Boots Camps to Reduce Future Crime and Prison Costs

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Statistics show that juvenile crime rates have increased significantly in the past decade. This leads to an increase in costs for juvenile courts, detention centers and prisons. Alternative methods, such as boot camps, have been created to help find another place for these juvenile delinquents. These boot camps are intended to provide a military atmosphere for the students in order to correct their behavior and help them become effective organizational members of society. There are many advantages to these programs, but disadvantages are also found.

Boot camps are correctional programs that emphasize physical labor, exercise and a strict, military atmosphere. Adherence to their rules and regulations are strictly enforced. The youth are given a military style routine that includes physical conditioning, academic instruction, counseling, and substance abuse education. They also encourage the youth to pursue further academic training and employment during the last period of the program. The main reason for these programs was for cost effectiveness. According to the article “An Impact Analysis of the Alabama Boot Camp Program,” the cost of 153 boot campers is $835,533. If the individuals in this group had served one-third of their average sentence, the cost of incarceration is $1,614,762” (pg 3). Another reason for the development of boot camps was the overcrowding of prisons. Instead of going to prison for 12 months, the juvenile delinquents could attend a boot camp for three to nine months.

Juvenile boot camps have many advantages, but there are also many negative aspects of the camps. It is proven that many of the teens graduate from the camps within the time period they were given to complete them. However, there is also a high re-incarceration rate. The features within these boot camps often use intimidation and humiliation in order to control the delinquents. These tactics usually lead to emotional and behavioral problems that counteract with...
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