island View RTC res­i­dent, which ex­plored youth being fun­neled into prison-like “be­hav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion” cen­ters under the guise of treat­ment and con­ver­sion therapy.

Other alumni have come for­ward al­leg­ing abuse as part of the Break­ing Code Si­lence movement. The for­mer stu­dents de­scribe being held in seclu­sion rooms, sleep de­pri­va­tion, at­tack ther­apy, and being drugged with psy­chotrop­ics, amongst other things.

They officially closed its doors as of April 25th, 2014.

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