Family Foundation School / Allynwood Academy
CLOSED (August 2014)




Solitary Confinement

Below are clear violations of basic human rights.
“I remember them locking people in a padded room. Children carrying cinder
blocks around the building as punishment. I ran away during a blizzard because
I’d rather have died than to live another day there.”
- Lisa D.

“Tommy [Cummings] restrained me and told me he was a cop and could do
whatever he wanted to me and that I have no say. That night I was put in the
"quiet room" by Tommy and four other men. I received a number of bruises
from that restraint and I had no idea there was so much more to come. Everyday
was constant hell; I was extremely suicidal and non-compliant. They would not
let me call my parents or anyone for that matter. I would tell them that this is
child abuse and I was in so much emotional pain I started to hurt myself against
walls, or anything for that matter and scratch myself until I bled. […]
Throughout my stay I was restrained and put in the ”quiet room“ more times
than I can remember. It was always very cold and they would never let me use
the bathroom, or even give me a blanket.”
 - Rebekah Silverman

“I sat in the ‘iso room’ for 5 days. No shower, No sleep. It was freezing and I
didn’t have a sweatshirt or a blanket. I lied on the cold floor with the lights on.
The light switch was out of my control; it was outside the door that was bolted
shut. One day when a few people were watching me like an animal in a cage I
walked out, it was unbearably freezing in there during the month of July. As
soon as I saw the sun for the first time in a week I felt alive again. Before
you know it 4 large men tackled me to the ground. I’m one girl, is that necessary?
I was so weak after they let me go an hour later that I was not able to walk. They
put me in a wheelchair, wheeled me to the ‘iso room’ and I sat there with a
cracked rib a black eye and a bleeding nose for two more days.”
- Amanda Johnston

“I remember Tommy Cummings putting me in the ‘time out room,’ a 6ft-by-6ft
room with a metal door that had a small glass window and 3 bolt locks on it as
well as a camera, not allowing me to come out for days. (They started calling it a
‘timeout room’ when the door was left open and an isolation room when it was
shut.) One time I asked to use the restroom once and Tommy said no – I hadn’t
been in about 6 hours and he told me ‘because I don’t want to let you.’”
- Amanda Johnston

“I was then forced to stay in a 6x6 room that was cold and smelled like urine. In
my 4 years at the school I was required to stay in this room for days on end. I
was forced to wear a minimum amount of clothes and was not allowed to speak
to the students watching me. One time I was in this room and had to use the
restroom. My request was ignored for so long that I eventually couldn’t hold it
anymore and ended up peeing in the corner of the room. I was stuck in this room
with my own urine for over 8 hours.”
- Alex Dellinger

“I was locked in a 6x6 room, with moldy carpets, in a T-shirt and gym shorts,
and had my arms wrapped in a pillow case and bound with duct-tape and then
bound together.”
 - Brianna Bernstein

“I wound up in the isolation room (or the quiet room, then the isolation room)
every day. I spent the night in the isolation room on several occasions. I would
get violent, but I barely have memories of this. I remember being told that I
wasn’t going to be able to stay here if I kept acting like this. That I was going to
wind up in a mental hospital, locked up, for the rest of my life. I didn’t care. I
regret what I did to other people during this time, but I just could not handle this
– E.V.

“The most disturbing situation for me while at FFS involved another student
who clearly had serious emotional/mental issues. For 3 months, this girl was
moved in and out of isolation. She spent 23 out of 24 hours per day in the
isolation room, and the girls in our family all took turns sleeping on a mattress
outside of the isolation door. For one hour per day, she was picked up and
thrown outside (in the snow) for some ”fresh air.” She routinely urinated on
herself – her dry tuna sandwich, etc. She banged her head on the wall so hard the
she left blood stains on the white walls. Finally, after 3 months, I accompanied
Darlene (family 4 staff member) and two other students as we took this girl to the
psychiatric hospital in a town about an hour away. I still wonder what ever
happened to that girl.”
- Marisa (Mitnaul) Diaz

“The isolation room was a tiny locked room where you would go if you were
especially unruly in the eyes of staff. There was no sunlight, bathroom, or water
fountain. Sometimes you would sit there for several days with nothing to do. Dry
tuna fish and bread would be slipped under the door a couple of times a day.”
- Grace Cole

“…I spent from 3:00 pm one day until 10:00 am the next morning in “the box”
wearing only my boxers the entire time. When night came I was given a moldy
mattress and an unclean blanket with hundreds of holes in it. The laboratory
lights in the isolation room did not turn off at light, and neither did the camera.
When I asked how I was supposed to sleep with a light shining directly in my
eyes I was told to put the blanket over my head…. Later that night I started to
hyperventilate and pleaded the guard to let me out, but he said ‘tough luck kid,
don’t do the crime next time,’ and left for the night. I spent the whole night
thinking and hoping that I would suffocate and die, but I did not.”
- Charlie Carson

“I was forced to sleep next to someone, wasn’t allowed to talk to my family, I
was suicidal so they forced me to sleep in the isolation room in the gym with just
my underwear and a mattress with the air conditioner blowing in the middle of
winter with security camera…”
 - Shantel Becker