“The Program” consisted of a leveled incarceration system in which the teenager would be committed by their parents without their expressed consent to graduate, and remain on 24 hour lock down, until they had earned the “privilege” to go home. On Level 1, you are striped of all your basic rights and expected to remain silent and ask permission to do everything like looking out of line, speaking and going to the bathroom. Lower Levels (Levels 1-3) are monitored 24 hours a day, even in the showers and when going to the bathroom and you are expected to follow a strict set of rules that include everything from forgetting the tiniest strand of hair in your brush durring daily inspection or forgetting something, to more serious infractions like run away plans which could include bringing any kind of writing utensil into a bathroom, even on accident. When any of these many rules are broken, a “consequence” is given out and the student it required to fill out a piece of paper as evidence of their misdeed, and depending on the severity of the infraction, their respective points are then deducted at the end of the day. Levels are gained by earning points, randomly given throughout the day for things like completing their chores, writing “reflections” and generally behaving. Once a student receives a certain amount of points they can “Level Up” by asking for “support” from their peers, staff and administrator which is necessary to advance in levels. Often times the points are much easier to come by than support, which can pretty much be attributed to a popularity game or an obscure reason to hold a kid back in their program.
Once a student reaches Level 4 they are considered an upper level. They get a few privileges back like, wearing shoes and their hair down and being trusted with a razor to shave. However with privilege comes great responsibility, Upper levels are expected to “work in the families” which basically a full time babysitting gig for the lower levels. They are instructed to give out consequences when they notice any rule infractions and do inspections in order to find things to give out consequences for. They usually have to be the ones to answer all the raised hands, asking permission to do every little thing, and have to escort lower levels each time they need to go to the bathroom.