BOOT CAMPS ARE A BAD ALTERNATIVE Boot Camps For Children are A Failure According To Substantial Media Research. Wilderness Therapy Treatment - A non-profit consumer protection information, health, safety, referral & education site. More Information: web Peter S. Can ellos, Contributing Reporter, BOSTON GLOBE, April 30, 1989, PAGE: 29 SHERIFFS, LAWMAKERS EXPLORE ALTERNATIVES TO JAIL //as-VT 2000 At least one former supporter of boot camp has turned into a skeptic, however. Larry R.
Meachum, who opened the first prisoner boot camp in the nation while serving as commissioner of corrections in Oklahoma, opposed such a proposal when it came up in Connecticut, where he now serves as corrections commissioner. Meachum, a one-time acting corrections commissioner in Massachusetts, cited three potential pitfalls in the program, said Connecticut corrections spokesman William Flower. - The " widening-net syndrome.' Judges, seeing the boot camp as a positive alternative for jail inmates, will sentence to jail young delinquents who would otherwise be placed on probation, adding to the corrections population rather than reducing it. - Limited effectiveness.' That 'scared straight' philosophy doesn't work for everyone,' Flower said.'s ome of the street toughs like it. They like the violence of it.' - Brutality.' It can lead to training instructors going into excess,' Flower said.
Instructors have a hard time taming the street kids, he said, and respond, as in the military, by demanding more and more physical exercise. 'He started the first one in the country in Oklahoma,' Flower said of Meachum.' What he discovered is the support systems for the program have to be in place before you do a boot camp. It's not the simple solution that it appears to be. It's not the panacea that people think it is.' AMERICA'S FOREMOST EXPERT ON BOOT CAMPS SAYS THEY DO NOT REDUCE RECIDIVISM -- THEY FAIL GARY MARX, Chicago Tribune, Oct.
12, 1994, From: HARD TIME: BOOT CAMPS FORCE OFFENDERS TO SHAPE UP? as-VT 2000 ''The simplistic view that military and physical training will work (in reducing recidivism) is wrong,'s ays Doris MacKenzie, a University of Maryland criminologist who is the nation's foremost expert on boot camps. ''Many boot camps Use punishment for punishment's sake. They try to make it look tough for the public, but they are not doing what really works.' BOOT CAMPS ARE NOT WORKING GARY MARX, Chicago Tribune, Oct. 12, 1994, From: HARD TIME: BOOT CAMPS FORCE OFFENDERS TO SHAPE UP? as-VT 2000 There's only one problem: boot camps aren't working, or at least not as well as politicians and other proponents said they would. Nationwide, more than one-third of all offenders who enter boot camps drop out before they graduate. And boot camp graduates do not have significantly lower recidivism rates than inmates with similar backgrounds who are put on probation or serve time in regular prisons, studies show.
PROSPECTS FAR DIMMER FOR BOOT CAMP GRADUATES Sarah Glazer, Congressional Quarterly, March 13, 1994, in DALLAS MORNING NEWS,' Is boot camp structure, discipline enough to reform troubled youths? ; Studies show the recidivism rate rises the longer its graduates stay on streets // js-VT 2000 Prison boot camps lack a key aspect of military boot camps, says Dale Parent, a senior analyst at the Cambridge, Mass. , consulting firm Abt Associates who studied boot camps in 1989. After military training, he says, recruits graduate to several years of guaranteed employment, education, housing and opportunity for advancement. Prospects are far dimmer for prison boot camp graduates. NO EVIDENCE THAT BOOT CAMPS WORK STAFF WRITER March 4. 1994 PHOENIX GAZETTE, RETHINK THE BOOT CAMPS // js-VT 2000 That's the same assessment made by Dennis Palumbo, professor of Justice studies at Arizona State University, who braced the criminal histories of 68 participants in the state's shock incarceration program, a similar prison diversion program designed for young adult offenders.' It's good public relations, but there's no evidence whatsoever that these programs work,' he said in an interview earlier this year.
Professor Palumbo said it is unrealistic to assume that three months of military style discipline can make up for a lifetime of dysfunctional behavior and family life. PROBLEM KIDS STILL GET INTO TROUBLE AFTER BOOT CAMP MARY TO OTHMAN, The Tampa Tribune, January 17, 1996, Pg. 1, HEADLINE: Jury is out on boot c a family waits //as-VT 2000 But a new study has been released that casts doubt on whether boot camps work well in terms of keeping kids out of trouble. More than one of every three troubled teens sent to a boot camp, wilderness camp or residential-treatment program get in trouble again within a year of release, the study says.
BOOT CAMPS BETTER FOR WAR THAN REHABILITATION MARLENE SOKOL December 19, 1993, St. Petersburg Times; Buying an unproven remedy // js-VT 2000 But critics say the enthusiasm over boot camps seems to have overlooked basic questions such as whether an inner-city drug dealer can be reformed by a drill instructor demanding snappy salutes, shiny shoes and push-ups in the dirt. While most experts agree it's too early to evaluate, the more skeptical are questioning the entire strategy, saying such camps are well-suited to preparing young people for war, but not for teaching kids how to exist in a civilized society. BOOT CAMPS REINFORCE NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR Jill Ferrell October 14, 1994 DALLAS MORNING NEWS Boot camp not always good idea // js-VT 2000 Studies have shown that military boot camps tend to lead to more aggressive behavior and more callous attitudes toward others. When kids get punished, the response reinforces their existing beliefs - namely, that force and control are what matters. That is precisely the kind of behavior we should be helping kids unlearn.
The use of dehumanizing experiences - tearing down individuals and then trying to build them back up has no place in juvenile corrections In fact, the image of people as deserving of degrading or dehumanizing treatment is troubling, especially when the inmates involved are children and are disproportionately minorities. BOOT CAMPS JUST DUMP INMATES BACK ONTO THE STREET WITHOUT A SOCIAL SUPPORT NETWORK GARY MARX, Chicago Tribune, Oct. 12, 1994, From: HARD TIME. BOOT CAMPS FORCE OFFENDERS TO SHAPE UP? as-VT 2000 ''In the military, when you finish boot camp you become a member of a pro social network,' explained Martin Horn, executive director of the New York State Division of Parole. ''You get a job, housing, food and health care. It gives you an identity.
When you finish a prison boot camp, you go back to the streets.' BOOT CAMPS DO NOTHING TO HELP INMATES ADJUST AFTER THEY ARE RELEASED GARY MARX, Chicago Tribune, Oct. 12, 1994, From: HARD TIME: BOOT CAMPS FORCE OFFENDERS TO SHAPE UP? as-VT 2000 Criminologists say boot camps put too much emphasis on military training and physical exercise rather than helping inmates improve their low educational-and job skills and kick drug and alcohol habits -- things experts say are critical for reducing criminal activity. BOOT CAMPS ARE TOO SHORT - - -ONLY A FEW MONTHS - - - TO CHANGE CRIMINAL BEHAVIORS GARY MARX; Chicago Tribune, Oct; 12, 1994, From: HARD TIME: BOOT CAMPS FORCE OFFENDERS TO SHAPE UR? . as-VT 2000 Another strike against boot camps is that they only LAST for several months: Criminologists say it's tough for any program of limited duration to change CRIMINAL behavior that's developed over a lifetime -- something experts say differentiates military boot camps from prison boot camps. BOOT CAMPS ARE LAST VEHICLE TO USE FOR REHABILITATING YOUTH MARLENE SOKOL December 19, 1993, St.
Petersburg Times Buying an unproven remedy // js-VT 2000 Wood, a former Marine, says the goals of a military boot camp are completely at odds with those of a juvenile delinquency program. A boot camp weeds out candidates who cannot handle stress, teaches wartime skills and instills a sense of pride and loyalty for the group in which the candidate belongs, Wood wrote in the rehabilitation publication, Youth Today. Given such goals,' boot camps are the last vehicle one should choose for rehabilitating juvenile offenders.'.