On Feb 20th 2012, Dr. Drew Pinsky, a popular drug rehab specialist, producer, radio show personality and “doctor to the stars” (as seen on Celebrity Rehab) ran a show on his program Life Changers about a mother who gave her son an unusual punishment for his behavior; She made him stand out on the street corner and wear a sign that said “I lie, I steal, I sell drugs, I don’t follow the law”.
As the story comes to a close, Dr. Drew offers this mother an “opportunity” to save her son’s future by receiving 12 months free tuition to Diamond Ranch Academy, to which she did not immediately accept.
Dr. Drew then began to pressure her to make a hasty decision, playing on her emotions and fear for her son by insisting that Diamond Ranch Academy was “Specifically what kids like him need” and telling her that it was “shocking” that she would not immediately enroll her son into this program solely based on his recommendation. I personally must applaud this mother for her hesitation, her son is only 14 and this was the first time she had found him in trouble, She was not ready give up being this child’s parent and for that, she deserves a mother of the year award! To think that Dr. Drew not only encourages this mother to abandon her child for the next year of his life, but also shames her for the act of believing in his ability to change his behavior is what is truly shocking.
The truth is, Diamond Ranch Academy is not a therapeutic boarding school, it is a behavior modification program that employs techniques of seclusion, forced labor, physical violence, fear based control and brainwashing techniques that violate all basic human rights and could certainly be considered child abuse, if not actual torture. Aversive behavior control has been proven to be ineffective in most cases and severely harmful in others, and has a long history of causing determential long term effects including symptoms of PTSD, and in most cases, relapse.
Survivors of this school have spoken out: