Newsvine

About This Author

Started in 1999, Diamond Ranch Academy is a Hurricane, Utah-based facility that offers residential treatment for youth ages 12 to 18. Students are carefully selected to ensure the safety of other students and academy staff; students who are admitted usually have behavioral and emotional issues that stem from a desire for independence.

Diamond Ranch Academy offers a safe environment that encourages personal growth through therapy, academic learning, and activities. The academy also employs a unique token system that allows students to earn currency that is valid payment for goods at Diamond Ranch. Students learn the correlation between education and income by being rewarded with tokens according to what they learn. In addition to paying weekly rent, students can replace items such as toiletries, clothing, and school supplies at the Diamond Ranch Academy store.

To further the simulation of real life, Diamond Ranch Academy employs a citation and court system. Students receive tickets for inappropriate behavior, and citations are categorized and assigned a point value. Students have the opportunity to fight their tickets in court, and they must pay appropriate fines based on the outcome of their case. Diamond Ranch Academy's "real life" environment encourages independence, cooperation, and personal responsibility.

Diamond Ranch Academy is an accredited 1A school through the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA), and students may participate in competitions and events with other 1A schools. Diamond Ranch Academy offers a guarantee on its services; if students are not successfully able to assimilate into their daily lives upon returning home, they may return to Diamond Ranch for no additional cost. Diamond Ranch Academy's success rate is more than 95 percent.