Correctional boot camps for juveniles, as well as for adults, focus on structure, discipline and physical and/or mental challenge. The experiences of the offenders in the programs are anticipated to change them in a positive way so that their future criminal activities will be reduced. The mechanism for this change is attributed to various factors such as self-esteem or increased bonds with staff and peers. Some also expect that these punitive programs will discourage others from committing crimes or that the individuals who spend time in the programs will be deterred from future criminal activities.
There are basically three types of boot camps: the military drilling style that focuses on strict discipline; the rehabilitative approach; and the educational/vocational model. In 1985 the first juvenile boot camp was established in Orleans Parish, Louisiana. In 1987, only four state correctional system boot camp programs existed. In 1992 there were three pilot juvenile boot camps started in Ohio, Colorado, and Alabama. The offenders sent to these locations were non-violent offenders less than 18 years of age, and were to complete a three-month residential program and six to nine month aftercare program. However, there were reports of a lack of consistency and coordination in the aftercare programs which lead to substandard results as opposed to those high intentions of lower recidivism. By 1993 there were forty-six reported in thirty states. This number grew increasingly to boast 75 facilities for juveniles by 1997, in 33 states. These figures represent only official state facilities, and do not include private camps and those established by local jurisdictions. If the figures included these facilities run by other jurisdictions and private persons the number would be significantly higher. The idea of juvenile boot camps is much newer than adult faculties, although, in Texas alone their Juvenile Probation Department... [continues]
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