In the emergence of boot camps and military schools as sentences assigned by the states in the 1980s and after, their pattern and goals were based on that of adult facilities and issues that face the justice system as a whole. From the late 1970s to 1980s, crime was on the rise in the United States, especially for juveniles.
In terms of what boot camps and military schools hope to achieve, there is hope for alignment of subjects/inmates with the military lifestyle and some of the more critical values of the U.S. Armed Forces. Perhaps above all else, a military school will insist on discipline, with the idea that its methods will help teach children the right way to act and empower them to respond to challenges on their own in the real-world.
At the same time, though, boot camps also seek to instill in juveniles the purpose of community and the merit of working effectively. To accomplish this, boot camps and military schools will usually insist on some combination of the following: physical education, military drill, general education, life skills, housekeeping skills, and job training, with special emphasis on the first two.
Boot camps and military schools are often invested in the well-being of juveniles who are not merely behaving badly in the home, but face certain issues that threaten to cripple them, such as drug abuse. As such, a military school or other facility will additionally try to treat underlying problems of children in a focused way. Both group and individual counseling is offered by most programs, and well as mandatory drug abuse seminars and affiliated aftercare programs that address one's well-being as part of their families.