Students can apply to The Other Side Academy by simply walking in the door, sitting on “the bench” and asking for an interview. They need not be facing jail or prison to be accepted.

Those who are currently in jail can apply by writing us a letter asking for an interview (See How to Apply).

We work closely with judges, prosecuting and district attorneys, with public defenders, with Adult Probation and Parole and with the sheriffs and deputies that run the jails. If you are in one of these roles and would like to learn more about The Other Side Academy, we are happy to come meet with you or present to a meeting of your peers and help you learn about this effective program.

Here are some frequently asked questions we get from the dedicated and hard-working members of the judicial and enforcement community:


We are looking for someone who is ready to make a 2-year commitment to change their life. We don’t accept sex offenders, arsonists or “dual diagnosis” applicants. We believe those individuals need special counseling that we don’t offer. We don’t accept applicants requiring psychological medication because we don’t have a medical staff to adequately and properly monitor those needs.

Since we operate a high paced, physically demanding environment our participants must be in reasonably good health to be fully engaged in the program and be able to keep pace with the rigorous schedule.

We accept male and female participants ranging from 18 to 64 years of age, without regard to race, color, national origin, sexual orientation or physical handicap.


We accept participants from all facets of the judicial system including diversion and alternative sentencing, probation and parole. We cooperate with all agencies of the criminal justice system regarding record keeping and accountability for participants referred by the courts and we will immediately notify such agencies when court-ordered participants leave The Other Side Academy under conditions that violate the terms of their parole or probation.


Participants are allowed to write select family members after 30 days and make periodic phone calls after 90 days. In-house and home visits are earned and granted on an individual basis.


There is no cost to the student. All that is required is a strong desire to change and a willingness to commit two years to the process because we believe that is how long it takes to reinvent oneself so that your new life is one you will be able to maintain. We also believe that the process begins with the initial interview. Admitting the truths about our lives is the first step to changing it so complete honesty is a must. Anyone caught lying in his or her interview may be asked to leave.


A typical day starts at 6AM with a morning meeting and breakfast, work until lunch and the daily seminar, then back to work until 5PM. After dinner there is school, peer group sessions called “Games” (to work out issues that arise during the day), an hour or so of down time, then it’s lights out at 11PM. Saturdays are a work-day as well and then there is a social function in the evening. Sundays are a day of rest for most of the students.