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Juvenile Boot Camp

What You Need to Know About Court Assignment

What You Need to Know About Court Assignment

Remanding children to boot camps for teens is often seen as a form of “intermediate sentencing,” as some believe that, in terms of both the length of the stay and the severity of the conditions, these facilities are a good middle ground between probation and detention.
The assignment of boot camps for teens usually follows one of two paths designed to prevent these children from being detained or incarcerated. The first is known as front-end sentencing and usually is concerned with the conditions of probation. In some cases, front-end sentencing is part of those very conditions and will defray at least part of a prison sentence. Otherwise, placement in a boot camp will be a consequence of a probation/parole violation.
The other path, meanwhile, is known as back-end sentencing. Rather than classifying juvenile inmates as members of military boarding schools or other similar institutions upfront, the decision to transfer them is made partially through their sentence. Most of the time, offenders will be moved to boot camps either very early in their sentence (for moderate offenders to shorten the length of their stay) or later in the sentence (as somewhat of a reward). Here, too, only certain offenders will be eligible for such a transfer, so while it likely goes without saying, boot camps are not for everyone. 

Understanding The Juvenile Boot Camp Criticisms

Understanding The Juvenile Boot Camp Criticisms

The whole premise of a boot camp for teens is that a child is put into a hostile environment which will force him or her into proper conduct and impress certain values upon him or her. However, numerous critics of teenage boot camps allude to the idea that these facilities are more or less child abuse.         
A boot camp for teens may be advertised as a faster means of getting children to appreciate social values and societal order, but as is the nature of advertising, this may be too good to be true. While teenage boot camps are wont to focus on the successes of their methods as applied to young people who complete their programs, frequently entrants will drop out of boot camp and the intended effects will be completely lost.
Even for children who last from start to finish, there is little guarantee that enrollment in a boot camp will lead to persistence of said intended effects. Concerns from outsiders are many with regard to the notion that boot camps are short-term solutions.
In addition to the above, the biggest merits of the boot camp for teens setup identified by private and public program organizers are even attacked by detractors. One claim of supporters of teenage boot camps is that they are responsible for reduced rates of recidivism. 

Knowing The Effectiveness Juvenile Boot Camp

Knowing The Effectiveness Juvenile Boot Camp

In terms of what the leaders of military schools for teens hope to accomplish in running their establishments, often they at least meet their own expectations for their setups. Certainly, military-style programs, with their insistence on routine and schedule, tend to be more consistent in how treatments are applied over time and across participant populations.
In a number of military schools for boys, program completion is also very high, exceeding 75%. Parents and researchers have also reported marked improvements in subjects’ physical fitness as well as their educational performance. In addition, generally boot camps and military schools tend to be cheaper than traditional secure facilities.
However, regarding some of the most important goals for military schools for teens, many of these facilities would have to be considered a failure. In themselves, boot camps and military schools for boys have proven poor predictors of reduced recidivism rates.         
With the acceptance of more young ladies into military schools for teens, an additional problem regarding effectiveness that some program leaders and parents might not have considered beforehand is inherent in the cohabitation of adolescents in all schools. The worst stories to come out of military schools for boys and girls are ones of sexual abuse and exploitation of female cadets, which schools may be hard-pressed to try to limit totally. As is likely to happen between young people of different genders in close proximity, many facility officials have made claims of much sexual tension between participants that distracts these children from the main focus at hand. 

Private Juvenile Boot Camp

Private Juvenile Boot Camp

State-run juvenile boot camp facilities are only a part of the use of these programs in the United States. When privately-operated juvenile boot camp facilities are taken into account though, a fuller picture of “shock incarceration” setups in America emerges.
Juvenile boot camp implementation in the United States is not all that prominent, considering these kinds of programs are little more than 25 years old and are controversial. Even so, teen boot camp facilities are routinely advertised over the Internet and other public media, and barring criminally injurious practices, are a perfectly permissible way for parents to seek help for their children in recognizing the role of authority figures.
In terms of absolute numbers, juvenile boot camp facilities are rather low in incidence. Only between 50 and 100 facilities are estimated to be in operation in the United States. In terms of State-controlled institutions, less than twelve states utilize them. With private teen boot camp centers in the mix, however, that percentage changes dramatically, with more than a half of states containing boot camps and other shock incarceration systems. While boot camps for children are still relatively scarce, their geographic expansiveness is noteworthy.
While most juvenile boot camp facilities run by the states and offered by juvenile courts as a reprieve from jail require a child to voluntarily enlist for such a change of venue, private teen boot camp complexes may not have such a stipulation. Of course, ideally, both parents and child should be able to agree this is the best course of action for him or her, but all the same, there may be little to no recognition on the child’s part that he or she needs to change his ways.
The most established and well-known juvenile and teen boot camp facilities are orchestrated with military overtones. Often, these types of setups will be led by one or more former servicemen and will emphasize manual labor, intensive physical training, and a strict daily agenda including scheduled wake up calls, meals and bedtimes. That said, over the years other facilities have come into the fold that emphasize intensive rehabilitation along with the intensive physical programs, as well as insist on some form of aftercare or other supervised treatment subsequent to completion of the program.

All You Need to Know About Juvenile Boot Camps

All You Need to Know About Juvenile Boot Camps

Background
Though some might think juvenile boot camps as a television invention, these programs, though not widespread, are real. Public and private camps for juvenile offenders exist across the United States as a way of shocking them away from delinquency and adult crime. As for what a juvenile boot camp may offer, aside from a temporary relief for parents of delinquent children, a program such as this will engage children on a physical, behavioral and attitudinal level.
As the name indicates, there is great insistence on drills and training that will force children to comply with the orders of staff commanders according to a rigorous daily routine. For all of the hardships children enrolled in boot camps must undergo, though, they are expected to learn teamwork, leadership, and confidence, among other things.
More pragmatically, according to theory, they should perform better academically and be less apt to commit a crime again. Evidence suggests that signing onto an aftercare program or other supervised post-camp treatment will enhance the long-term positive effects of these methods.

Governmental
Despite numerous criticisms, and some states and countries rejecting their use completely, Government-sponsored juvenile boot camps are still in operation. In fact, these setups are provided for as far up as the Federal level. The Bureau of Prisons has oversight over a few prison-oriented boot camps, and on top of this, Federal law outlines conditions of employ for the “Shock Incarceration Program.” 
Individual states may also effect boot camp facilities, though, as extensions of their prison and probation programs. Georgia, North Carolina and New York are particularly notable for the strictness of their camps, the number of camps which they allow, and the number of inmates per facility.
Noting the innovative recentness of these programs, though, comprehensive studies on juvenile boot camps have not been all that numerous. Much of what is known about State-run programs has been based on reports from the small percentage of survey respondents or is simple numerical data about how many facilities are in existence and how much they cost taxpayers. All the same, State-run boot camps, as a sort of safety valve to counteract overcrowding in traditional correctional facilities, are estimated to house several thousand inmates.

Private
For desperate parents seeking a solution to their children refusing to behave at home, doing poorly at school, and engaging in unsafe activities in the presence of peers (e.g. drug use). Imaginably, privately-run boot camps for teens differ from public options on a number of key points. First of all, private facilities are a privilege. As independent businesses, they charge fees for their services, and so some facilities may not be realistic choices for some families. Besides, some applicants may be rejected if it is judged that they would not be a good fit for a particular program.

Criticisms
Even when the circumstances within these facilities are not that graphic, the benefits they are supposed to offer may be rare in coming. Of course, for most treatment methods to succeed, the entire course must be fulfilled, but frequently, participants will drop out either from the main program or attached aftercare sessions. 
Moreover, completion does not ensure retention of the values and standards imposed in boot camp. In the presence of bad influences in school and in their neighborhood, juvenile offenders might revert back to their old ways, and certainly will not have staff members always supervising them to make sure they are adhering to standards of good conduct. Plus, while boot camps are usually seen as cost-effective outlets for committed populations, in some cases costs over time may equal or exceed those of more secure, more prison-like facilities. 

Court Assignment
Oftentimes, instead of parents making the decision to place their children in boot camps, this choice will be recommended by a probation officer. As for how courts may go about remanding custody of juveniles to boot camp, there are two major routes for this process. In front-end sentencing, offending minors will either be sentenced to boot camp for a specified period as part of an original probation order or as a consequence for violating the terms of an existing order. In back-end sentencing, meanwhile, the decision to transfer children to boot camps will occur mid-stream, either near the beginning of a sentence or after an inmate has served the bulk of his or her sentence in a correctional facility. Again, the common theme here is that children are kept out of secure detention. 


Effectiveness
Though numerous states continue to employ boot camps as sentencing options and more camps exist as run by private individuals, often one who has served the Armed Forces, the actual effectiveness of these facilities is spotty at best. In truth, some boot camp programs and children within those programs have excelled given the in-your-face environment promoted by most camps. In more successful boot camps, over three quarters of the children complete the terms of their assignment and see better results in their physical well-being and performance in the classroom. Also, boot camps may be a cost-effective solution for the states. 
On the flip side of things, though, detractors have highlighted quite a few ways in which boot camps for children have failed. A major goal of boot camp facilities is to keep children from being arrested again, but evidence suggests recidivism is just as likely for participants as non-participants and aftercare programs are underutilized and prone to low completion rates. 
The agendas of boot camps may also be complicated in a way that hinders rehabilitation. For one, the mixture of military drill and clinical treatments may cause one or both to be lacking in some regard. In addition, co-ed programs have proved a distraction in numerous instances, if not an unfortunate opportunity for males enrolled in the programs to abuse the situation.

Purpose
The theoretical oppositions to boot camps and military schools for children as well as their failures in many cases have perhaps overshadowed the intent of the facilities trying to do children good and succeeding. The movement to create boot camps in the United States came soon after implementation of the first boot camp for adults and was a response to larger issues facing the juvenile justice system. Boot camps seek to address two major kinds of problems children have in their day-to-day lives. The first of these is problems with authority and conformity with the rest of society, which institutions treat with a heavy dose of authority in the form of drills, exercises and other training led and enforced by staff as part of a military hierarchy.
Included in the range of activities that especially benefit children with a history of bad behavior/delinquency are physical and general education, life skills, and vocational preparation. All children who enter these boot camps are also expected to undergo counseling and medical rehabilitation for the various troubles they face, both in camp and after the fact. This may take the form of group counseling, or individualized meetings with a health professional tailored to child’s needs.

Recidivism Rates
The primary reason for the continued existence of boot camps and court-ordered military schools is that they will help curb recidivism of youth offenders, and down the road, adult patterns of criminality. Consequently, along with their cost factor, most boot camps are judged by this standard.
Compared to the performance of detention centers and other correctional facilities, boot camps may be better predictors of lower recidivism rates. For instance, the State of New York which operates a number of child and adult camps, has fared better than average on likelihood of being arrested from stays in boot camps and periods of commitment to secure institutions, reporting lower rates of recidivism for the former.
However, some would suggest that outperforming prisons and reformatories is not really a good barometer for success. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Institute of Justice studied the effectiveness of boot camp programs on preventing repeat offenses in children. In a 1991 study sponsored by said organizations, three camps were assessed for their retention of participants, especially against an additional arrest. 
In the Ohio program, roughly a third of inmates were dropped from the program following an arrest. Of even more note, a later project examined these camps for recidivism rates of all juvenile offenders who enrolled, finding that participants in boot camp did no better or worse in this regard.

Knowing the Purpose of Juvenile Boot Camp

Knowing the Purpose of Juvenile Boot Camp

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.

Recidivism Rates At A Glance

Recidivism Rates At A Glance

With any kind of treatment program involving the reformation of an offender, recidivism – incidence of repeat arrests and/or conviction – is always a prominent concern. Often recidivism rates of boot camp participants are compared to those of similar individuals who are committed to a youth detention center or adult correctional facility, as the specific goal of most camps is to cut down on juvenile recidivism and to lessen the dependence of justice systems on expensive forced confinement of offenders.
For some states, especially those that are among the national leaders in use of boot camps as a solution to detention, significant positive differences were measured. For instance, as of 15 years ago, the State of New York reported less than 15% of all boot camp participants being re-arrested, as opposed to 20% for cohorts in secure centers and jails. It should be noted, though, that these rates (at least at the time) were lower than average, meaning these figures may be real outliers.
The best evidence we have concerning the effect of boot camps/military schools on recidivism would seem to come from controlled research on the subject. Future analyses by the OJJDP and partner agencies that focused expressly on recidivism rates would not have good news. Two years later, the same three facilities and the children that first entered into their custody for treatment were assessed for their performance on measures of juvenile recidivism.
The Alabama and Colorado boot camps were found to make no substantial change in their participants’ tendencies toward criminality and the Ohio camp’s inmates actually got worse on this variable. Granted, this study is somewhat outmoded, but nonetheless, over the years similar studies have produced similar results.