Author Topic: Courthouse News/ Boy Scout Boot Camp Abuses!  (Read 6687 times)

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Offline DannyB II

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Courthouse News/ Boy Scout Boot Camp Abuses!
« on: June 29, 2011, 08:36:39 PM »
Thanks to a friends @ Reddit  http://www.reddit.com/r/troubledteens
http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/06/28/37733.htm

Courthouse News Service

Mothers Say Boy Scout 'Boot Camp' Subjected Kids to Litany of Abuses
By IULIA FILIP AND MATTHEW HELLER
 2011/06/28


(excerpt)
LOS ANGELES (CN) - Two mothers say a Boy Scouts "boot camp" subjected their children to "corporal punishment and other physical abuse, including blows to the head ... emotional and psychological abuse and humiliation," hooding, and denial of sleep, food, water and medical care - even after one child began urinating blood.
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Offline program

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Re: Courthouse News/ Boy Scout Boot Camp Abuses!
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 06:00:33 AM »
The Boy Scout boot camp has always been a good program that helps disgruntled children.  Staff receive good training and work well together.  This story sounds fabricated to me.
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Offline Oscar

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Re: Courthouse News/ Boy Scout Boot Camp Abuses!
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2011, 08:45:28 AM »
They have a homepage About Us. We will make an update about it on the Wiki in the weekend.
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Offline program

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85% Success Rate
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2011, 09:06:26 AM »
180 Recon (One Eighty Recon) Has a 85% Success Rate with The Students who have attend and complied with

 the programs basic standards.
 
 Modeled after basic military training. We emphasize rigorous physical exercise, regimented activities, strict

supervision and discipline, and military drill and ceremony. Military-style battle dress uniforms and boots are the

standard uniforms for Trainees and Staff. The Trainee's learn basic military courtesy and drill and ceremony.

Expectations of military courtesy and discipline continue throughout the stay of the Trainees Enrollment within 180

Recon.
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Offline Ursus

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Mothers Say Boy Scout 'Boot Camp' Subjected Kids to ... Abus
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2011, 10:11:01 AM »
Ugh. Here's that article from the OP, copied out in full for posterity's sake:

-------------- • -------------- • --------------

Courthouse News Service
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 · Last Update: 11:03 AM PT

Mothers Say Boy Scout 'Boot Camp' Subjected Kids to Litany of Abuses

By IULIA FILIP AND MATTHEW HELLER



LOS ANGELES (CN) - Two mothers say a Boy Scouts "boot camp" subjected their children to "corporal punishment and other physical abuse, including blows to the head ... emotional and psychological abuse and humiliation," hooding, and denial of sleep, food, water and medical care - even after one child began urinating blood.

The mothers say their children also were "improperly restrained as a form of punishment."

In a Superior Court complaint, the mothers say camp staff concealed their children's injuries and told their moms to ignore the complaints, saying the kids were "just trying to get out of the program."

Rosa Chavez and Elvia Villanueva sued the Boy Scouts of America, its subsidiaries Learning for Life and 180 Recon, and camp supervisor Edgar Alvarado.

The women say they each paid about $800 for their children to attend a disciplinary camp known as "180 Degree Recon."

They say they "sent their children ... to defendants' 'boot camp' with the intention of instilling discipline in them and improving their behavior. Defendants represented to Chavez and Villanueva that their children would be doing 'a lot of exercises' but would not be harmed."

But "both [children] were made to participate in military-style exercises and rigorous physical training, without receiving any type of physical examination or clearance from a physician for participating in such a rigorous and physically taxing 'boot camp' program," the complaint states. "Both minors were pushed beyond their limits physically and were denied adequate sleep, food and water. Both minors were subjected to corporal punishment and other physical abuse, including blows to the head and body. They were also subjected to emotional and psychological abuse and humiliation. Finally, both minors were also improperly restrained as a form of punishment."

Villanueva says her 17-year-old son "was taken from his home on June 25, 2009 by defendant 180 Recon. He was handcuffed and a bag or mask was placed over his head, and he was struck numerous times. 180 Recon took [him] to a home and made him sit there for several hours, with the bag or mask remaining over his head to prevent him from seeing where he was. He was subsequently taken by bus to the boot camp for three days."

She adds: "During this three-day period [her son] was denied adequate sleep and was forced to participate in physical exercises. When he said he was unable to participate, he was verbally and physically assaulted, mostly by other minors who were encouraged by 180 Recon staff to berate participants who could not keep up. He was hit and punched in the face, head and body. He was forced to drink large quantities of water all at once and when he could not finish, the remaining water was poured over his head. Despite the fact that [he] suffers from asthma, he did not have access to his inhaler while participating in the exercises and training.

"[The boy] began urinating blood and informed the staff of 180 Recon. No medical personnel were available onsite to evaluate his condition, and the staff, including defendant Alvarado, did not think [the boy's] condition required medical attention. Instead, they forced him to continue participating in the program."

When the defendants did send the boy home, he was "in a weakened state and was still urinating blood, but 180 Recon did not inform Villanueva of [his] injuries or of the fact that he had received no medical attention. Instead, 180 Recon affirmatively represented that [he] was fine," his mother says.

Chavez says her 13-year-old daughter suffered similar abuse at the defendants' camp. She says the girl "was taken to the boot camp and allowed only three hours of sleep before being awakened for a 21-hour day of exercising accompanied by physical and verbal abuse. She was made to drink a large container of water, the unfinished portion of which was poured over her head. She was made to crawl on her hands and knees across dirt and rocks. Her hair was pulled as a punishment for not following directions. Older minors, 16 and 17 years old, were placed in charge and two of them also punched and hit [her] in the face and stomach. At one point her wrists were tied up to restrain her."

Chavez says the defendants did not tell her her daughter had been hurt, tied up and had received no medical care.

The mothers say camp staff warned them their children might complain of pain and of being injured or abused, but said the mothers should ignore them, because they were "just trying to get out of the program."

Both moms say their children were hospitalized with severe abrasions, headaches and acute muscle damage. They were kept in the hospital for several days to prevent kidney failure and infection, according to the complaint.

"These injuries were severely exacerbated by the lack of on-site medical care and by the delay in receiving medical treatment as a result of defendants' concealment of the minors' injuries," the mothers say.

They say the "defendants maintained a staff of only six adults at the boot camp to supervise 70 minors. The minors, most of them with significant emotional and psychological problems, were left to supervise other minors. The entity defendants maintained no on-site medical personnel and provided the staff with no training in the identification of medical or mental health issues that might require immediate evaluation and treatment."

The moms add: "In fact, defendants' 'boot camp' was understaffed by individuals who did not understand the limits of the minors in their care with regard to excessive exercise, and these individuals were not trained in any meaningful way in the care of minors. The adults in the boot camp regularly left minors in the care of other minors who had been sent to the boot camp because of disciplinary problems - some with criminal records."

The mothers say the defendants "knew or had reason to know that defendant Alvarado regularly subjected his campers to emotional, verbal and psychological abuse."

Alvarado pleaded no contest to misdemeanor child endangerment and abuse after hospital personnel alerted social workers and the Los Angeles Police Department, according to the complaint.

180 Recon director Edgar Alvarado told Courthouse News in an interview: "Parents come to me because they can't deal with their kids and then they want to blame somebody else when the camp turns out to be too physical."

Alvarado said that Villanueva's son "was an habitual drug user when his mother came to me. She told me that I could 'do whatever I needed to do to.' I told her that wasn't the way the camp worked. While it's hard work, we just want to give the kids structure."

Alvarado said that 180 Recon helped "many families" and it would be a "shame if a few people ruined that."

The mothers and children seek compensatory and punitive damages for battery, infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, negligence, civil rights violations, premises liability, breach of contract, fraud and violation of California's Business and Professions Code.

They are represented by Maria Cavalluzzi.


# # #
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Offline Ursus

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180 RECON flyer
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2011, 10:16:18 AM »
A current flyer from 180 RECON:
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Offline DannyB II

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Re: Courthouse News/ Boy Scout Boot Camp Abuses!
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2011, 10:35:36 AM »
I get it. The child comes from a impoverished environment where violence is prevalent and abuse is handed out like candy. So mom who is all by herself and is finding it extremely difficult to handle her son or daughter under these circumstances, sees this option (180 RECON flyer) as a save all. This wonderful looking older male comes to her door looking like he is a cross between, "Big Brother, Christian Brigades and Force Recon" telling her, how he grew up in the streets bla bla bla and how he can whip her boy or girl into shape. Little does Ma know that when he says whip (he means it) verbally and physically. If Ma does know this well then she is just perpetuating the problem.
Freaking kids never stand a chance. I understand accountability and choices, I also understand that it is not the child's fault for the decisions caretakers made concerning environmental conditions and social conditions.
Just some thoughts. Maybe others with more education in this field can shed some insight.
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Offline Wh??ter

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Re: 85% Success Rate
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2011, 12:43:29 PM »
Quote from: "program"
180 Recon (One Eighty Recon) Has a 85% Success Rate with The Students who have attend and complied with

 the programs basic standards.
 
 Modeled after basic military training. We emphasize rigorous physical exercise, regimented activities, strict

supervision and discipline, and military drill and ceremony. Military-style battle dress uniforms and boots are the

standard uniforms for Trainees and Staff. The Trainee's learn basic military courtesy and drill and ceremony.

Expectations of military courtesy and discipline continue throughout the stay of the Trainees Enrollment within 180

Recon.

Studies show that programs are over 90% effective.  This program is a little lower at 85%, but much better than any other form of treatment out there.



...
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Offline Ursus

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Re: 85% Success Rate
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2011, 01:51:31 PM »
Quote from: "Wh??ter"
Studies show that programs are over 90% effective.  This program is a little lower at 85%, but much better than any other form of treatment out there.
Where do you get those figures from, Wh??ter? If I'm not mistaken, "shock incarceration" methods, like those used at boot camps, have actually been shown to be relatively ineffective at reducing recidivism or a return to undesirable behavior...


  • Sechrest, D.K. (1989). Prison "boot camps" do not measure up. Federal Probation, 53 (3), 15-20.
  • Morash, M., & Rucker, L. (1990). A critical look at the idea of boot camp as a correctional reform. Crime &  Delinquency, 36 (2), 204-222.
  • Freeman, L. W. (1993). Boot camp and inmate moral development: No significant effect. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 19 (3/4), 123-127.
  • Parent, D. G. (1994). Boot camps failing to achieve goals. Overcrowded Times, 5 (4), 8-11.
  • MacKenzie, D. L. (1994). Boot camps: A national assessment. Overcrowded Times, 5 (4), 1, 14-18.
  • Morash, M., & Rucker, L. (1990). A critical look at the idea of boot camp as a correctional reform. Crime &  Delinquency, 36 (2), 204-222.
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Offline program

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85% Success Rate
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2011, 04:43:36 PM »
Quote from: "program"
180 Recon (One Eighty Recon) Has a 85% Success Rate with The Students who have attend and complied with

 the programs basic standards.
 
 Modeled after basic military training. We emphasize rigorous physical exercise, regimented activities, strict

supervision and discipline, and military drill and ceremony. Military-style battle dress uniforms and boots are the

standard uniforms for Trainees and Staff. The Trainee's learn basic military courtesy and drill and ceremony.

Expectations of military courtesy and discipline continue throughout the stay of the Trainees Enrollment within 180

Recon.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Ursus

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Re: Courthouse News/ Boy Scout Boot Camp Abuses!
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2011, 09:54:40 PM »
"Program," as I asked Wh??ter above, who did not deign a response, where do you, or 180 Recon, get that figure from? Let's look at the relevant assertion:

    "180 Recon (One Eighty Recon) Has a 85% Success Rate with The Students who have attend and complied with the programs basic standards."[/list]

    Notice this qualifier: "who have attend [sic] and complied with the programs [sic] basic standards." Who determines sufficient attendance and compliance with the program? Why, 180 Recon does! They can kick anyone out they don't like, or who they suspect will be a potential backslider, for whatever reason they can cook up.

    Same with compliance, which is a wholly subjective judgment, based in great part on personal politics and perceptions.

    The fact that 180 Recon gets a mere "85% Success Rate," given that they appear to be jailer, jury, and judge for said success rate determination and associated enterprise ... isn't saying much!
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    Offline DannyB II

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    Re: Courthouse News/ Boy Scout Boot Camp Abuses!
    « Reply #11 on: July 01, 2011, 05:48:32 PM »
    Quote from: "Ursus"
    "Program," as I asked Wh??ter above, who did not deign a response, where do you, or 180 Recon, get that figure from? Let's look at the relevant assertion:

      "180 Recon (One Eighty Recon) Has a 85% Success Rate with The Students who have attend and complied with the programs basic standards."[/list]

      Notice this qualifier: "who have attend [sic] and complied with the programs [sic] basic standards." Who determines sufficient attendance and compliance with the program? Why, 180 Recon does! They can kick anyone out they don't like, or who they suspect will be a potential backslider, for whatever reason they can cook up.

      Same with compliance, which is a wholly subjective judgment, based in great part on personal politics and perceptions.

      The fact that 180 Recon gets a mere "85% Success Rate," given that they appear to be jailer, jury, and judge for said success rate determination and associated enterprise ... isn't saying much!

      Thanks for setting the record (statistics) straight here, Ursus.
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      Offline Fred Thompson

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      Re: Courthouse News/ Boy Scout Boot Camp Abuses!
      « Reply #12 on: July 01, 2011, 07:56:18 PM »
      Boot camps are state-run substitutes for juvenile detention facilities and are more effective than emotional growth boarding schools.   Children acquire a strong work ethic that will help them get a job.
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      Offline Ursus

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      Are Boot Camps Obsolete?
      « Reply #13 on: July 02, 2011, 12:50:24 AM »
      I can't say I agree with everything in this article. Moreover, I think that there are some parameters for evaluating "effectiveness" as well as, conversely, long term psychological damage, which were overlooked. Nevertheless, Hanusa does appear to give the subject matter a good shot at a fair overview.

      Fwiw, ALL of the comments left for this article were program spam, lol.

      -------------- • -------------- • --------------

      Are Boot Camps Obsolete?

      Erin Hanusa · SparkAction
      Nov. 30, 2006




      In 2003, there were over 96, 000 juvenile offenders in residential placements in the United States, most for offenses against other persons, such as assault and robbery. Out of that total, about 3,000 were serving their time in 54 boot camps in 17 states.

      Also known as "shock incarceration," boot camps appeared on the juvenile justice scene during the 1980s. Politicians touted them as a "get tough" solution; the idea was to use the military boot camp model to whip errant youngsters into shape. Adding to boot camps' allure was the promise of lower per-bed costs and relief for overcrowded juvenile detention facilities.

      Typically a two-to-four month residential program of military drills, counseling, and education, boot camps are considered an "intermediate sanction" in the juvenile justice lexicon. Intermediate sanctions are more restrictive than probation, but less severe than prison or detention. When they work properly, they are an important component of any juvenile justice system that aims to rehabilitate, rather than simply punish, young offenders.

      Although the juvenile justice population has decreased slightly in the last few years, it is still higher than in the mid-1980s, when juvenile crime began to rise sharply. Young offenders coming through the courts can be sentenced to a number of different consequences: incarceration, treatment, and probation are a few. Fourteen percent of juvenile offenders receive other sanctions, including community service, restitution, and programs like juvenile boot camp.

      Have Boot Camps Lived Up to Their Promise?

      Since the inception of boot camp programs in the U.S., no study has found that this type of program reduces recidivism (1996 Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention study; 1995 Washington State Institute for Public Policy study). A stay in a boot camp is often less expensive than incarceration in a juvenile facility, but the savings are largely dependent on sentence length: boot camp sentences are normally shorter than incarceration periods. While some kids do make academic gains in boot camp, those gains seem to evaporate once they leave. Why, then, do boot camps still exist?

      Many politicians and voters like the idea of boot camp. The images involved are almost romantic: taking the ragged edges of troubled kids and shaping them into the bright, sharp lines of marching cadets. And, as an intermediate sanction, boot camps can take an important place in a spectrum of juvenile sanctions.

      Susan Colling, a juvenile programs coordinator in Colorado, bemoans the lack of such intermediate sanctions in her state. "More kids are committed than should be, and more kids are on probation than should be," says Colling. Colorado closed its last boot camp in 2001, and has not committed funds to create a replacement program.

      But Dr. Ed Latessa, a juvenile justice expert at the University of Cincinnati, says public esteem for boot camps is misguided. "There's a common misperception that what these kids need is structure, discipline, and order. But those aren't big risk factors. They don't have much to do with criminal behavior," says Latessa. He adds that putting kids who have gotten into trouble with the law together and attempting to forge a military-style esprit de corps is a flawed idea. "We don't really want to bond delinquents together. We want to disrupt criminal networks."

      Latessa cites social learning theory—the premise that we internalize and imitate the behavior we see—as one reason that boot camps don't work. "The first thing they do when these kids get off the bus is yell, scream in their faces, and tell them they're going to straighten them out. So they're teaching these kids that the way you solve problems is to get up in someone's face and yell. It's a formula for disaster."

      Former boot camp instructor Peter Vicaire doesn't deny that yelling and screaming happen. Once an employee of Patrick Henry Brady Boot Camp (now Brady Academy) in South Dakota, Vicaire believes the shock of boot camp is more valuable than critics recognize. "[The initial intensity] throws kids off balance for the first couple of months, which creates a perfect opportunity for caseworkers and psychologists to get into their heads. They become a lot more vulnerable; it makes them open up and want to discuss things [with counselors]."

      Vicaire says that those who read news reports of boot camp abuse should remember that all boot camps are run differently; there are no mandated standards, so program design is left entirely up to the administrators of a given camp. Vicaire characterizes Brady as well-organized and fairly run. He acknowledges that although there is no physical contact, there is an implied threat. "You try to instill the thought that it could happen to gain control of them so they fall in line and listen."

      Whatever the rules governing physical contact, contends Latessa, "The military approach lends itself to abuse."

      Limitations on contact are only one of the areas in which boot camps differ. Some camps provide several-week trainings for their new employees. Others provide almost no training at all. "I was taken on a two-day walk around the facility," says Vicaire, of his training before he started work at Brady. "Their attitude was, —You're straight out of the Marines, you know about boot camp, have at it.'"

      Gains Prove Hard to Maintain

      Proponents and critics agree that boot camps can produce some substantial gains for their participants. Many young participants, who typically enter with below-grade-level skills, advance academically, sometimes progressing up to several grade levels. A number of graduates find jobs in the aftercare period. And a 2003 National Institute of Justice report found that juveniles in boot camps reported decreased anxiety and depression, better impulse control, and better social attitudes than their counterparts in other types of juvenile facilities.

      Another point of agreement is the importance of aftercare, the period after boot camp when the graduate is reintroduced to his community. Numerous studies illuminate aftercare as a weak point in many boot camp programs. Susan Colling says the now-closed Colorado boot camp had a pretty good success rate, but that gains disappeared when participants entered the aftercare phase.

      Kids can do well in the boot camp setting, but, Colling says, "You throw that kid back in his environment where he doesn't have that structure, and he's bound to fail." She notes the contrast with new soldiers undergoing the real thing. When boot camp is over, "They're still in the military." In other words, although the intensity drops, the structure remains.

      The problems that Ed Latessa says are the real risk factors for juvenile crime—things like peer situations, drug issues, and unhealthy cognitive patterns—are still out there waiting for most young boot camp residents.

      How can an aftercare program help young boot camp "graduates" negotiate their return to their neighborhoods and communities? The 1996 OJJDP study on boot camps characterized a successful aftercare program as comprehensive and individualized for each graduate; accessible by public transportation; and located in gang-neutral areas. Most importantly, effective aftercare requires communication and coordination between service providers such as school staff, counselors, and potential employers.

      Peter Vicaire agrees that the lack of aftercare at Brady was a problem for kids, and suggests that mentors may be an answer. "Even after everything we put them through, they admired us and wanted to impress us." A continued relationship with a drill instructor would provide continuity and valuable modeling, Vicaire contends. But he acknowledges that a program like this would be difficult to implement once graduates scatter back to their homes across the state. Still, he says, he'd recommend a boot camp without aftercare over a large, impersonal detention facility of the type many juveniles encounter: "Where I work now, there are so many more kids, you don't get the closeness that you do at boot camp."

      Different Directions

      With boot camps losing their luster, some states are looking for new solutions. They can look to two very different approaches: small, cozy treatment centers like the ones pioneered in Missouri, and home-based multi-systemic therapy.

      In the 1970s, Missouri began to experiment with alternatives to its large, often violent juvenile detention centers. The department of corrections opened a number of small facilities—the largest held only 36 juveniles—and kept teens within driving distance of their families. The focus was on personal and group development rather than punishment. The sites also gradually developed community-based services to assist teens after they left custody.

      Inside the walls of Missouri's treatment centers, the atmosphere is homey and supportive. "Teams" of around a dozen teens spend nearly every moment together, frequently checking in with each other and with staff about how they are feeling. Group therapy sessions encourage participants to examine their own personal and family histories and to share their experiences and lessons with others.

      Missouri's progressive approach to juvenile justice is yielding results. In 2003, 70 percent of youth released in 1999 had avoided recommitment for three years. And the program is saving money. Missouri's Department of Youth Services budgeted $102 for each youth in 2002; as an example, a few states with higher costs and higher rates of recidivism than Missouri were Louisiana, which spent $270 per youth; Maryland, $193; and Florida, $271.

      Another promising alternative is multi-systemic therapy. MST's aim is to keep offenders and their families together, working on problems in a home setting. This approach avoids the problems caused by detaining juveniles in a structured, restricted setting then returning them to the situations in which they originally got into trouble with the law.

      Academic problems, drug problems, and peer issues are all areas the MST caseworker targets. Parents and siblings receive services as well. Caseworkers can also help family members learn new behavioral patterns that support the juvenile's rehabilitation.

      MST costs about $5,00 to $7,000 per family per year; the average cost for a year of incarceration is $43,000. However, MST's method of working with families in their homes is a challenge that some therapists find difficult to adjust to. And it requires special training, which means added costs and time for juvenile justice and social work agencies.

      MST and programs like Missouri's are supported by research on teenage brain development. A March 2006 report on juvenile justice and adolescent brain maturation by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families states that, "The most effective programs mirror a supportive family environment or foster a supportive family environment in the community."

      So what is the future of juvenile boot camps? Dr. Ed Latessa believes their popularity will naturally dwindle with time. He points out that boot camps emerged during a time when a large percentage of adult males had their own memories of military service as formative in their lives. As that experience becomes less common among policymakers and the general population, he posits, the idea that a military model can solve teen behavioral problems will die out. For Pete Vicaire, boot camps remain a viable way to rehabilitate offenders. "It was like clockwork, the point in boot camp at which kids started taking pride in themselves and each other. I don't see that in the facility I work in now."

      Erin Hanusa is a freelance writer and editor living in Madison, Wisconsin.


      © 2010 SparkAction unless otherwise noted.
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      Offline Fred Thompson

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      Re: Courthouse News/ Boy Scout Boot Camp Abuses!
      « Reply #14 on: July 02, 2011, 06:34:27 AM »
      Quote
      Another point of agreement is the importance of aftercare, the period after boot camp when the graduate is reintroduced to his community. Numerous studies illuminate aftercare as a weak point in many boot camp programs. Susan Colling says the now-closed Colorado boot camp had a pretty good success rate, but that gains disappeared when participants entered the aftercare phase.

      Children are assigned an aftercare worker when they leave a boot camp.  The aftercare worker works closely with the child's court ordered psychologist.  They focus on the child's  treatment plan and the family is involved.
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