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The Ineffective Alternative for Youthful Offenders: Juvenile Boot Camps

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  1. Abstract
  2. The ineffective alternative for youthful offenders: Juvenile boot camps
  3. Boot camps and their appearance to be 'tough on crime'
  4. Boot camp environment
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

America's youth are becoming more and more involved with crime, while juvenile crime rates are skyrocketing. As these crime rates increase, a need for better and more proficient means to detain and rehabilitate youth is apparent. Juvenile boot camps were the solution that many professionals thought would be the best way to deal with this problem. As with all forms of incarceration and rehabilitation, which are employed by America's criminal justice system, the effectiveness and methods of operation of juvenile boot camps have been questioned. The purpose of this research is to show that juvenile boot camps are not always effective and cost-efficient enough to be solely used to solve the problem of juvenile delinquency in America. Several studies will be used to demonstrate this idea. A few methods and ideas of improvement on the effectiveness of juvenile boot camps will be suggested.

[...] The National Mental Health Association (2005) says juvenile boot camps were developed as rigorous alternative to long term of confinement in juvenile correctional facilities,? and according to a study performed by the Koch Institute as demonstrated by (Kilgore & Meade, 2004), there are five goals for placing a juvenile into a boot camp program: deter juveniles from committing further criminal acts by inducing fear, prevent juveniles from committing crimes by incapacitating them, rehabilitate juveniles, punish juveniles for the crimes they have committed, and accomplish any of the former in a cost-effective manner. [...]

[...] While those in favor of military control believe juvenile delinquents benefit from strict enforcement of rules and regulations, opponents argue that ?boot camps set the stage for abusive punishments and perpetuate a versus they' attitude? (Styve, MacKenzie, Gover, & Mitchell p. 298). Styve, MacKenzie, Gover, and Mitchell (2000) found the following: Critics expect the boot camp environment to be perceived as less caring, more unfair or unjust, and less therapeutic as compared to traditional facilities. They anticipate that youth may fear staff and that the camps will have less individualized programming, and as a result youth will be less prepared for their return to the community. [...]

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