New Haven RTC (1995-present) Saratoga Springs/Spanish Fork, UT
Residential Treatment Center
History and Background Information
New Haven RTC is an Embark Behavioral Health/InnerChange behavior-modification program founded in 1995. It is marketed as a Residential Treatment Center for teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 17. They claim to specialize in “complex issues” such as traumatic stress, family problems, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal idealization, attachment, eating disorders, substance abuse, and personality disorders. The average length of stay is between 10 and 12 months, but may be much longer if the teenager is deemed resistant. New Haven has been a member of NATSAP since 1999.
The program operates out of two campuses, the “North” and the “South” campus. The North Campus is located at 228 W 400 N, Saratoga Springs, UT 84045 and has a maximum enrollment of 48 girls, split into groups of 16. The South Campus is located at 2172 E 7200 S, Spanish Fork, UT 84660, and has a maximum enrollment of 45 girls.
In 2017, it was discovered that a Therapist at New Haven, Jason Scott Calder, had sexually abused one of his patients at NH repeatedly over the course of several months. He pled guilty to first-degree felony rape, first-degree felony object rape, first-degree felony forcible sodomy, second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse and second-degree felony obstructing justice.
Founders and Notable Staff
Mark McGregor is one of the Founders of New Haven RTC. He previously worked as the Clinical Director of Oasis Academy in Provo, UT. He is the husband of Kathy McGregor.
Kathy McGregor is one of the Founders of New Haven RTC. She worked as the Executive Director of New Haven from 1995 until 2006, as well as in the positions of CFO and Business Director. She is the wife of Mark McGregor.
Craig LaMont is one of the Founders of New Haven RTC. He previously worked as a Board Member of Catalyst RTC, and as the Founder and Executive Director of Telos RTC. He also worked for a time as the President of NATSAP. He is the husband of Diane LaMont.
Diane LaMont is one of the Founders of New Haven RTC. She is the wife of Craig LaMont.
Jason Scott Calder worked as a Therapist at New Haven RTC. He initially began working as a Therapist at La Europa Academy until August 2007. From August 2007 until July 2014, Calder worked at Summit Preparatory School as the Assistant Clinical Director. He then went on to work at Outback Therapeutic Expeditions. After that, Calder came to work at New Haven as a Therapist. In September 2017, he was arrested on charges of rape, forcible sodomy and forcible sexual abuse. This arrest came in conection to reports that he has sexually abused a resident at New Haven. He pled guilty to these charges and, in 2018, he was sentenced to seven years to life in prison.
John Stewart is the CEO of New Haven RTC and has been since 2019. He has worked at New Haven since 1999 in a number of positions, including as Clinical Director and Executive Director. In 2017, he accepted a marketing position with the InnerChange “Legacy Team” which is a branch of Embark Behavioral Health. He has also worked as a member of the board of NATSAP.
Jeana Thomson is the Executive Director of New Haven RTC.
Dayna Rust (Buxton) is the current Assistant Clinical Director of New Haven RTC. She began her career at the confirmedly abusive Turn-About Ranch as a Therapist and the Clinical Director from 2004 until 2009. She then went on to work at the reportedly abusive Youth Care Inc. as the Program Director from 2009 until 2011, when she joined New Haven as a Therapist. She was promoted to Assistant Clinical Director in 2012.
Scott Boice is the Executive Clinical Director of New Haven RTC. He previously has worked at numerous TTI programs, including Hidden Lake Academy, Devereux, Three Springs – Paint Rock Valley, and Pacific Quest.
Heather Schaffer is the Executive Residential Director of New Haven RTC.
Dustin Tibbitts is the currently the President of InnerChange, which is a branch of Embark Behavioral Health. He previously worked as the Executive Director of New Haven RTC. Prior to this, he worked with Mark McGregor at Oasis Academy in Provo, UT.
Like other behavior-modification programs, New Haven RTC uses a level-system consisting of six levels.
- Safety: On this phase, a “senior” resident is assigned to the newcomer and stays with her the entire time in order to explain rules and introduce the girl to the program. This level typically lasts a few days to a week.
- Expectation: The teenager is allowed visitation on Campus, she has to be visible to staff all time, she can call parents only unsupervised for 20 minutes per week and may be allowed to sleep in her own room. She may join the other detained teenagers on off-campus activities.
- Exploration: The detained girl is allowed to be out of sight for 15 minutes and may also leave campus with parents as long as she stays in Utah, but no over-night stays are allowed. The phone call are allowed to last 30 minutes.
- Insight: Approved overnight visits are allowed, phonecall may be 60 minutes for family and calls to friend lasting 10 minutes are allowed, taking courses outside the inhouse “school” is allowed.
- Integrity: There is no time limit on calls to parents, friend may be contacted for 15 minutes, and she may go on visits with family and friends.
- Interdependence: May earn her own money, and may be on her own with clearance from director. However, unless she has been allowed, she still has to participate in therapy and “school” on campus.
It has been reported by many survivors that the girls’ communication with parents is extremely monitored and restricted. On lower levels, girls are prohibited from speaking with their parents, and may only communicate through letters which are read and censored by staff. All phone calls (which are a privilege the residents may earn on higher levels) are monitored by staff, and are subject to being cut off if the girl says something that the staff members do not like.
According to the WWASP Survivors list of Program Red Flags, Denial of Communication with Parents and Mail Censorship are two very troubling Red Flags for abusive programs. In addition, it appears that the level system at New Haven is structured in a way which places students at higher levels in positions of power over the lower-level residents. This is also listed as a Red Flag for abusive programs. According to WWASP Survivors, “If the program you are considering incorporates even one or more of these child welfare violations, DO NOT enroll your child.”
In 2020, some former residents of New Haven RTC managed to sneak out photos of the food that they were served while at the program. The OP then went on to write “we weren’t allowed to eat food outside of what we were served. all of us complained of persistent hunger. we were told we were gluttonous and unable to stop ourselves from overeating despite never being given the opportunity. many of us had restrictive eating disorders and body dysphoria, and multiple girls who had no insecurity around food or weight before getting to New Haven developed these issues after constantly being told these minuscule portions were for their own good. i remember being a “runner” and carefully sneaking food from the fridge into my bedroom where my roommates and i would store it all up so we could have direct access to food when the hunger became too much. multiple girls had been publicly chastised for doing this so beyond the privileges that could be revoked if i got caught, i was deathly afraid of the shame that would come with it as well. but i could barely think straight half the time because of how hungry i was. they tried to convince us that they were normal amounts, and told us to drink water after eating if we were still hungry. the campus dietician told us that it was the proper amount for girls in our age group despite some girls being 14 and 5’11, 18 and 5’1, 13 and 4’9, 16 and 5’5. she told us it was an across the board preventative measure for the possibility of girls being admitted with binge eating disorders, despite the fact that some of us would restrict for days with no reaction or response. some girls had serious medical illnesses that required them to eat frequent snacks that were then denied. after losing my period i was brought to doctors who told me to eat extra iron in foods like spinach and red meat, which was never communicated to the chef and subsequently never provided. some girls went to visit an off campus eating disorder therapist who would tell them to eat specific foods that were denied from them. girls who had disorders that didn’t allow them to eat certain foods were not provided alternatives and instead made to skip those meals. multiple times if we didn’t wake up within the 10 second morning wake up call and come to the living room on time, we were denied breakfast. we would always talk about how the best part of the parent visit weekends was getting to go off campus and eat normal amounts. we’d overeat knowing we wouldn’t get the chance to not feel hungry again anytime soon. when we’d complain to our parents and our parents would ask for answers, they were lied to and told we could have snacks like protein bars whenever we wanted (we were never allowed protein bars in general.) when i brought my parents photo evidence, the dietician promised change that never came. since i’ve come home, my restrictive eating has only worsened and i panic if i don’t have direct access to food. i have to keep chips or freeze fried fruit or anything in my room at all times or i’ll panic. i never eat it, but i need to know it’s there or i’ll feel this psychological level hunger all over again.”
New Haven RTC is reported by many survivors to be an abuse program. Allegations of abuse and neglect that have been reported by survivors include widespread emotional abuse and sexual abuse, violent restraints, over-medication, solitary confinement, and isolation from family and/or aid. It has also been reported that due to the overwhelmingly Mormon staff, LGBTQ+ residents are consistently treated poorly and are not accepted. According to the Human Rights organization HEAL, New Haven is a Confirmedly Abusive program. According to HEAL’s definition of a Confirmedly Abusive program, “A program categorized as “Confirmedly Abusive” matches multiple warning signs of an abusive facility, has been sued or faced official complaints, and/or HEAL has received two or more substantiated reports of fraud and abuse regarding the facility.”
One survivor recalls, “The experience scarred me for life. We were under fed, there was no ac in the houses (in the summer in Utah it gets above 100 degrees), the house was full of flies, we were not provided medical care, myself and many others have suffered permanent physical problems due to the care (or lack thereof) that was provided to us, the animals were abused and neglected (one cat actually died while I was there), and the staff did not have the skills to be in a position of power over us. The therapists I’ve had since then have described what happened there as “like a cult” and “conversion therapy lite.” I am a queer person and that was something they actively tried to change about me. There was no grievance procedure for the participants so there was no way for us to report the psychological, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse that occurred.”
In addition, there was a confirmed case of sexual abuse at New Haven, which came to light in 2017. The crimes became known when the teenage victim told her new therapist that Jason Scott Calder, who had worked as a Therapist at New Haven until June of 2017, had sexually abused her on more than 10 occasions between March and June of 2017. Staff members and other residents had noticed inappropriate and unusual behavior, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. “The grooming began when she was meeting with her therapist at her treatment facility for her scheduled therapy appointments,” according to court documents. Calder scheduled therapy sessions with the teen late at night, and took her on walks outside of the center, which he did not do with other patients. Calder became very friendly in the sessions, and told the teen things about his personal and private life that a therapist would not typically tell a patient, according to the sheriff’s office. During one session, Calder walked the teen to a secluded area in the woods behind the center, where he had sex with her, court documents state. He reportedly told her she couldn’t tell anyone about their sexual relationship, “otherwise he could be arrested and charged,” court documents state. Calder discovered that the teenager had “written information in her journal that might incriminate him and he directed her to blot it out with a black Sharpie, which she did,” documents state. He also reportedly told the victim that he was a sex addict. In November, he pled guilty to first-degree felony rape, first-degree felony object rape, first-degree felony forcible sodomy, second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse and second-degree felony obstructing justice. Four counts of object rape and eight counts of forcible sexual abuse were dismissed in exchange for Calder’s guilty pleas. In January of 2018, Judge Christine Johnson sentenced Jason Calder, 41, to five years to life in prison for each of the three first-degree felony charges of rape, object rape and forcible sodomy. Those sentences are to be served concurrently with one another.
3/2/2021: (SURVIVOR) “I was at New Haven Spanish Fork campus from 2015-2016, age 14-15 for anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. On my first night there a girl in my house jumped and tried to strangle another girl. I was purposely over fed (gained 30+ pounds while I was already over weight), and my HIPPA rights were violated and the nurses “accidentally” spoke about me in front of my parents. My therapist always took my parents side, probably because my parents were paying 10k a month for me to be there. When I turned 18 (almost 3 years after leaving New Haven) I had recurring nightmares of turning 18 and not being able to leave. I saw a photo of my therapist on Facebook and had a panic attack. My therapist now says I suffer from CPSTD due to my time at New Haven. I urge anyone who is thinking about sending your child here to not send your child to a treatment center, especially New Haven. I am 20 years old now and still haven’t recovered from my time at New Haven. New Haven did NOT help me, rather it scared me into not sharing my feelings to my parents even more in fear of being sent back. At a certain point this program broke my will, I knew I wasn’t going to be leaving unless I gave in. This phenomenon is called “learned helplessness”, a child is stripped of privacy, contact to the outside world, and their dignity. They slowly earn privileges back as they progress through the level system. This system is designed to fundamentally change these girls. I once was told I couldn’t “level up” because I needed more friends. I was friendly to everyone and have always only had one or two good friends… this wasn’t enough for them. At this point my parents pulled me from the program and realized there was no reason for me to be there anymore if that’s what was holding me back. If you’ve read this far… thank you. I urge you to not send your child away, and please do research on the Troubled Teen Industry and Breaking Code Silence. Many (if not most) of these reviews have been written by staff members and higher ups at New Haven. I believe most of the staff members believe they are actually helping these girls, who like me, really needed someone to count on, but the way this program is run did the opposite.” – Cassie (Yelp)
12/24/2020: (SURVIVOR) “It was horrible. They retraumatized most of us. There was a male therapist who raped a student. There was another student who was 18 that raped a student that was under 15. They would give us punshiments and manipulate us by dropping our “phases” so we couldn’t graduate and they can make more money, while we’d be shut off from the world. The therapists would pick on us students in group with informations that was confidential form individual therapy in front of 10-45 people. The staff would make fun of us. There was a woman working there named Rachel who lied about 2 students consistently because she didn’t like them and her supervisor told all of us that she “had to take her side” even if she “didn’t believe her” so the rest of the house had to go on activities and supposed to have fun but we felt guilty because the 2 girls were in the house not being able to come with us because the supervisor had more fun accepting lies than actually listening to all 14 of us who told her the other 2 girls did nothing wrong. 95 percent of the staff is Mormon and they used to pick on the people who are LGBT and even said downright homophobic things. They would punish us by taking away phone times on the landline. Can you imagine not talking to your family for months at a time because a staff lied about you or you “hurt their feelings”? There history teacher Kimberly is LITERALLY EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE while They fired the English teacher Nathan who EVERYONE loved except one girl, and that one girl was the daughter of the richest parents New Haven saw in a while. Of course, he was fired so they can keep raking in cash. The people I still talk with after leaving always tell me how the experiences we shared were traumatic, not funny. You say we’ll make “lifetime connections”? Yeah that’s because we’ll be bonded for life by 6 months to 2 years of consistent abuse. Parents and visitors, don’t let the campus’s nice looks and the students’ fake smiles deter you from the truth. We suffered there. A lot. New Haven should be shut down. I can’t believe it’s still operational.” – Anonymous (Yelp)
September 2020: (SURVIVOR) “I attended New Haven from 2014-2015. I was there 13 months. I learned some things from it but mainly just wasted my time, money, and energy. They have some questionable actives that take place there. They kicked me out a month before I turned 18 cuz we all knew I was gonna sign out the exact minute they had no control over me. Was worse when I got home and ended up in jail less than 6 months after leaving NH. Pretty much all I got from NH was weird looks when I returned to my senior year a month before graduating, some felonies and a 2 year prison term. But honestly, I’d do 10 years in a level 5 maximum security prison than do 13 months at NH” – Bobalina (Google Reviews)
2/12/2020: (SURVIVOR) “I was escorted [to New Haven] in 2003/04 directly from a wilderness program and stayed for about a year. The place is in a very rural area, I guess you could say a farm because there was a barn and horses. There are 2 houses on the property, the east and west houses. I was in the East house which was apparently the better one, because the other didn’t have air conditioning. You start out on a lower level, called “safety.” The safety room was located in the kitchen and has giant glass windows for people to stare in at you. Feels like being in a zoo, on the animals side. You’re not allowed to talk to anyone until you’re off safety, which can be for however long staff sees fit. You can’t ever be left alone, even to use the bathroom. This is a snippet of how my experience began there. It gets heavier and gross and is honestly draining to go too deeply into detail, but you get the gist. In reality, most “teenage issues” are much bigger and more complicated than the kid itself; a result of an entire dysfunctional family dynamic, which needs to be addressed rather than merely removing the child. Being uprooted and placed into the care of strangers can really cause a lot of psychological issues in itself. But then add mental and physical torture to the equation and you just laid out the blueprint to the rest of your kids life. I am in my 30s now and am still sorting out all my trauma and issues, attempting to function as normally as I can. It’s taken me a long time to feel safe enough to seek the treatment and support I need for my trauma. For so many years, the idea of finding a therapist or involving myself with any mental health facility has been so terrifying because I associate all “help” to what has originally caused the damage. It’s made getting help very difficult and I struggle.” – u/juliedavis88 (Reddit)
2018: (SURVIVOR) “I was sent to New Haven Residential Treatment Center for 6 months in 2002 when I was 15. I was just a kid, struggling with depression after a brain injury sustained in a skiing accident. New Haven RTC is not a safe place for any young woman. I still suffer with trauma from my experience there, and hope that anyone reading this will research the ongoing abuses occurring there before even considering sending a loved one there. The watchdog group HEAL has given New Haven a “red/confirmedly abusive” rating, which they define as: “A program categorized as ‘Confirmedly Abusive’ matches multiple warning signs of an abusive facility, has been sued or faced official complaints, and/or HEAL has received two or more substantiated reports of fraud and abuse regarding the facility.” You can read their ongoing research on New Haven at their website. New Haven uses restraint, solitary confinement, isolation from family and/or aid (communication is so restricted that if you are in danger, you cannot call for help), and over-medication. It is a fraudulent organization. Several former and current clinicians have no formal education in their fields or proper licensure, including my “primary therapist” who is still employed there. Another former clinician (Jason Scott Calder, Bountiful Utah) was charged with rape of a minor in 2017. The victim was a patient and he may have continued working with children at another Utah RTC after his arrest. Several local news agencies reported on this and you can read about the ongoing case by Googling his name. Not every RTC is bad, but a lot of them are. It is extremely important to research these places carefully. There are programs that truly help people, and I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I did. New Haven has taken down their reviews on Facebook after receiving several negative but truthful reviews from their victims. They have deleted my comments encouraging families to research. If your child is at New Haven, you need to rescue them.” – Olivia (Google Reviews)
2017: (SURVIVOR) “I’m an alum of New Haven and spent a year there. The experience scarred me for life. We were under fed, there was no ac in the houses (in the summer in Utah it gets above 100 degrees), the house was full of flies, we were not provided medical care, myself and many others have suffered permanent physical problems due to the care (or lack thereof) that was provided to us, the animals were abused and neglected (one cat actually died while I was there), and the staff did not have the skills to be in a position of power over us. The therapists I’ve had since then have described what happened there as “like a cult” and “conversion therapy lite.” I am a queer person and that was something they actively tried to change about me. There was no grievance procedure for the participants so there was no way for us to report the psychological, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse that occurred.” – Mickey (Google Reviews)
2017: (SURVIVOR) “Do not believe what reviews you read on Google about this awful place. Several names that have given reviews are high up in the business of New Haven. I went to new haven for 11 months. The staff and therapists let their religious beliefs (they’re all Mormon by the way so it’s intense) get in the way of how they treat you. On more than one occasion I was punished for wearing a tank top and was never given a non religious reason of why I couldnt wear a tank top. At the end of my stay, my parents were the ones that decided it was time for me to come home and start school, they didn’t want me to get too behind. When the treatment team found this out I was denied my top phase 3 times, despite meeting all the criteria for it (several peers and non biest staff were baffled when I didn’t receive it). I was manipulated into what to think. I wasn’t treated, I was taught how to bury my negative thoughts and replace them with what they thought would be best. I had no say in my treatment plan. When I started to voice these things I was punished. It took months for my parents to understand what was going on there. I have been home for 8 months and I still have nightmares about new haven, at least once a week. I also realized when I left that I had been brainwashed into thinking the same way as the staff. Upon leaving I thought that homosexuality was bad, I said negative things about it. Once I had gotten away from the environment I realized that I hated myself for saying those things and then later came to realize that I’m bisexual. New haven also did not see the red flags of emotional abuse from my parents, they agreed with what they were doing. My therapist at home has been appalled with what they’ve (new haven) have said and has deemed my house hold as emotionally abusive. As of today I am doing alright. I do not have the same behaviors I did when I went to new haven and most of that is on account of me figuring it out for myself. New haven destroyed me. I will never set foot on that campus again. Please do not send you daughter here. Please.” – Violet (Google Reviews)
2017: (SURVIVOR) “I went here from 2009-2010. I can say with the upmost confidence that New Haven psychologically and emotionally destroyed me. In fact, I was diagnosed with PTSD shortly after I left. The entire experience was traumatizing and I ended up feeling brainwashed rather than treated. I was never allowed a chance contribute to my own treatment plan and was told to do things that i knew had no therapeutic benefit. In many ways, I almost felt like a circus lion being forced to preform degrading acts just for the amusement of the people around me. The clinical team treats the girls like they are cases and have on many occasions refused to provide any reasoning for context for the changes they make in your plan. For example, a girl in my house applied for a home pass (this is basically a permission slip that says that you can go home for a few days). Her therapist told her ‘no’ because “it didn’t feel right”. That’s verbatim. They didn’t give her a reason other than that one sentence, which is outrageous. They abuse the power they have. STAY AWAY or you will end up paying twice as more for trauma therapy. In response to the ‘owner’s’ reply: Kairi With all due respect, that is simply not true. I’m assuming that by ‘part of the treatment team” you are referring to the fact that each girl gets feedback sheets from the treatment team (which are written without our knowledge and can contain either words of encouragement or news of being dropped which is decided ONLY by them. To be honest, I fail to see how the girls are ‘part of the treatment team’ when you are the ones that make the decisions without trying to work WITH the girls (even if a girl outright tells you that something isn’t going to be effective and suggests coming up with an alternative solution.). Saying “Well, we decided that you’re going to have to do xyz in order to get your level…and if you don’t like it, tough.” is a horrible method. The response being: “‘You have failed to listen to MY needs and I am hurt that you made such a decision behind my back. For that reason, I cannot trust you with my treatment and I do not feel safe anymore.”. I’ll tell you all a story: I earned my level 4 and everything was great! I had good relationships with the other girls and the staff and I received nothing but positive feedback from Treatment Team. However, one day out of the blue, I was told that they decided to drop me from 4 to 2!!! By ‘out of the blue’ I mean zero warning signs. None. Nada. Now, I am the first person to admit if I make a mistake or behaved in some way that would cause this to happen, but God as my witness, I did NOTHING to deserve this. Nor did they provide an explanation, which made me even more angry. Now, please explain to me how this is ‘including’ me in Treatment Team?” – Kairi (Google Reviews)
New Haven RTC Website Homepage
HEAL Program Information – New Haven RTC
Secret Prisons for Teens – New Haven RTC
Therapist at Utah youth treatment center told victim he was a ‘sex addict,’ police say (Deseret News, 10/16/2017)
Utah therapist charged with 17 felonies told victim he was a ‘sex addict,’ police say (KSL, 10/16/2017)
Warrant reveals details about rape, assault allegations against therapist (KUTV, 10/16/2017)
Utah therapist who pleaded guilty to raping teenage patient sentenced to prison for up to life (Salt Lake Tribune, 1/9/2018)
Therapist may spend life in prison for sexual relationship with 16-year-old patient (Herald Extra, 1/8/2018)