Are Juvenile Detention Centers Safe and Effective

Topics: Prison, Youth detention center, Penology Pages: 8 (2658 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Juvenile Boot Camps are Safe and Effective

Are juvenile boot camps safe Effective? I believe juvenile boot camps are safe and effective, only in certain circumstances. Just as criminals go to jail and are released, committing other crimes, so do us teenagers. For example, my cousin has gotten caught stealing merchandise from a Macy’s store. Months later attempted to steal from a Champs shoes store. The consequences are too lenient. In this generation, kids live for the moment, if the consequences for their actions were much strict, and less easily avoidable, they would not do such actions as stealing, drugs, and other illegal acts. That is my point of view. So I’d say it is a 50/50 chance of the changing of the heart of the child being placed in a juvenile boot camp.

For one reason boot camps are effective, on some children, it will keep them from committing any later crimes in life. Straightening them out early in life, making them a better human being. Also, it will give them an understanding of how all actions have consequences, whether good or bad, they do. Hence, when I get good grades, I usually get to go out to eat, or get shopping money. Versus getting bad grades, I would be restricted from certain activities. Such as; football, track, and other extra activities not required during school. Another example of good consequences is if you do community service, it goes on resume for college. Versus if you don't, colleges will be more harsh on letting you attend their facility. Now a days, I have friends who go in and out of juvenile centers. But what the problem is with most people, they do not know the difference between a juvenile detention center and a juvenile boot camp. There are several types of these places in the world with different meanings to them. Detention centers are thought of as short-term places to hold people. Jails are the most common form of detention centers. Jails are usually run by a county and hold people who are awaiting sentencing, or have been sentenced to a year or less.

Probation centers are detention centers that are also used for short-term confinement of probationers. These facilities are used for people who are unable to fulfill their probation commitments in the community. Although these are usually minimum security, higher securities centers exist as well and can include exclusively male and female facilities as well as those that are more highly structured. Many also offer rehabilitation programs such as employment or substance abuse programs. Correctional facilities are also known as prisons. A prison is a long-term facility, meant to hold people convicted of a crime and sentenced for more than a year. State governments and the federal bureau of prisons operate prisons. State prison systems may have specialized services such as work release programs or boot camps. Often they are linked to other state run programs such as halfway houses and work-release centers.

Minimum security or federal prison camps offer dormitory housing, low staff-to-inmate ratio and less perimeter fencing. Low security prisons have dormitory housing, a higher staff-to-inmate ratio and high perimeter security. Medium security prison have an even higher amount of staff, strengthened perimeters and cell-type housing. High security prisons, also known as federal penitentiaries, have highly secured perimeters, multiple occupant cell housing and the highest staff-to-inmate ratio as well as high control of inmate movement. Boot camps were developed in the 1970s to answer the problems of rising prison costs, increasing juvenile crime rates, overcrowded prisons, and high recidivism rates (MacKenzie & Hebert, 1996; Peters, Thomas, & Zamberlan, 1997). Correctional boot camps were designed after the military's basic training boot camp. When a juvenile enters the boot camp, he or she is dressed in military-type uniforms and automatically becomes a member of a platoon or squad. Drill instructors guide their daily...

Bibliography: PrimarySearch and SocINDEX. These searches were completed between June 2006 and December 2009. Any results in the searches containing the key words were reviewed for compatibility with the qualifications for this literature review. These databases included literature searches in psychology as well as criminal justice. Articles published from 1970 to the present were acceptable for review, as boot camps have been in use since that time. The key words used in searching electronic resource databases were boot camp, recidivism, adolescent, juvenile, delinquent, and shock incarceration. Bibliographies and references found in the articles were also perused for additional leads. Most of the articles were in electronic full text format or available through interlibrary loan.
Qualifications for inclusion in this literature review were created to make the information as reliable as possible. The articles had to be quantitative in nature and make specific mention to boot camp programs. The articles also had to be focused on measures of effectiveness (namely educational achievement, attitude change, recidivism, cost effectiveness, or graduation rates). The boot camps in the study had to have male inmates only to have more reliable comparisons between the camps and studies. Studies that included adults in the sample were included in that there were relatively few studies that sampled only adolescents. A Brief History of Boot Camps Military-type correctional centers did not originate in the 20th century. In 1888, Warden Zebulon Brockway, who managed Elmira Reformatory in Elmira, New York first incorporated a military approach to keep inmates active, avert boredom, and increase discipline (Benda, 2005). Before the 1970s, the typical juvenile offender was placed in a group home or some type of training school. In 1971, Jerry Miller (head of Department of Youth Services in Massachusetts) suddenly moved most of the juveniles from training schools to smaller community programs and organizations. It is unclear exactly why Miller decided to do this. Other states started to follow suit; and between 1975 and 1986, the number of youth placed in community-based programs or organizations rose 122%. In comparison, the number of juveniles placed in public institutions fell by 7% during the same time period (Greenwood, 1994). In a report made to the U.S. General Accounting Office (1993), prison populations rose 150% between 1980 and 1991. Responding to this rise, administrators looked for alternatives to traditional prisons that were more cost effective. Other initial concepts that encouraged the formation of boot camps can be traced back to the introduction of shock probation and Scared Straight programs, which were designed to literally scare the juveniles into avoiding prison.
Shock probation programs took young offenders into prison and locked them up for a short period of time to letthem experience what prison life was really like. These programs were found to be ineffective, with recidivism rates similar to the control groups. The Scared Straight program arranged meetings between offenders and prison inmates. The inmates gave lectures on prison life with the purpose of frightening the young offenders (MacKenzie & Hebert, 1996). Programs were terminated as they did not demonstrate effectiveness (Homant, 1981). The idea of launching a militaristic detention program was traced back to conversations between the Commissioner of Corrections of Georgia and a local judge (Benda, 2005). The very first boot camps appeared in that state in 1983 and were for adults.
Ten years later, 29 states ran 59 boot camp programs with the capacity for 10,065 participants. New York and Georgia were the largest programs; and together, they comprised half of the nationwide capacity (MacKenzie & Hebert, 1996). In 1992, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) paid for the development of three boot camps and tailored them to the needs of adolescents. They were specifically designed as an intervention program for juveniles that had a high risk of recidivism. These boot camps were modeled after the adult boot camps, emphasizing military-type discipline and rigorous physical activity. In the words of Peters etal. (1997), they were to serve as an intermediate sanction that would promote basic traditional and moral values inherent in the national heritage of the United States; increase academic achievement; provide discipline through physical conditioning and teamwork; include activities and resources to reduce drug and alcohol abuse among juvenile offenders; encourage participants to become productive.this information, I’d say that juvenile boot camps are safe and effective Also, there is a television show on this subject that helped me with this (Beyond Scared Straight.)
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